Adobe Flash CS4 Professional
Adobe Flash CS4 Professional software is the industry-leading authoring environment for creating engaging interactive experiences. New object-based animation tools make working in Flash easier and more intuitive for beginning and expert designers alike, while powerful design tools expand your creative possibilities. Flash is the place to bring it all together and deliver to audiences regardless of platform or device.
Create and deliver rich interactive content
Gain complete control over individual animation attributes with object-based animation, which applies tweens directly to objects instead of to keyframes. Easily make changes to motion with Bezier handles.
Animate 2D objects through 3D space with exciting new 3D translation and rotation tools, which allow you to animate along the x, y, and z axes. Apply local or global transformation to any object.
Inverse kinematics with the Bones tool
Create chain-like animation effects with a series of linked objects, or quickly distort a single shape using the new Bones tool.
Procedural modeling with Deco and Spray Brush
Turn symbols into instant design tools. Apply symbols in a variety of ways: Quickly create kaleidoscope-like effects and apply fills using the Deco tool, or randomly spray symbols across any defined area using the Spray Brush.
Sophisticated video tools
Leverage the Adobe Media Encoder and experience advanced video capabilities including embedded cue points, alpha channel support, and high-quality video codecs.
New Adobe Creative Suite interface
Boost your efficiency with intuitive panel docking and spring-loaded behaviors that streamline your interaction with tools throughout the Adobe Creative Suite editions.
Authoring for Adobe AIR
Deliver interactive experiences to the desktop with new integrated capability to publish to the Adobe AIR runtime.
Metadata (XMP) support
Add metadata to SWF files using the new XMP panel. Quickly assign tags for enhanced collaboration and better mobile experiences.
Open content from Adobe InDesign or After Effects software and retain file integrity.
Delivery to the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player
Continue to reach wide audiences around the world by delivering to the most popular media player on the Internet today.
Top features of Adobe Flash CS4 Professional:
Object-based animation model
In previous versions of Flash, creating an animation on the Timeline involved a myriad of keystrokes and commands involving symbol creation, manual placement of keyframes, and manual tween adjustments on the Timeline itself. Even upon the succesful creation of an animation, users faced time-consuming and sometimes difficult editing tasks whenever changes had to be made.
The adoption of an object-based animation model means that motion tweens are applied directly to objects instead of to keyframes. Now, Flash CS4 Professional is far more approachable for new users, while simultaneously providing advanced designers and developers far greater control of individual animation attributes.
Creating a motion tween
With Flash CS4, tweening, or the interpolation of steps between keyframes, is now applied directly to objects, rather than to keyframes in the Timeline. In fact, the new object-based animation model enables users to create animations without using the Timeline at all.
Creating an animation in Flash CS4 is now an incredibly simple two-step process:
1. Right-click on any object, and then choose Create Motion Tween.
2. Move the object.
That's it--you're done. It's really that easy.
But don't let the simplicity fool you. While a designer need only click the mouse a few times, Flash CS4 works behind the scenes to reduce the number of steps necessary to offer a smoother user experience. For example, experienced Flash users know that they must first convert objects to symbols before applying motion tweens to them. Now, if you try to apply a motion tween to an object that isn't a symbol, Flash CS4 automatically converts the object to a symbol without interrupting the tweening process. Streamlining object-to-symbol conversion allows new users to get started quickly with minimal frustration and expert users to get more done faster.
Editing a motion tween
If creating an animation proves just how user-friendly Flash CS4 can be, the process of editing an animation likewise proves how powerful this new version can be. For example, motion paths are now automatically generated and easily modified with Bezier handles. In addition, timing can be adjusted throughout an animation without having to manually set keyframes in the Timeline, and--more importantly--without breaking tweens. This provides significant efficiency with more intuitive interaction and control.
The new object-based animation model allows you to do things that were either extremely difficult or impossible to do with previous versions of Flash:
In summary, the new object-based animation model in Flash CS4 brings valuable benefits for all kinds of users--beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
Bringing perspective and dimension to your design can add an element of excitement and fun to any project. But until now, the ability to create 3D motion was available only to expert users via ActionScript or other sophisticated tools. Now, with Flash CS4, you can animate 2D objects through 3D space with new easy-to-use 3D transformation tools, greatly extending creative possibilities. Built for inexperienced and advanced users alike, the 3D transformation tools make motion effects available to everyone.
Specifically, Flash CS4 features two new tools for applying 3D effects:
You can apply local or global rotation to move an object within relationship to itself or to the stage and fine-tune perspectives with complete control over vanishing-point location and perspective angle. A global vanishing point enables you to define the location at which your animation disappears in the distance.
Inverse kinematics with the Bones tool
Those who live and breathe animation may be familiar with the term inverse kinematics, or IK, which is a method used to create chain-like effects with a series of linked objects or to quickly distort single objects. Much like the bones in the human body form a skeleton that moves and behaves in a definitive way, the new Bones tool in Flash CS4 allows you to link a series of symbols together with "bones" that can be quickly and easily animated and then controlled relative to one another.
With the new Bones tool, simply click and drag between separate symbols that you've already created. This defines an Armature layer that allows organic and complex motions. You can also control the motion by applying constraints to individual symbols. This makes puppeting and quick distortion practical and more approachable for most users.
To use inverse kinematics in Flash CS4, you use the Bones tool to link different symbols together or apply constraints on individual ones. To further control the distortion of single objects, use the Bind tool to carefully define how each part of the shape reacts when another part moves, bringing a new, sophisticated level of expressiveness to even single-shape animations.
