Join Michael Ninness for an in-depth discussion in this video basic importing, part of Photoshop CS and Flash MX 2004 Integration.
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>>Let's begin by taking a look at how Flash treats layered Photoshop files by default. What we've got here is a typical, layered Photoshop file opened in Photoshop, and this is just file number one in the Chapter 1 folder of your class files here. And you can see that in the Layers palette here I've broken up this document in several different layers. You can turn them on and off to see exactly the structure of this document. I've named my layers in an intelligent way so I know what layer is what and so forth. So, again, this is what it looks like in Photoshop. Let's jump over to Flash and take a look at how Flash will treat this document when we try to import it.
I'm gonna go ahead and open from the Chapter 1 folder the 02_Photoshop_Start.FLA document. That's just a Flash file I've started for you to work with. We'll open that up, and to bring anything into Flash from an external file, we would use the Import command; and we will go ahead and import at this stage. There it is. There's the Photoshop document that we were just looking at in Photoshop. Let's go ahead and hit Open and this is what's going to happen, depending if you're on Mac or Windows. Since Flash doesn't recognize the file format, it's basically saying, "Hey, I don't know what the PSD is.
Would you like me to try importing using QuickTime?" That's the first thing to really talk about. If you're on a Mac, QuickTime obviously is going to be installed automatically. If you're using a Windows machine, there's pretty good chance you've got QuickTime installed, but if you don't, you need to go to Apple.com and get the latest version of QuickTime installed. We're gonna go ahead and click Yes. What's going happen is if QuickTime is present on your machine, the composite version of this Photoshop document will be placed into Flash. Now what I mean by composite is that all of the layers have been flattened down into a single layer.
And as I move this document around you see that's all I get. I can't get to the individual layers now to animate them or separate them or do whatever I want to them. It's important to repeat again that Flash is only bringing that composite file using the QuickTime plugin to be able to do that. Now, that is only going to happen if Photoshop's preferences have been set a certain way. Luckily the correct preference is the default setting, but just in case you've mucked with the settings, let's go take a look at that. So in Photoshop under Edit, Preferences, General, or on the Mac it would be under the Apple menu, but we'll go ahead and look in the general preferences.
And down in the options for file handling, there's a feature here, an option here called Maximize Photoshop PSD File Compatibility; and we should make that to be "Always". I'm using Photoshop CS here, but in previous versions of Photoshop, this option was called many different things, but the basic premise here is whether to include that composite file in a layered Photoshop file. So if that is turned on in addition to having the layers, the file will save a flattened layered version of the document inside the file.
And that's what QuickTime is actually using to place inside Flash. This is true for many other applications that are trying to deal with a Photoshop file; often times you get just the composite file. If this has been set to "Never", then that composite file is not saved with the Photoshop document and Flash would bring in nothing. Okay. So make sure your preferences are to change that to always so that composite file's always being saved in your layered Photoshop document. So bringing the layered file into Photoshop from the get go, all you get is the composite as long as QuickTime is installed.
Let's go to the next chapter to see how we can start working around some of these issues and actually bringing in the specific layers independently.