Adobe Flash Professional CS5 : Publishing Flash Documents (part 4) - Alternative Publishing Options

9/13/2012 1:19:20 AM

By default, Flash creates SWF and HTML files for your project. However, you can also choose to save specific frames of the movie as images or to save the file as a projector, which can play on computers that do not have Flash Player installed.

Saving frames as images

Sometimes you might not want to share an entire movie but want to display a particular frame. Exporting a frame as a GIF, JPEG, or PNG image might be useful if you need an image for a portfolio or want to provide an end image to a viewer who doesn’t have Flash Player. You can also use individual images to compile a storyboard of multiple scenes to share with a client before the Flash file is interactive.

Choose File > Publish Settings, and then click the Formats tab. Flash (.swf) and HTML (.html) are selected by default.

Select GIF Image (.gif), JPEG Image (.jpg), and PNG Image (.png).

These options export the frame currently selected in the Flash document. For additional settings for each of the image formats, click on the tabs at the top.

Publishing Movies for Mobile Devices

Although the lessons in this book have been geared toward creating rich, interactive content for the Web, you can also use Flash Professional CS5 to develop and publish content for mobile phones or mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone, iTouch, or iPad.

Mobile devices use only a subset of the Flash CS5 features, so rather than publishing a finished Flash project for a mobile device, it’s essential that you begin a Flash project with the particular mobile device in mind. When you create a new Flash document (File > New), the New Document dialog box allows you to choose your target device.

You can choose a Flash Lite document, which uses a scaled-back version of the Flash Player for mobile devices; or an iPhone document, which is specific for creating apps on the iPhone, iTouch, or iPad; or you can launch Adobe Device Central, a separate application that lets you browse various devices and their requirements.

Understanding and creating successful mobile device apps are beyond the scope of this book and require obtaining specific developer certificates for distribution. At the time of this writing, Apple does not allow apps that are developed from cross-platform technologies like Flash CS5, so make sure you understand the latest licensing agreements. To learn more about publishing for mobile devices, refer to both Flash Help and Device Central Help.

Click OK to close the Publish Settings dialog box.

Select the last frame in the Timeline (frame 108). This is the frame that Flash will export as image files.

Choose File > Publish. Flash publishes the files to the folder that contains the Flash document file.

Navigate to the Lesson10/10Start folder. In addition to the SWF and HTML files, the folder contains GIF, PNG, and JPEG files. Open the image files to view them.


Which file format you choose depends on the type of content. If the frame contains an illustration with flat, simple colors, GIF is a good option. If the frame is more photographic and you don’t mind compressing image data, JPEG or PNG may be the best choice.

Creating a projector

Most computers have the Flash Player installed with their browsers, but you may need to distribute your movie to someone who doesn’t have the Flash Player or who has an older version, or you just want your movie to run without a browser. You can save your movie as a projector, a stand-alone application that includes all the files necessary to play the movie. Because a projector contains all the data to play your movie, projector files are larger than SWF files.

Choose File > Publish Settings, and click the Formats tab.

Deselect GIF, JPEG, and PNG. Select Windows Projector and Macintosh Projector.

Projectors and TLF Text

The interactive banner in this lesson doesn’t contain any TLF Text. However, if your movie includes TLF Text and you want to create a projector, you must merge the Text Layout SWF into the projector. The Text Layout SWF contains the necessary code that supports the new TLF Text engine. Click the Edit button for ActionScript Settings in the Properties inspector or the ActionScript Settings button in the Publish Settings dialog box.

In the Advanced ActionScript 3.0 Settings dialog box that appears, select Merged into code for the Default linkage in the Runtime Shared Library Settings near the bottom.

The TLF Text engine that is listed in the display window now shows that its Link Type is to be merged into code rather than linked to a shared external library. This means that the code for the TLF Text engine will be included in the single projector file.

Click Publish.

When the file has been published, click OK to close the dialog box.

Open the Lesson10/10Start folder.

Open the projector file for your platform (Windows or Mac). The Windows Projector file has an .exe extension and the Mac Projector file has an .app extension, though your operating system may hide the extension in the filename.

Both the Windows and the Mac projectors can be double-clicked to play without a browser. You can share the projectors on portable media such as a CD or DVD. You can use these publishing methods to finalize any Flash projects you create and share them with the world.

Next steps

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the last lesson. By now you’ve seen how Flash Professional CS5, in the right creative hands, has all the features to produce media-rich, interactive projects. You’ve completed these lessons—many of them from scratch—so you understand how the various tools, panels, and ActionScript work together for real-world applications.

But there’s always more to learn. Continue practicing your Flash skills by creating your own animation or interactive Web site. Get inspired by seeking out Flash movies on the Web. Expand your ActionScript knowledge by exploring the Adobe Flash Help resources and other fine Adobe Classroom in a Book manuals.

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