Once you've defined an armature, you can even enable an option called Runtime in the Properties panel, which allows users to control or interact with the linked objects themselves as your content plays in Adobe Flash Player.
Inverse kinematics with the Bones tool allows new users to work with advanced Flash functionality sooner, opens up new creative possibilities for experienced designers, and saves time for almost any user who would have previously used ActionScript to define complex symbol interactions and behaviors.
Procedural modeling with the Deco tool
If you think Flash CS4 is all about technical stuff that does nothing for the design side of the brain, think again. The Deco tool is a fantastic new addition that literally blossoms forth with symmetry and creativity as you turn any symbol into an instant design element. Whether creating patterns or kaleidoscope-like effects using single or multiple symbols, the Deco tool provides a new way to create and apply symbols to your work.
Based on settings specified by the designer in the Properties panel, the Deco tool, using andapplying algorithmic calculations to selected symbols in a process known as proceduralmodeling, enables designers to express their creativity with different drawing effects:
Motion Editor panel
With the new object-based animation model in Flash CS4 Professional, keyframes take on a new and significant role. You can now experience granular, independent control over every keyframe parameter, including rotation, size, scale, position, filters, and more, using the Motion Editor panel. Offering even more command over the creative presentation of your animations, the Motion Editor panel allows you to graphically control easing using curves.
Fine control over tweens was previously buried deep within Flash. Now, that power is brought to the surface through the Motion Editor panel, which enables Flash users to fine-tune animation parameters for each attribute. Advanced users will love this level of control, and the fact that it looks and behaves much like the keyframe editor in After Effects is an added bonus.
Motion Presets panel
Being efficient is a large part of being a successful designer or developer. To this end, Flash CS4 Professional provides a library of prebuilt animations to jump-start your project. A huge time-saver, motion presets are easy for anyone to create and use.
To define a motion preset, right-click on any object that has a tween applied to it, and choose Save As Motion Preset. To use a motion preset, simply select any symbol on the stage, choose a preset from the Motion Presets panel, and click Apply. Individual users who spend a lot of time with repetitive application of motion can increase their productivity through the use of motion presets. Additionally, motion presets can be shared or distributed to an entire team of users, enhancing team collaboration and consistency.
Authoring for Adobe AIR
Adobe AIR, the technology that makes Flash experiences on the desktop possible, is now built into Flash CS4 Professional. By extending Flash beyond the browser with custom desktop experiences and branding opportunities, Adobe AIR introduces exciting new methods for delivering interactive content. Using a new setting in the Publish dialog box, Flash CS4 automatically bundles all the necessary files to create an Adobe AIR application.
Adobe AIR allows you to leverage local desktop resources and data to deliver even more personal and engaging experiences. With the same skills you use to deliver to Flash Player, you can now reach even more audiences across more devices--web, mobile, and now the desktop.
Adobe Flash CS4 Professional introduces support for XFL, a file format that allows for improved integration across the Creative Suite 4 family. Users can now easily export content from Adobe InDesign and Adobe After Effects to Flash. With XFL support, InDesign and After Effects users have new opportunities to begin using Flash.
For experienced creative professionals, XFL support means being better able to meet constantly changing production demands. While we know that print itself isn't dead, we also know that many designers are faced with providing content that appears both in print and on the web. Designers can now use Adobe InDesign to design their content for print, and then painlessly use XFL to export their layouts for use in Flash. This adds an entirelynew dimension to cross-media publishing and is a practical solution for publishing houses that want to expand their print publications to new media.
As more and more digital content fills your hard drives and servers, it becomes increasingly difficult to quickly find the files you need. Metadata plays an important role in solving this problem by making files "smarter" about the content they hold. With metadata, finding the right content at the right time not only becomes easy--it also enables a level of collaboration that was not previously possible.
Adobe has played an active role in the support of metadata by helping to define and develop the Extensible Metadata Protocol (XMP) standard. Components of the Adobe Creative Suite family of software have supported XMP in the past; now, Flash CS4 Professional adds support for XMP metadata as well, allowing designers to leverage the power of Adobe Bridge in their workflow.
But the benefits of the new metadata support in Flash CS4 extend far beyond the designer's desktop and work environment. Metadata also enables mobile devices to identify the type of content being played, allowing mobile and Flash developers to deliver a better user experience to mobile devices.
Adobe Media Encoder with H.264 support
Video content is fast becoming a first-class citizen on the web. As companies make the decision to add more video content to their online presence, designers and developers struggle to find that happy medium - video content that is high in quality but small in file size. With more and more people using their mobile devices to view video content, developers must be acutely aware of bandwidth issues--without budging an inch on quality. So it's no surprise that Adobe Flash Player 10 supports what has become the standard in high-quality/low-bandwidth video content--H.264.
Now, developers can deliver high-quality video with more control than ever before. Adobe Media Encoder--the same tool found in other Adobe professional video products such as Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 software and After Effects CS4 - now supports H.264 and is included with Flash CS4 Professional.
Adobe Media Encoder automates the process of creating multiple encoded versions of your content using the batch encoder, making higher quality video delivery easier and more reliable--essential for the growing distribution of video created with Flash.
Maximizing productivity by encoding in the background while you work, Adobe Media Encoder lets you encode to a wide variety of video formats, including FLV and F4V. Adobe Media Encoder also offers improved video quality, thanks to two-pass variable bit-rate encoding and support for H.264.
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