16 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2010 4:24 PM by maczounds

    General Question

    Luis Solivan Level 1

      For what I've seen so far, this application it's pretty cool and it seems very useful and easy to use for those of us that don't know much Action Sctipting or coding, etc.  Question is: Can this be use as a stand alone website builder like Flash or Dreamweaver? Meaning, can I build an interactive website and publish it as a SWF file to be imported into Dreamweaver?



        • 1. Re: General Question
          Finook Level 1

          Hi there,


          I'm Jim. The Web designer for the Navy SEALs. We used Dreamweaver + Catalyst together to make the new official Navy SEAL Website. It worked beyond expectations. Catalyst files are published as .swf's. And are easily inserted into Dreamweaver. See the new site and judge for yourself.


          LINK: http://www.sealswcc.com



          All the best,


          Jim Finucan

          Web Design Specialist

          Naval Special Warfare Center Recruiting Directorate

          • 2. Re: General Question
            Luis Solivan Level 1

            Very impressed Jim.  Great job!  I'll take your response as very helpful.



            • 3. Re: General Question
              acath Level 4

              Hi Jim,


              This is awesome! Can you explain a bit about which parts you created in Catalyst, and what your workflow was?




              • 4. Re: General Question

                Hi Jim,


                Nice site..   Great effects..


                What video player/component did you use? I do not see a way to make this in catalyst.




                • 5. Re: General Question
                  Finook Level 1

                  Thanks for the kudos. I'm glad you find it worthy to be noted. Sorry to get back to you so late. Below the navigation and above the map are the Catalyst parts.


                  My workflow began like this: Find a solution to some very precise constraints. The constraints were:


                  1. All the content had to appear above the fold
                  2. Captivating animations
                  3. Photo and video slideshows
                  4. Downloadable content
                  5. Modal boxes
                  6. Play on military networks
                  7. Build it in two months


                  After pondering all this, and man did it seem like pondering how to build a mountain out of a mole hill, I knew I'd need a flash/html site. I wanted to experiment with Catalyst. I'd heard so much about it. It offered the perfect solution to my dilemma: Flexible, familiar and user friendly. Using Catalyst was a huge risk. It's in beta and has no manuals, limited support and no prior release history to draw from (version one came and went so fast it doesn't count in my book). The videos, examples and tuts are few and far between. In short I had to rely upon imagination and people like Acath the most. Without missing a beat Catalyst kept up.


                  Next I began storyboarding what I wanted the site to look like. I started by learning how to make scrolling text boxes. That was a challenge. The creation of text boxes is a bit tricky. Once I knew I could make my text scroll I needed to experiment with layering a .swf over a .swf. I accomplished this using the import feature. It worked perfect. After that came background images.


                  I experimented with importing Photoshop files and used them as my backgrounds. This was easy. And posed no problems. The last thing to learn was how to create links to url's and buttons with events.


                  I now had the four ingredients I needed:


                  1. Scrolling text
                  2. .jpg images as backgrounds
                  3. Layered .swf's
                  4. Linking to url's
                  5. Buttons


                  Believe it or not I didn't have to work with page states, well at least not directly. There's a page on SEALSWCC.COM that begins with the SEAL Training Pipeline. That pipeline is a series of single Catalyst project pages linked together with html. The reason I had to use separate html files is because Catalyst beta doesn't allow you to copy page one and use it as a template for page two within the same project.


                  The problem is that if you change any element on page one it also changes that element on page two. They are twins of each other. Update one and you update the other. I think is gonna get fixed down the road.


                  In the end everything worked great. I copied the Catalyst project, let's call it project one, gave it a new name, and put that project in it's own html page. Voila!. I had an exact duplicate that I could mess around with. I could change text, buttons, etc. and keep the layout the same throughout the finished site.  That's how the "Training Pipeline" page was made.


                  The last huge piece of the puzzle was the slideshow for photos and videos. The solution was to use a program called, Slideshowpro [ SSP ].  I knew SSP returned it's files as .swf's and hoped Catalyst would let me layer a .swf on a .swf. It did. So, that's how I got the homepage images and videos on various pages. SSP and Catalyst play great together!


                  The homepage is a series of .jpg images inside the SSP flash player. Definitely cool. Catalyst acts as the wrapper to bundle both the Catalyst project elements [ buttons, links, etc. ] and the SSP .swf file into one final .swf. To make a final page I just place that one .swf into an html page and upload it to my server. Any videos or image I need to change are changed through SSP. I never have to touch the Catalyst file unless I want to change dimensions of the video player. Way cool. Content is updated dynamically and automatically.


                  I can't tell you what a relief it was seeing the two companies play together so well together.


                  I don't want to bore you with more details so I'll end here. I've probably gone to far already. Adobe definitely has a new product evangelist.



