7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2013 4:14 PM by robdillon

    Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')




      This isn't really a problem, more so that I am just "fussy". My friend and I are working on a game. He is producing the artwork in illustrator. I want to keep the artwork in vector format so it scales well on different devices (so exporting as a bitmap is not an option). When I import his illustrator files in Flash, it ends up making thousands of symbols in the library and it's making the interface in flash sluggish, not to mention it just looks messy. (I am aware I could group the symbols into a seperate folder in Flash but that doesn't help the sluggish problem much).


      My question is what can I do to make all the illustrator artwork import as shapes and lines instead of complete graphic symbols (which I don't want because it's messy, even if I do group them into folders in the library, it may appear tidier but I know that they are still there and created as symbols and that will bother me anyway). I will be making flash cache the objects as bitmaps for better runtime performance, but that's besides the point. I don't want flash to feel bogged down or unresponsive when I minipulate things and I like things tidy and effecient.


      I know what I am asking is possible, for example if you open Flash and draw a few shapes with the pen or any other tool, they don't appear in the library. You can then group all the shapes together as one big "graphic" or "movie clip" by converting it to what you desire. This is nice and efficient and you have just 1 object in the library instead of a "symbol" for every little shape.


      I hope I am making myself understood,

      thanks Lee

        • 1. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')
          robdillon Most Valuable Participant

          I'm not sure what it is that you're doing to get all of these symbols in your library. If you import an Illustrator file to Flash, it will, by default, take all of the layers from one artboard and import them to the stage. The import will put anything on a single layer onto a new layer in Flash.


          To get a symbol in the Library, you need to either select one or more imported object(s) and convert that to a symbol, or, you can select individual layer or layers in the import window and set the selected layer contents to be a movie clip symbol when imported.


          Are you doing something different?

          • 2. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')
            BlueHorizon87 Level 1

            Hi Rob


            Thanks for the reply. Everything appears correctly and is imported correctly. The problem is I don't want thousands of symbols in the library for each sprite that I import into Flash. I would prefer that all the vector art be translated completely as their equivalent drawing objects in Flash.


            It seems I can export to SWF from illustrator and import into Flash and then delete the newly imported symbols in the Flash library and most of the art is retained except the brush strokes and a few other minor objects.




            • 3. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')
              robdillon Most Valuable Participant

              Don't save the Illustrator file as an .swf. Just import the .ai file into Flash using the Import option in Flash's File menu. Flash will show you a list of all of the layers and folders from the original Illustrator file. Then you can import the layers that you want.


              From the import window, you can select any layer or group of layers and convert them into a movie clip as the file imports.


              If you just import the layers' contents, you will have nothing in the Flash Library. You can select any individual item or the contents of a layer and save them as a symbol.

              • 4. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')

                Hello Gentlemen,


                I'm also importing .ai files from Illustrator into Flash, collapsing the layers in the flash import window and selecting the entire group as one layer, then importing as a movie clip directly into the library, not the stage.


                When I look at my Library, I have all of my movie clips (though they are missing the "mc_" label I had named each with, but there was also a separate folder created for each one, with another folder inside labelled, "Layer 1" and inside that is "Layer 1". Some of them also include a file named <Mesh>.


                Is this because I selected the entire folder to import and then named each individually as they came in? Can I get rid of the folders and just keep the movie clips, or are those support files?


                Thanks for your help!


                Happy Friday ( :

                • 5. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')
                  robdillon Most Valuable Participant

                  Yes, you need to keep those imported files. The movieClips that you made are just containers for your imported artwork.

                  • 6. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')
                    PwrtothePpl Level 1

                    Thanks Rob.


                    Another thing I don't understand is why, when importing .ai to a movie clip, and typing in a name for the instance, it does not use the name I typed in.


                    It uses the name of the file as a FOLDER, then inside that is another FOLDER, then I get my movie clip and it is named "Layer 1". All 23 items I imported, individually, are named "Label 1" inside their folders.


                    What gives??


                    Thanks again~

                    • 7. Re: Importing illustrator artwork into Flash (without all the 'mess')
                      robdillon Most Valuable Participant

                      I really don't have a good answer for that. I usually import each Illustrator layer to the Flash stage as an individual layer. Then I select one layer at a time in Flash and select the contents, make them a movieClip and give it a name. Usually, the Flash layers will get the same name as they had in Illustrator.