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Flash Catalyst CS5 Video and Design-Time Data

FlashR CatalystTM can import FLV and F4V video files as well as sound effects, images, .ai, .psd and .swf files and other dynamic media. When video was first embedded within webpages, we only had that common gray control bar at the bottom of the video player. But, now we can use Flash Catalyst to not only easily add video to our application but we can turn our own artwork into the playback controls.

Let's say we want to add a video to the first page of our website. We would click on the first thumbnail in the Pages/States panel to work on that page of the application. Now we can use the File Import Video/Sound File command to import our video right onto the artboard. It is automatically placed inside a video player component.

The first thing we need to do is resize the video to fit into the spot that we have designed for it and drag the video into that stop. You can do this easily by using the familiar control handles at the sides and corners of the video. We can control the appearance of the video component via the Properties panel. As you can see, we can use a Wireframe or the Standard video controls. We can even choose to not have any controls and set the video to begin when the page loads (Auto Play).

Once we have the appearance of our video component determined, we can go back to the Timeline and add a transition effect. For example, we might add a fade-in effect so that the video doesn't instantly pop up on the webpage but smoothly appears over a .5 second duration.

Besides video and other media files, we can use dynamic data in our applications. For example, if we were creating a To Do List application, we would need a way to store the tasks that we add to our to do list. This will require the use of a database. Making our application communicate with a database is a task for the Flash developer. However, we can use mock data to simulate a connection to a database as we build the components for this application. This mock data is called design-time data and we will use the Design-Time Data panel to input, edit or delete the mock data. You will find the Design-Time Data panel next to the Timeline.

*Adobe provided a review copy to me free of charge.

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