                  I hope this inspires someone,



                  • 6. Re: General Question
                    Finook Level 1



                    I used Slideshow Pro for Flash with it's "Director" publishing to display the images and video. I removed all the SSP player borders, allowed for gallery's and albums. I'm currently playing with the allow full screen mode but the video keep bleeding beyond the screens max size.





                    Let me know if you need more guidance,



                    • 7. Re: General Question
                      maczounds Level 1

                      Hi guys


                      Can anyone help solve this problem.

                      build  a flash file with the ssp, cared for the catalyst, and when I published  slideshow.swf, goes to, assets / images / slideshow.swf. locally works fine but the server does not appear. something wrong I have done.

                      here's the link to the portfolio: www.insight-gd.com

                      thanks in advance,



                      Note: have slideshowpro flash, and thumbsgrid 2

                      • 8. Re: General Question
                        jtpuk Level 1

                        Your slideshow.swf file is not located in /assets/images

                        It was not uploaded to the server for some reason.


                        Your server has allowed directory access to your directory http://www.insight-gd.com/assets/images/

                        It's not there.


                        Seems to be the answer to your stated problem for why it it is not being found on the server :-)


                        Just an observation:

                        Nice site, but dark text on a dark background was hard to see. Is it all supposed to be dimmed down like that?

                        • 9. Re: General Question
                          maczounds Level 1

                          heya, thanks for yr replay


                          the file name is: GalleriaIMG.swf


                          this is the files i have in my domain:



                          assets/images/ ..... GalleriaIMG.swf <--------------- this is the file (sorry wrong name on last message)


                          gallery/ album1/




                          history/history.css, history.js, historyFrame.html












                          • 10. Re: General Question
                            jtpuk Level 1

                            It's a longshot (since we do not have the code for where GaleriaIMG.swf is looking for your XML file) but...


                            When you click on the link you gave, the swf file reports that an XML data file is missing. In your directory layout, images.xml is in the root folder.

                            Since the GaleriaIMG.swf file is situated at your-site-root/assets/images/ this swf file is perhaps looking for the xml file to be located in the same directory. So move or copy the images.xml to assets/images/


                            I had this same problem a while back, it was easy to diagnose.


                            Good luck

                            • 11. Re: General Question
                              maczounds Level 1

                              I've tried many ways and I can not see anything, it's frustrating.

                              I should save the flash file as: network or local?

                              xml path in the component I think it's correct: images.xml

                              the strange thing is that it works fine on the computer


                              • 12. Re: General Question
                                jtpuk Level 1

                                Hey, hold on in there - it's close but no Cigar - yet..

                                Look it is not rocket science, you just need pointing the right direction. Let me see if I can help you understand where the problem is and point to a possible solution.

                                So, now the XML file is found and so if you look at the XML file you can immediately see that there is still a path issue


                                <album title="" description="" lgpath="gallery/album1/lg/" tnpath="gallery/album1/tn/" 

                                Now look at the path - and you can see that your path to the image files is "relative" to the current directory - that is, both the

                                gallery/album1/lg/ and gallery/album1/tn/ folders
                                are expected to be found at http://your-server/assets/images/gallery/album1/lg/   
                                Are you with me?

                                The answer is not to specify relative paths but instead,
                                specify explicit paths relative to the website root folder.

                                This is the same problem you have in the GalleriaIMG.swf app, the path to the xml file was relative. instead of images.xml you should have explicitly given the path as /images.xml or http://your-site/images.xml

                                Soo, taking the above, you should modify all relative path references to point to the correct location such as

                                <album title="" description="" lgpath="/gallery/album1/lg/" tnpath="/gallery/album1/tn/" 

                                I hope this helps to get you back on the road.

                                Looking forward to seeing your app working.


                                Message was edited by: jtpuk because of the crappy forum editor goofs up the layout

                                • 13. Re: General Question
                                  maczounds Level 1

                                  Hi Jtpuk,


                                  have dentist now, come back later. (i hope with news)


                                  I'll try. thanks for the help:)



                                  • 14. Re: General Question
                                    maczounds Level 1

                                    heya Jt,


                                    slideshow works now, not bad at all

                                    but the thumgrid dont show up the 6 gallery buttons, but show the thumbs of each albums, any ideia?


                                    thx to help me out mate

                                    • 15. Re: General Question
                                      jtpuk Level 1

                                      Hi again


                                      I suspect it's just more of the same problem.

                                      You just have to think it through along the same theme - check your paths through the apps and make sure files on the webserver are in the folders you expect them to be in.


                                      No problem ("mate"), glad to see you have achieved a result.. 



                                      • 16. Re: General Question
                                        maczounds Level 1

                                        hello Suzz,


                                        resolved the problem. thanks for the help and availability. You were quite useful.