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Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 : Importing artwork

5/1/2013 1:41:52 AM
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Fantastic! You’ve followed the recommended best practices. Now your design document is ready to go from static art to a living application—complete with motion graphics, animated transitions, and interactive controls.

There are four ways to get your artwork into Flash Catalyst.

  • Import a layered design document created in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe Fireworks. This is the preferred method for beginning a new project in Flash Catalyst.

  • Import images using the File > Import > Image command in Flash Catalyst.

  • Copy and paste graphics into the Flash Catalyst artboard.

  • Import a Flash Catalyst library package. You will learn how to create a library package later in this course.

Import a design document

You can import a design document from the Flash Catalyst Welcome screen.

Note

Flash Catalyst imports design documents that are less than 40MB.


1.
Start Flash Catalyst.

The Welcome screen includes three options for importing a design file: From Adobe Illustrator AI File, From Adobe Photoshop PSD File, and From FXG File. For this task, you will import an Adobe Illustrator file.

Note

When you import an FXG file exported from a multilayered Fireworks document, all objects import as a group. You can break these objects into multiple layers in Flash Catalyst by ungrouping them.

2.
In the Create New Project from Design File section of the Welcome screen, choose From Adobe Illustrator AI File.

The Import dialog box appears.

3.
Browse to the Lesson02 folder on your hard drive. Select the Banner_artwork.ai file and click Open.

Note

Objects placed outside the Illustrator artboard or Photoshop canvas are clipped. Before importing, make sure that all artwork appears inside the artboard or canvas. You can reposition these items after importing them into Flash Catalyst.

The Illustrator Import Options dialog box appears. The artboard size and color match the document you’re importing. The fidelity options include settings that determine how Flash Catalyst imports objects with filters, gradients, text, and blends. Fidelity refers to how well the imported artwork matches the original. See the “Import fidelity options” sidebar for more information on each setting.

Tip

When creating symbols in Illustrator (that you plan to import into Flash Catalyst) select the Align To Pixel Grid option in the Adobe Illustrator Symbol Options dialog box. 9-slice Scaling is not currently supported in Flash Catalyst, so leave that option deselected.

The Import Non-Visible Layers option is selected by default. Typically, you want this selected so that every layer, including those you’ve temporarily hidden, are imported. Illustrator includes a built-in collection of graphics, called symbols. You can also create new symbols and add them to the collection. If you select Include Unused Symbols, every Illustrator symbol in the file is added to the Flash Catalyst project library. Some people think that Illustrator symbols import to Flash Catalyst as reusable components in the library. Illustrator symbols import as Optimized Graphics.

4.
Click OK.

Tip

Illustrator symbols import as Optimized Graphics. If your Illustrator file includes multiple instances of the same symbol, then your Flash Catalyst document will include multiple instances of the same optimized graphic. In Flash Catalyst, it is a best practice to use one instance of an object and then share that object to other states. You can remove all but one instance of the optimized graphic, share the same instance to other states, and then apply different properties in each state.

The Illustrator file is converted to the FXG format automatically and then imported directly into a new Flash Catalyst project. Flash Catalyst informs you if the document includes a large number of bitmap images, large bitmaps, or a large number of vector paths. To improve performance, you can optimize these items.

After the document imports, you should save the file.

5.
Choose File > Save. Enter a name for the project in the File Name field (or accept the suggested name). Click Save.

The project is saved. Flash Catalyst project files have the .fxp filename extension. In the next task, you will import an image that was missing in the design document. You will then place that image in the artboard.

Import fidelity options

The Illustrator import fidelity options control how Flash Catalyst handles filters, gradients, text, and blends. The Photoshop import fidelity options control how Flash Catalyst imports image, shape, and text layers.

NoteNote

When you import an FXG file, there are no import options.


In the Fidelity Options section of the dialog box, you can open the pop-up menus and choose import fidelity options. The options in the menus are similar for Photoshop and Illustrator. They include:

Keep editable (AI & PSD): Keeps the item in an editable form, even if it might lose fidelity (lose some quality or look different from the original). For example, if you choose “Keep editable” for text, then the text will import as an actual text item in Flash Catalyst. Editable text may not look exactly the same in Flash Catalyst as it did in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Expand (AI only): Converts an object with a filter into a set of vectors or bitmaps that approximate the original appearance in Illustrator. For example, expanding a drop shadow filter on a rectangle might create an image of the drop shadow behind the original rectangle.

Flatten (AI & PSD): Converts objects into a single bitmap (raster) image.

Vector outlines (AI & PSD): Converts text into a vector path that approximates the rendered appearance of the text.

Crop (PSD Shape layers only): The vector mask that defines a shape in Photoshop Shape layers is imported as a mask into Flash Catalyst. However, instead of applying that mask to a bitmap that inherits the same dimensions as the original Photoshop file, this option crops the resulting bitmap to the boundary of the mask.

Automatic conversion (AI only): Flash Catalyst chooses whether to keep a given item editable, rasterize it, or convert it to vectors. The result is based on various heuristics such as the complexity of the item. For example, a simple blend might be expanded to vectors, whereas a complex blend (that would produce a lot of paths) would be rasterized.

Advanced (PSD only): Click the Advanced button in the Photoshop Import Options dialog box to specify exactly which layers to import. You can select and deselect layers to import, regardless of their visibility in Photoshop. You can also choose to import specific Photoshop Layer Comps, if they exist in the document. The selected layers import to the current page state in Flash Catalyst.


Note

In Photoshop, you can also use the advanced import options to set import fidelity options for each layer separately.


Import additional images

You’ve spent days, maybe even weeks, getting your design perfect and you’ve finally imported your design document into Flash Catalyst. You’ve started separating artwork into meaningful pages and component states, only to realize that you’re missing key images that won’t be available for another week. No problem. Just leave a placeholder and import those images separately. Flash Catalyst accepts bitmap images with the filename extensions: PNG, GIF, JPG, JPEG, and JPE.

Tip

You’re not limited to importing a single design document. You can import other layered Photoshop, Illustrator, or FXG files into an existing Flash Catalyst project by choosing File > Import, and then choosing the type of document you want to import.


Your Flash Catalyst project should still be open from the previous task.

1.
In the Flash Catalyst Layers panel, select the page1:Feature layer.

The layer highlights in light blue, indicating that it’s the target layer for new content.

2.
Choose File > Import > Image.

Note

If you import a large image, a message appears reminding you to reduce the size of the image before importing.

The Import dialog box appears.

3.
Browse to the Lesson02 folder on your hard drive. Select man.jpg and click Open.

Tip

You can also copy artwork in Illustrator or Fireworks and paste it directly into the Flash Catalyst artboard.

When you import a single image, it appears in the artboard and a master copy is added to the project library. In the next task, you’ll position this image in the artboard.

4.
In the Layers panel, click the small triangle to expand the page1:Feature layer.

The image was added as a new object in the target layer.

Position images in the artboard

When you import objects to the artboard, they’re placed in the artboard of the target layer. You can position objects by dragging, nudging (using the Arrow keys), or by choosing alignment commands in the Modify menu.

1.
Make sure the Select tool ( ) is selected in the Tools panel.

2.
Drag the image you imported to the blank white space on the right side of the artboard. The positioning doesn’t need to be perfect. You’ll fix that next.

For more precise positioning, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge the image up, down, left, or right.

This image is supposed to be aligned in the bottom-right corner of the artboard. To do this, you can use the Align commands in the Modify menu.

3.
Make sure the image is still selected. Choose Modify > Align > Right. Then, choose Modify > Align > Bottom.

The image is now perfectly aligned in the bottom-right corner of the artboard.

 
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