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No Flash is not dead.

Adobe released an update to Flash Professional CC to include export HTML5 animations using the canvas tag. Previously in CS6, it was provided as an extension for the CreateJS framework. Now, it is fully integrated into the application. I expected Flash to go this route as it is already a very good platform for creating lightweight animations for the web.

Flash Professional CC December 2013 Update

Flash Professional CC 2013 December Update

 

Paul Trani (see below) and Joseph Labreque give a general overview on the update.

Adobe has introduced their game developer tools for the Flash platform. (Now available on the creative cloud.)

Adobe Scout - Profiler for Flash Development Scout (formerly project Monacle) gives the developer a superior profiling tool during development and optimization of flash-based content.

Adobe Gaming SDKThe Adobe Gaming SDK includes libraries for Starling, Feathers, and Away3D. It leverages usage of your target device GPU.


Flash C/C++ CompilerThe Flash C/C++ compiler (formerly Alchemy) takes your C/C++ code to target the Flash player. (Update: This has now been open-sourced as Flash Crossbridge on github: https://github.com/adobe-flash/crossbridge)

 

It’s pretty easy to get excited as a web developer these days.

Last Thursday, Alan Greenblatt, and Christophe Coenraets flew up from Boston to show off Adobe’s up and coming  Edge suite of creative web tools. The main take away is this: Check out:

html.adobe.com/edge

Alan gave a brief overview of the design tools. Particularly Edge Animate, and Edge web fonts. For those who have a good background in print design, they now have more leverage to use their skills to develop modern web sites. Also, Adobe is giving access to 500 fonts to use freely for developers. This is pretty significant since the days of Arial and Helvetica.

Christophe presented Edge Reflow, Edge Code (code named: Brackets), Edge Inspect and PhoneGap Build through his sample employee directory app. (I’ve seen the Flex version, and has also done one version with Java.) Also check out the capabilities of PhoneGap via his API Explorer app.

Edge Reflow is what’s buzzing in the web development industry. It is a tool that simplifies responsive design. It is in preview stage not even in Alpha, but there is a lot of positive feedback on it. Adobe is going through further study on it on how it can interact with other responsive design frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap.

I expect Adobe will make other announcements on Dec. 11 at the live – Create the Web event (10 am PST) on Facebook.

Currently Edge Animate and Edge Code are available on the Creative Cloud.

I inadverdently zoomed in and out of my Flash timeline in Flash CS6. After scouring the internet, I found this post:

http://www.wastedpotential.com/flash-cs5-how-do-i-get-my-timeline-frames-to-zoom-out/

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to restore my timeline to its default zoom setting. I wonder if anyone in internet-land knows about this?

Cheers!

Away3D 4.0 has been released which provides integration with Starling and development with Stage3D.

Rob Bateman and the open source team also inaugurated the Away Foundation. The foundation would be supported by company sponsorship of which Adobe is a major funding partner. (I mean why not? The Away3D community has been working on this this API for 5 years now.) This would permit the development of 3D Flash enabled applications without any licensing costs, or fees.

So I decided to give Captivate 6 a go at it. I thought it would be interesting to post a screen capture of which languages and OS options were available. I thought having a 64 bit Windows option very interesting. There has not been word about a new version of the E-Learning suite. I think this has to do with the launch of the Creative Cloud and how can other Adobe software fit in. (Although I do think that obtaining a subscription to the Creative Cloud is a worthwhile upgrade $29.99 a month for owners of CS3 and up until the end of August 2012.)

Due to the ever-changing culture of the web, it is no long realistic to just focus on the Adobe Flash Platform. At this stage of my professional career, it is important to know the nuances of differing web technologies particularly related to HTML5. Last year, I have seen this paradigm shift of web development emerge from several events:

  • The conferences I attend to no longer just focus on the Flash Platform; it is a migration of web technologies to javascript libraries and HTML5
  • The market increasingly demands in mobile app development and in compliance for HTML5 type of browsers

Although I love working with the Flash Platform, it is important for a developer to know the pros and cons of using any sort of technology and to know which tool is best for the job.

