5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2011 12:07 PM by nowickim

    building controls/components in Flash CS5 for use in Flash Builder

    resfl@1966

      Hello Adobe

      (I'll  apologize in advance for being long winded).

       

      I'm a .Net  developer who is trying to mend my evil ways and learn the Adobe  development cycle--so if this a really obtuse question--please forgive  me. I was once a graphic artist and I am very familiar with some Adobe  products. I am having trouble understanding the workflow as it pertains  to creating custom controls, or even reskinning controls and then using  them in Flash builder. I haven't really dug into Catalyst, but I  am comfortable in Flash Professional and I would like to believe I  could take designs from my employers graphic artists, created in  Illustrator, and bring the artwork into Flash professional and create  custom components, or more likely skinned components, in Flash and  export them for use in Flash Builder.

       

      Our goal is to allow designers to  create vector graphics skins for controls and applications in  Illustrator (or possibly Fireworks) and to be able to apply those skins  to controls and custom components in Flash Builder for deployment to the  web or the desktop in an Adobe Air application. Ideally the designer  would be able to update the designs easily at a later point.

       

      Flash allows  for skinning to be done fairly easily within the Flash application, but  I have had some problems exporting controls or even implimenting them  in Flash builder. The only "video" on that workflow used a movie clip  from Flash and set it's "isButton" property to true in Flash  Builder...so if a designer built a simple button and designed the states  in Flash, I would have to convert it to a movieclip?

       

      If I start  with a Flex ready component from the "AeonGraphical" library, and apply a  new skin, how do I successfully import that into Flash Builder?

       

      Here are  some of the issues I have encountered...

       

      •    MX  skins can be created in Illustrator and Fireworks and imported into  Flash Builder however the  format is obsolete and the designs rasterizes and are  unacceptable even before scaling.

       

      •    Illustrator  files can be saved in FXG format and dropped into an assets package in  Flash Builder. These images can then be easily used in FB; however  mapping them to a control requires each state to be a separate image and  to be manually wired to the states of a skin. This is method of  skinning is feasible but not ideal...Am I missing a step or improperly  importing the files?

       

      •    Illustrator files can be  saved as an FXG file and imported into Catalyst. In catalyst the  artwork can be associated with a control type and the states of the  control can be edited in using illustrator. The catalyst file (FXP) can  then be imported into Flash Builder as a project which will provide a  skin for that type of control. Remaining problems include scaling (skin  doesn’t stretch) and referencing the skin outside the project.

       

      So that leaves me with Flash Professional  as the seemingly most competent tool for creating & skinning custom  controls.

       

      Using the very detailed and helpful online documentation  on customizing controls (found  here) I can create custom skins and have no problems implementing  artwork from Illustrator--for an application authored in Flash  Professional (not so much for Flash Builder).Catalyst can let you create  "one off" costum controls easily, but creating one custom skin for  several buttons (for example) is not so intuative and pulling it into  Flash builder yeilds mixed results...

       

      Flash is in and of itself a rich IDE  and could be used to create an event driven application for AIR, but  its not really geared to that user triggered, event-driven development  model. I have been able to adjust my mindset to create successful  prototypes of form based/even driven application that take advantage of  Flash's powerful features, but some of my coworkers are having trouble  adjusting their Microsoft Mindset (despite exposure to the remarkably  "derivitaive" Expression studio) and strongly prefer the Flash builder  coding environment.

       

      Are there any resources; web pages with examples or step  by step walk throughs, or videos which follow a process of taking a  design from a grapjics application and using it to create a custom  skin--and applying it in Flash Builder? The process is fairly  straitforwards in Flash Professional--but my team and I are having less  success in Flash Builder.


      As a longtime user of Adobe  products, I have by nature of that association become the inhouse Adobe  Evangelist and not only have I taken the position seriously--I have  managed to convince upper management to abandon WPF and Pyxus (for  mobile applications) and develop AIR applications which will span  platforms and lend elements to mobile AIR applications. They have even  initiated a program which will likely result in our delivering Andriod  based tablets to our dealer networks preloaded with AIR applications for  business.

       

      While  I know know this is all "do-able" I am working double overtime to  become competent enough to make this happen...but the workflow between  Flash Builder and Flash is only sparringly covered online and the  information lacks details...

       

      I have found that browsing the online videos  sometimes turns up better results than searching (doing "Google  Gymnastics")--for example Flash Downunder series has great stuff that  doesn't always show up when searching Google...And we joined Lynda.com,  and while they have lots of great stuff, they need to develop more stuff  on CS5 specifically...

       

      Where can I find information on creating/applying  custom skins from Ai to Flash Builder and all points between? (I'll buy  any recommended books as well...) Of course we have agressive deadlines  and unfortunately there is no experienced Flex/Air developer on our  staff (yet)...

       

      The  "Classroom in a Book" series on Flash and Catalyst have only just  started shipping...is that where I should look? Are there any online  resources that address both skinning and creating custom components for  AIR applications in Flash and/or Catalyst?Thanks in advance for any  direction given...

       

      Thanks in advance for any direction given...