Thank you for this feedback. I've shared it with the whole team. I'm glad to hear you were pretty successful with your site despite some shortcomings in the product!
Let me respond to a few of your comments:
> Timeline panel is very confusing when you have a lot of animation. I am guessing this is do to this being beta. I hope the timeline will work like the layers panel. I would like to restructure the order.
In the next release the object order in the Timeline will match the layers order. Can you elaborate more on the elements of the timeline that are confusing? It is the type of effect bars that are generated? Lack of certain editing operations? I'd like to understand that better so we can improve it.
> Deleting does not delete. I get why it just hides it, but I would still like a short cut option to do a complete delete in the final.
I have a tip for you here. The delete key removes the selected objects only from the current state. If you click the trash can icon in the layers panel, then the object will be removed from all states
> No indesign support! Please create Indesign Catalyst.
We definitely see this as important. The current work around is to import InDesign into Illustrator, then go from Illustrator to Catalyst
> When converting to buttons name changes. I am guessing this is a beta issue. Better be.
I think you will see this is fixed in the next release
> Like no support for video alpha channels and cue points.
Cue point support won't be in 1.0, but video alpha support does work in beta II. You need to select the video and choose the "none" option for "play controls" in the Properties panel. The skinned controls has a white background preventing you from seeing through the video.
As Ty mentioned, you can click the trashcan icon in the Layers panel to delete from all states (rather than just the current state). In the shipping version of Catalyst, there will also be a keyboard shortcut for this: Ctrl+Del (on Win) / Cmd+Del (on Mac).
Thanks for the feedback!
When I imported video with an alpha channel I got a black background. Is the preview going to be black in playback? I did not export the file to test though. I will try it again and see if it works. How should I set my alpha channel when I export from AE or PSCS4?
The timeline panel is not that confusing. I think the main issue with the current version is that I cannot reorder them and when I add a new effect most of the time the effect goes to the bottom, but sometimes they pop up at the top or middle.
If the object order in the timeline matches the layer order, that would be a big improvement. I still would like to have a preview scrubber in the timeline. It will speed up my productivity.
Will there be another beta before the final release? Is it still scheduled for Q1(before end of march?)
New Issue (probably just beta issues)
"edit original" is causing a lot of headaches!
I have created the bigimpressionsmobile.com all in PSCS4. When I choose "edit original" It only gives me an edit in Illustrator option. Not sure why, but it is causing major problems when I try to update a graphic.
Everytime I update a graphic I loose all the effects and the name changes. That slows down productivity BIG TIME!
Other things I would like to see...
1. Would like to have edit original functionality for AE.
2. A skew and reflect shape button.
3. A simple built in form script.
4. I know cue point support and action script is the best way to interact with video, but I would like to be able to trigger a state or nested state when I reach a certain point of the video. This maybe a little complicated and I guess I can create some type of workaround.
This is my vision. I want to be able to have an actor appear on screen and say "Welcome to my site. Blah Blah Blah....Please choose from one of these options listed below." When the actor says, "listed below," I want to be able to go to the next state with the animation happening while the actor is still in the background moving or walking away.
This could work if I can add 1 video to 2 states and have it stop at a particular time then start in the next state at a particular time. I know this could be done with just 2 different videos but I would have to export "TWO DIFFERENT VIDEOS."
A good example of a solution is incorporate the "trim video" option found inside Keynote.
Another option is doing something similar to Powerpoint's, on the mac, "Play across slides" for video option. I can delay the transition to anytime to go to the next slide while the video still plays. This functionality would be a GREAT solution if cue points are not an option!
Attached is sample Catalyst project that has video and alpha. Note that the "video controls" option in the Properties panel for the video is set to "none"
If you import a video and get a black background and am wondering if the alpha in the video is being generated correctly.
If "video controls" is wireframe you will get a white background
If "video controls" is wireframe you will get a black background
If "video controls" is wireframe you will get no background, so the video alpha should be transparent
Here are some intructions I found so you can double check your video:
Generating alpha with with Adobe AfterEffects
Generating alpha with with Adobe Premiere
video with transparency.fxp.zip 466.7 K
Regarding your questions about having content change along with the video. You can do this in Catalyst if you use action sequences and custom components. Attached is an example.
Here is how I build it:
1. Import the video with alpha an changed "video controls" to "none"
2. Draw a colored rectangle behind the video
3. Convert the rectangle to a custom component
4. Double-click to edit the custom component and add 1 or more states
5. Modify the states in the custom component with the changes you want to occur when the video is playing
6. exit editing the custom components
Now to put the video and state changes of the custom component together:
7. Create a button called "Play"
8. Create an interaction for the Play button that does "On click, play action sequence"
Here is what needs to be put in the new action sequence
9. To make the video play when the user clicks the play button, select the video, then in the Timeline choose Add Action > Video > Play
10. To change the states of the custom component, select the custom component, then in the Timeline choose Add Action > Set Component State. With the new action selected, go to the Properties panel and choose a state. Repeat #10 for each state that needs to change during the course of the video.
One caveat with building this is Catalyst doesn't currently play the video when you preview the timeline. You will probably have to right down time markers in the video to sync the Set Component State actions with parts of the video
I got everything to work. This exactly what I wanted to do. Took about 1 to 2 steps more than I would like but No Coding!! I will take it for a version 1
I am having a couple of problems at the end. I did exactly what you said, but I cannot see where I can have my "Set Component State" autostart the transition of state 1 to state 2.
I have a simple text fade in from state 1 to state 2. I thought I solved the problem by changing my "Set Component State" to be set to state 2. At first it worked fine, but I set up a play again button to have everything play again and the transition will not happen. It just pops up.
It seems like there should be an option to "Play transition to State" drop down when you "Set Component State."
Another problem is that I have the video set to when the video completes, it transitions to the next state and the "play again" button appears. Before it goes to the "play again" state the video jumps to the beginning before the transition happens. I would like it to at least stay on the last frame then do the transition.
Here is a link to the video test www.nocontenders.com/test/Main.html
One thing I have noticed. I had a box and colored it green in the first state. Then I accidentally changed the color to blue in the next state. I noticed there was no transition option in the timeline.
I would like to see a fill color transition and maybe a stroke weight transition as an option.
Text animation would be nice. Like AE does when it gives you the option to reveal the text by letter, word, or line.
A video poster option would be welcomed.
I could not open the attached file. Got an incompatible error.