I don't think there is a way in Flash Catalyst to easily chain together multiple state transitions. The only solution that comes to mind is to add a timer flv movie that can trigger the next transition. There are some forum posts on using FLVs as timers.
But what caught my attention was what you were using Flash Catalyst for a web banner. You may not be aware, but Flash Catalyst uses the Flex Framework. Although this can be cached on the user's system, it might require a bit of download and start up time. This may not be an acceptable user experience. I would recommend testing even the current project on a live web server to see if the performance meets your level of expectation.
I was afraid of that. I'm new to Flash and Flash Catalyst and I really like the pages/states used in Catalyst. I just wish they'd made the program usable for simple animation as well as for web interactivity.
I'll look into the timer.flv that you mentioned. Otherwise, I guess I need to figure out another way to do my animation. Which, of course sucks since I already spent time building it in Catalyst.
Hey jenpack. I just bumped up against exactly the same problem using FC. I thought it would be easy to create multiple pages and then go btween them. The only solution I've found which is not a good one is to just bring my other page backgrounds in and out with their relevant objects on the timeline for the first page. This means that my timeline is now about 24 seconds long which is problematic in FC because you can't scroll from left to right on the timline, therefore I am working in a really scaled down view. As of this moment FC is feeling a lot like a holiday in the Maldives. It sounds really great, but when you've been there for a while you realize it's full of bugs, you've been burned, you won't go there again and you certainly won't recommend it to anyone else!
Please let me know if you find a better solution.
My solution was to just dive into Flash Pro and do my animation. I've done animation in the past (like 10 years ago) and some of that knowledged helped with using Flash. I determined that FC nor InDesign's new animation capabilities were up to the task. Here's my finished animation: http://blackcatstudiosdesign.com/blog/?p=386#comments
Good luck with your project!
For a web banner, using Flash Professional is the right choice. Your banner turned out nice. Although various tools do have animation capabilities, they are not always the right tool. Flash Catalyst's animation are meant for state to state type animations. For intro like pieces, Flash Professional is the right choice. Since Flash Catalyst doe support the import of SWFs, you can combine them to meet your needs.
In Flash Catalyst 1.5, there is a real scroll bar in the timeline. You can download the preview release from labs.adobe.com.
It sounds like you were trying to use Flash Catalyst as a more of an animation tool and encountered the limits of its animation features. Depending on the design, animating your intro in Flash Professional might also be the right choice, then use Flash Catalyst to handle some of the other state to state design. Any heavy coding that your design might need would be added using Flash Builder.
Hope this explains a little of the thinking behind how the tools are thought to work together.
It was a nice dream - to be able to do some of these animations. There should be a HUGE banner on the box and on startup - THIS PRODUCT IS NOT GOING TO BE USEFUL FOR BANNERS. WTF that's what most people I know would use it for - a bit of content within another site - something to bring an idea to life, a widget or animation as an intro.
Honestly, I'm with Steve - Adobe is about ready for the GLUE factory.
I have to say I'm with you David. I shelled out a small fortune for the Master Collection only to be faced with Flash Catalyst being a disappointment and somewhat of a waste of time. Flash becoming increasingly redundant, Dreamweaver becoming impossible and antiquated etc.
Now, I'm sure if completely revamped my skill set it would be more useful, but I neither have the time or the desire.
Sorry you had a bad experience with Flash Catalyst. Some of the issues are that it is a 1.0 product (soon to have it's first update), and other are the result of misunderstandings of what the product is about. Flash means so many different things to different people.
Adobe is rapidly working on providing new and/or improved tooling for other solutions as well. The new version of Dreamweaver will have lot of jQuery support, CSS3 & HTML5 support, as well as some integration with PhoneGap (for mobile solutions). They just released a preview of a tool named Wallaby on labs.adobe.com that will take Flash animations and convert them into CSS/JS powered animations. At last years MAX conference, a even more powerful tool named 'Edge' was shown during the sneaks that worked in the HTML/CSS/JS space. So, even if FC did not meet you needs to create you project, there is stuff in the pipeline that might.
As for the looping, one nice thing about the new version of Flash Catalyst is I can now take into Flash Builder, add the bit of ActionScript to trigger the loops, and take it back into Flash Catalyst to keep working with it.