3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2014 6:06 AM by robdillon

    Flash (is it for me?), Wacom Cintiq 22HD, and Mac Mini

    Guy Burns Level 1

      I have Flash as part of the CS6 Master Suite, which I purchased primarily for InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere, but as yet I haven't opened Flash. I'm hoping someone here can save me time by advising me whether Flash is suitable for my purposes. I'm not a professional, just a keen amateur, but I do want to use quality software and equipment to do the finest job I can.

       

      Answers to a previous post in the Illustrator forum (Re: Animation – is Illustrator what I should be using?) suggested that I try Flash.

       

      Background

      I'll be using Premiere for converting my audio-visuals to HD format. Back in the 1980s I was right into three-screen slide shows. As part of the transforming, I'll be introducing a small number of video clips (hence my need for Premiere) and also short animation sequences, probably 10 seconds at most. The animation will be done by an artist friend who is keen to extend his talents into computer art. If I buy the computer (some sort of Mac), a Cintiq, load the appropriate software, and then loan it all to Steve and show him how to use it, he'll happily spend as much time as required for the animation. We're bartering: he gets to use a computer and tablet for as long as he wants, I get animation.

       

      A typical animation might involve Steve drawing outlines at appropriate intervals, over a background, then having the software generate the in-betweens. Watercolour-style shading (i.e. not fill-type, monotone colour) would be added, probably manually for each frame, unless the tweening can competently handle watercolour-style shading. For some of Steve's doodlings on his iPad (simplified versions of what we're aiming for), check out http://www.mediafire.com/download/sj731c17co55g5w/Steve's_iPad_Work.zip

       

      We're both new to this and recently spent an afternoon together looking at videos on Flash and the Cintiq. The combination looks like it will work for us, but I have a few questions which I'm hoping some of the experts on this forum can answer. A simple yes or no may save me hours of reading documentation only to find out that something won't work as I want. I'll also include some questions about the Cintiq and Mac Mini in case someone who uses them with Flash can provide answers. I live in a place where I have no access to these devices before I buy. I have to buy 'cold'. Thus my wariness.

       

      Please note: I'm not an artist and Steve isn't computer literate. So some of these questions might appear pretty dumb to an experienced user of Flash/Cintiq.

       

      Ques 1

      Is Synfig Studio (as suggested at the end of my Illustrator thread) something I should consider? Or is Flash a better bet?

       

      Ques 2

      Does Flash have vector tools that mimic a watercolour paintbrush like in Photoshop? Or is that not possible as a vector, and such effects have to be done outside Flash and then imported as background (or other method)?

       

      Ques 3

      When a Flash animation is finished, how is it exported, for example, to Premier? Do you export as h.264?

       

      Ques 4

      It is not clear to Steve and I after viewing three Cintiq videos, how the Cintiq interfaces to Flash. Does the Cintiq know about Flash, and appropriates certain drawing tools automatically? Or do you have to tell Flash (or the Cintiq) that this button on the Cintiq now operates this tool in Flash?

       

      Ques 5

      Do Flash and Cintiq work well together – and easily?

       

      Ques 6

      Do I need a monitor to be able to use Flash with the Cintiq? Or would a Mac Mini be a suitable computer – with the Cintiq acting as monitor? Steve won't ever be using this setup as a computer. He'll be treating the Cintiq as a canvas on which to draw and paint.

       

      Thanks in advance for any replies.

        • 1. Re: Flash (is it for me?), Wacom Cintiq 22HD, and Mac Mini
          robdillon Most Valuable Participant

          Hi Guy,

           

          I thought I was the only one around who was old enough to have worked on wide screen multi-image slide shows!

           

          Flash may be the right product for you and Steve. I use Flash with an Intuos 4 tablet and it works fine. What you want to do is to search the Flash forums for references to Cintiq. There may be some problems that interfere with your intended use, or it may work exactly as you want. The important element for working with any Wacom product is to be sure that you are using the latest drivers for the Wacom product.

           

          If you choose to use a mac mini, get a new one, one that can use a lot of memory, you'll need it.

           

          You can export Flash files to video in most any file type and compression is installed on the computer. So, if you're going to use a Mac, install Quicktime Pro and you should have everything that you need.

           

          I have never heard of or used Synfig Studio, so I can't comment on that.

           

          Flash's paint tools are different from Photoshop and more similar to Illustrator's. You will have all of the flexibility of the Cintiq to control painting effects, it will take some practice, but you should be able to get the effect that you're describing.

           

          Hope this helps with your decision.

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          • 2. Re: Flash (is it for me?), Wacom Cintiq 22HD, and Mac Mini
            Guy Burns Level 1

            Thanks Rob for the hints. Only one part was unclear – about the Mac Mini. My concern is: can I connect it directly to the Cintiq and have everything work properly, without requiring another monitor?

             

            Re exporting from Flash to Premiere: is there any way of getting a finished Flash project directly into Premiere without encoding?

            • 3. Re: Flash (is it for me?), Wacom Cintiq 22HD, and Mac Mini
              robdillon Most Valuable Participant

              I believe that you can use the Cintiq as the only monitor. You will need a conversion cable, the Mini has hdmi and lightning connections and the Cintiq has a dvd-i connection. You should probably read through the Wacom forum to get a better feel for using the Cintiq as your only monitor.

               

              You can't directly import a Flash file into Premiere any more. You can export the Flash movie as an uncompressed video and then import that video into Premiere, so it's a two step process.

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