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New Import Options for Photoshop Layers and Adobe Flash Professional CS3

AdobeR CreativeR Suite CS3 has greatly improved the integration between its software, especially the import features for FlashR Professional CS3 which gives you more control over importing bitmap and vector layers into Flash. Before this new upgrade, you had to import your image first and then it took several steps to place elements of the image on layers, position elements on the stage and, if necessary, convert elements to movie clip symbols. But now, you can combine all these steps together as you import your image into Flash. This can be done within the improved Import dialog box. So, what does this mean to the artist? As you create your design in Photoshop or Illustrator, you can position the elements of your design just as you wish them to appear in your Flash movie, place them on individual layers and then import the entire design "layout" into Flash. So, let's take a look at the options you have when importing a Photoshop image which contains bitmap and vector layers. Our example image has the following layers.

1. moon bitmap layer with layer style applied
2. Hot Summer Night vector text layer
3. Fence vector shape layer with layer style applied
4. SkyBackground bitmap layer without layer style

Bitmap Based Layer with Layer Style Applied

The first layer in our example has a drop shadow applied to the moon. We have two choices for how to import this type of image layer.
  1. Bitmap image with editable layer styles

    We have the choice to maintain the layer style for the moon layer. This option will allow us to change or edit the style further after the image is in Flash. When you choose this option, the layer is automatically converted to a movie clip symbol and you are given a text input box to supply an instance name for this symbol. Because I will be animating the moon, I have given the movie clip symbol an instance name of "moon".

  2. Flattened bitmap image

    You can choose to use this layer as a flattened bitmap layer but you will not be able to edit the layer style after importing.

Vector Text Layer

When I added the text to this image in Photoshop, it automatically became vector based. For vector text, you have three options.
  1. Editable text

    This option will allow you to edit the text further after you import your image. All aspects of the text remain editable.

  2. Vector outlines

    This option will keep only the outline of the text editable.

  3. Flattened bitmap image

    This option will not allow you to edit the text further.

Vector Shape Layer with Layer Style Applied

In the Fence layer, I used the Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop to draw the vector shape of the fence and applied a drop shadow layer style.
  1. Editable paths and layer styles

    We will want to use this option in order to keep both the shape and the style editable.

  2. Flattened bitmap image

    If we are sure that we will not need to edit the shape or style further, we can choose this option.

Bitmap Based Layer without Applied Layer Style

This layer contains the background for the scene which is a simple bitmap based image without any layer style applied. We have two choices.
  1. Bitmap image with editable layer styles

    Because we do not have any styles applied, we will use the second option.

  2. Flattened bitmap image

    This option will flatten the image and it will not be editable.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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