This year, I plan to get my feet wet in certain JavaScript technologies (jQuery, node.js, impact.js [for game development]). Regardless, the Flash Platform is still a viable platform for development particularly in the gaming industry and in 3D application development taking advantage of the Stage3D features of Flash Player 11. Away3D is also another Actionscript library to look forward to since I had attended last year’s Flash in the City conference seeing how the .awd file format renders 3D objects at a phenomenal rate.

In e-learning, I’ve had the chance to create simulation-based courseware, and I am pariticularly happy how things worked out. I hope I can get the time more into widget development. But I expect the CS6 suites to come out in the spring time, so I might have to wait it out.

There is so much to learn, but it is definitely an exciting time to be a developer.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

I will be attending RIA Unleashed in Boston this Thursday Oct. 27th and Friday Oct 28th. I am considering whether I should go to the Habs / Bruins game with my Habs jersey. If I do, I don’t know whether my wife would see me again.

Anyway, looking forward to attending the sessions on HTML5 gaming with Jesse Freeman. (If I wanted to learn how to program in HTML5, why not in gaming?) as well as building mobile apps with the latest Flex 4.6 SDK with Christophe Coenraets and Holly Schinsky.

Fireworks Product BoxI always had this love for Fireworks since it’s inception along with Dreamweaver back in the Macromedia days. A lot of designers that I have met have a vague idea about its use in web development. To me, I think using Photoshop for web design is plain overkill or bloated software that’s useful generally for print based production. (Of course, this is a false assumption. I find it very interesting in video and 3D development. I happen to also use onOne Software’s Perfect Mask 4 software for background image replacement.) Fireworks has its place particularly for web design, wireframing, Flex skin development, and much more…

Anyway, Fireworks CS5 has been garnering a bit of attention lately from 2011 Adobe Max last week. I recently viewed David Hogue’s “I did not know that you can do that in Fireworks” presentation on Adobe TV. Through his presentation, he gave us a wealth of tips and information on extensions and commands that you can download.

I took note of two sites dedicated for extensions and commands:

Away3D 3.6 Cookbook I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of Michael Ivanov’s book on Away3D 3.6 Cookbook graciously provided to me from Packt publishing. So I thought I would have a go at it to give a sneak peak on what’s covered.

Just a heads up, it is recommended to first go through the basics of using Away3D. A good introduction would be Packt’s Essential Away3D 3.6. Flash magazine’s tutorial series on Away3D is another good reference online to get things started.

Michael goes through several techniques in Away3D development. What is great about his recipes are that he addresses topics that you are not likely to see from basic courses, but the cool stuff, or the things that might be potentially requested by a client. It is a great reference to pick things up right away.

Some of the interesting things that are covered in this book:

  • Away3D materials to view video on demand (VOD) streaming, and usage of the Pixel Bender toolkit.
  • 3D interactivity
  • Special effects (using the Camera, bitmap manipulation)
  • Solutions to depth-sorting, and optimization
  • Tips in using software to improve your workflow (Prefab3D, and importing/loading 3D assets of major 3D software tools [3DsMax, Maya, Blender])
  • Away3D Lite development. This optimized version quadruples the performance compared to the standard engine (with the trade-off of a limited feature set, but ideal for simple projects)

There is much more. But I also like to mention about the appendix on FlashPlayer 11 and the Stage3D API (aka Molehill). Adobe labs just released the beta of Air 3 and for FlashPlayer 11. This would be a good opportunity to test it out.

Now, the question is that should I wait for the next Flash player to come out before tinkering with Away3D? I asked Richard Olsson, the co-developer on the Away3D team at the Flash and the City conference last June and he says that there would be no problem to migrate over to Away3D 4 once you grasp the concepts of 3D development with Away 3D 3.6. So it is a good time to start learning 3D development.

I hope this review was useful. These are exciting times in Flash development, particularly in the area of 3D.