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You can always keep your individual drawings on individual layers in P'shop. Use a script in P'shop to export layers to images. Import those images as a sequence into Flash. Flash will import them to individual keyframes in the Flash timeline.
Can you share a sample PSD file with us to investigate this problem.
So long as all layers are visible when you last saved, if you "Import to Stage," you should get a dialogue which allows you to choose whether you want to import the Photoshop layers as layers or keyframes in Flash.
So that it animates, choose keyframes and then, adjust your timing to match your old Photoshop file.
If you want to animate in Photoshop using a Timeline in Photoshop...AND you'd like to translate that timing over to Flash, it's much more complicated. But, you can accomplish this with a little bit of ExtendScript on the Photoshop side. And, a little bit of JSFL on the Flash side.
Why the extra step of exporting the photoshop layers to individual files?
There's going to be an extra step regardless of how you do it. My method eliminates the need for custom JSFL commands and the like. If you can get your layers exported from P'shop as individual files (which is already an automated task in P'shop) and saved as numerically sequential files (001.png, oo2.png, 003.png, etc...) then all you would need to then do is create a new Flash doc, import the first file of the sequence and flash will auto-import the entire sequence of images, each on their own keyframe. Done. So in a sense, you are adding an "extra" step but towards more automation down the road.
So, I guess I need to more clearly understand the goal...
With the "Import to Stage" option, you can specify that Photoshop layers be imported as frames, ordered from the bottom to the top. You get all the layers, spread out frame-by-frame. But, no timing from Photoshop's timeline.
In terms of maintaining the timing from the Photoshop timeline, by exporting images from Photoshop, you'd export your whole timeline as a sequence.
You'd preserve the timing from Photoshop. But, this would also likely produce several duplicate files (which may or may not matter).
If you want something light and optimized, you'd have the added expense of cleaning out the duplicates in Flash, deleting a bunch of keys.
As a one-off, that's no big deal.
As part of a bigger project, that's hours and hours of clean up which could be addressed with one or two simple scripts.
"With the "Import to Stage" option, you can specify that Photoshop layers be imported as frames"
Not really. Flash has no way of detecting layers in a PSD when you go to File > Import to Stage...
Rather, you start in your PSD and use the built-in script to export your layers as comps (files) first. Export them to a new folder. THEN in flash import to stage the first file in the sequence.
"In terms of maintaining the timing from the Photoshop timeline, by exporting images from Photoshop, you'd export your whole timeline as a sequence."
Well, you'd be exporting your LAYERS from your PSD to images first.
"If you want something light and optimized, you'd have the added expense of cleaning out the duplicates in Flash, deleting a bunch of keys."
Or delete/hide those layers in your PSD before exporting them to files. Light and optimized only applies based on the resolution of your PSD and if you are ultimately going to trace the images in Flash to vector after importing them.
That seems wrong Chris. When I import PSD I'm given the choice of converting PSD layers to Flash layers, single layer, or to keyframes.
Tina, or Other Chris, if you're going to be doing a lot of video timeline PSD to Flash, could be worth signing up with the Flash Pro prerelease. I don't think the current importer knows about PSD timelines, and you could help shape the feature.
Would love to get in on that.
Right now, I'm plugging away in JSFL on a batch importer for Photoshop files and, I'm having trouble finding where to access the settings you'd normally get in that dialogue window.
Do you have a link to get involved in testing that pre-release?
I have emailed someone to suggest they invite you. I gave a link to your profile here, that should be enough for them to get in touch.
No. I'm not telling you to import the PSD into Flash.
What I have said was:
Export layers to comps from Photoshop. This is a task that can be automated by going to File > Export > Layer Comps to Files...
Then, open Flash, new document and import them. Just make sure they are named numerically first.
DO NOT open flash and import the PSD. This won't work for what you are intending to do.
Importing named Photoshop layers does work, they become the same named layers in Flash Pro, and even take on the folder structure of the PSD.
Are you remembering difficulties in old versions?