4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2010 3:11 PM by sponcedeleon

    Importing Text Objects, Editing in AI, Copying interactions, etc.


      First of all, I'd like commend the Flash Catalyst team and the work they've done so far. It's off to a great start, and I can't wait for the finished product. A little background: I'm currently working on user interface design for a software tool. I'm running FC on Snow Leopard (MacBook Pro with 3 GHz/4GB RAM). I was looking for something to take my design from Illustrator, bring it to life in a functional prototype, circulate it for feedback, and eventually pass it on to the developers to use as a reference (they write C++ in Visual Studio). I just have a couple inquiries/requests/bugs to bring up:


      (1) When I import text objects from Illustrator, Flash Catalyst fails to maintain baseline shifts. Am I missing something? I read that features unique to FC were given priority, and that other formatting options standard in Illustrator or Photoshop would follow in subsequent releases. Is this one of those options (along with strokes, clipping masks, etc.) that will eventually be supported? Or should I submit it as a feature request?


      (2) Also, it seems like the FC grid doesn't have as many pixels as the AI grid. When I import small objects that are aligned to smart guides, they become jumbled - it's like fitting 10 people on 9 chairs. Gaps and overlaps appear. Will this be reconciled with subsequent releases? Or should I submit a feature request for this?


      (3) When I highlight a group of objects and click Modify > Edit in Adobe Illustrator CS4, a dialog box pops up with the title "Edit in Adobe Illustrator". Below is a exclamation point in a bubble and the text "Editing selection in Adobe Illustrator...". The problem is, the box never disappears, and nothing happens in Illustrator. Am I missing something? Is this a bug? Does this feature work for other people?


      (4) I've read about this elsewhere, but I haven't found a concise answer. Does FC support the copying of component interactions? For instance, if I copy and paste a custom component, or if I export it to a components library and then import it, it loses all of its defined interactions. Is there a work-around? Or plans to implement?


      (5) <Deleted> Found it in "Ideas"


      Thanks in advance!


      Message was edited by: sponcedeleon

        • 1. Re: Importing Text Objects, Editing in AI, Copying interactions, etc.
          acath Level 4

          Hi Sponce,


          Thanks for the kind words. I'll dive into your questions:



          1) Catalyst should maintain baseline shifts on import. Our goal is total fidelity with the original artwork. If you post an AI file that exhibits this problem, I can file a bug (unless it's been fixed since beta 2, which is quite possible - we've made a lot of improvements to import fidelity).


          Also, I wanted to clarify the thing you read about more complex "formatting options". When you import from PS, AI, or FXG, the artwork should appear exactly as it did in the original tool (modulo very small differences). However, Catalyst may not support EDITING more sophisticated objects or properties (e.g. masks, complex gradients, paths, AI mesh warps, etc.).  That's where "Edit in Illustrator" comes in: you can pop the artwork back into to AI, make changes there, and then bring them back to FC.



          2) This can happen in a few cases:


          A) The Flash Player has a different text rendering engine than AI, so text can look different. If this is crucial to you, you can choose to convert text to outlines on import.


          B) Pixel alignment: AI supports very precise sub-pixel object placement because it can output to print (where pixels don't really matter). However, these objects look blurry when displayed on a computer monitor (where pixels do matter). You can see this simply by drawing a rectangle in AI at 100% zoom. Objects in FC must be aligned on pixel boundaries because it exclusively outputs to a computer monitor. When you import and manipulate artwork, FC automatically aligns it to pixel boundaries. This is good because your blurry rectangle will become not blurry, but it's not so good because small fiddly objects don't look exactly right.



          3) Your artwork should appear in Illustrator, ready to be edited. In Beta 2, this is only supported with Illustrator CS4. Which version do you have?



          4) This is not supported, and we don't have a proposal or plans to support it. You should submit your proposal to the Ideas site: http://ideas.adobe.com/labs



          5) This is not supported either, but it's a cool idea, so you should post it to the Ideas site. You can code up this behavior in Flash Builder, but you'll have to dive into some coding.




          • 2. Re: Importing Text Objects, Editing in AI, Copying interactions, etc.
            sponcedeleon Level 1

            Adam, thanks for your reply.


            1) I'm currently using CS3. Could this be why baseline shifts aren't being picked up? You mentioned it's quite possible this has been fixed since Beta 2. Are you able to disclose an anticipated timeline for Beta 3 and/or a full commercial release?


            2B) Is this the way FC will always behave? In other words, a subsequent release wouldn't somehow fix my problem would it? In that case, what is the best method you recommend for optimizing my AI files to avoid this realignment? Like making sure my units are based on pixels? Or only aligning on whole-pixel increments?


            3) Like I said, I'm currently using CS3, so that solves that.


            4) Submitted.


            5) Is this the same as what I was describing? http://ideas.adobe.com/ct/ct_a_view_idea.bix?c=DA4859AD-8934-4F93-983A-4219E2DD9275&idea_i d=6E51F99C-C14A-4D46-AEAD-C931ED4E9C92



            • 3. Re: Importing Text Objects, Editing in AI, Copying interactions, etc.
              acath Level 4

              Hi Seve,


              1) The version of AI should not effect the import fidelity. Unfortunately, I can't say anything about release dates at this point.


              2) For the foreseeable future, FC with always align objects on pixel boundaries. However, it's possible that FC or AI might make it easier to avoid this issue (e.g. by snapping objects to pixel boundaries). You might want to post something about that to the ideas site. The best method for maximizing fidelity is to ensure that all objects are aligned on pixel boundaries. This has some subtleties, so you'll probably have to experiment to be able to do it reliably. The most obvious pitfall that I know of is that AI aligns rectangles from the center of their strokes, while FC aligns them to the edge of the stroke. So if you have a 1px stroke, you may have to place it 0.5px off of where AI would naturally place it.


              If you see any gratuitous differences (more than 1px), they are probably bugs, and you should report them.


              5) Looks like it. Thanks for doing the due diligence before posting =).



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Importing Text Objects, Editing in AI, Copying interactions, etc.
                sponcedeleon Level 1



                2A) Your solution here solves the problem I was having in question 1 with baseline shifts. It's just a shame that if I can't really edit the text in future after converting to outlines. Of course, I can always delete it and make a new text box, in either FC or AI I suppose. So it's not the end of the world.