|Now that FlashR CatalystTM is an official part of the AdobeR CreativeR Suite, we finally have a book written for this software. Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 Classroom In A Book is the first book written by the Adobe Creative Team and published by Adobe Press. The Classroom series gives you hands-on, step-by-step lessons that take you from the basics through advanced tasks needed to work efficiently in Flash Catalyst. While following the 13 lessons, you will create two companion projects which are an online restaurant guide and interactive banner.|
The concept behind Catalyst is for the designer to be able to create interactive applications without writing code. The authors begin with the basics by examining the workspace and workflow for creating an application. Once you are familiar with how Catalyst works, you learn how to prepare your artwork for Catalyst including planning the overall structure for your project and what options are available when importing artwork into Catalyst.
Next, you learn how to use the Library panel for storing and organizing your project's assets. You will also learn how to create and use Library Packages for sharing assets. The Layers panel is the control panel for building your application. The authors show you how to build and organize your application by controlling what is or is not visible in the Layers panel. While the Library and Layers panels are for organizing your assets, the Pages / States panel is where you will build the sequence for your application.
The building blocks of a Catalyst application are components. The authors first introduce the built-in wireframe components and then move on to creating custom components from your imported artwork. They also cover the Edit in Place mode and how to share components between States. Now that you have built the States for your application, the authors move on to creating professional-looking transitions between these States.
Besides importing artwork, you can also use Catalyst's drawing tools to create vector artwork for your application. The authors discuss these drawing tools and round-trip editing between Catalyst and IllustratorR or PhotoshopR.
Besides artwork, you can also incorporate video, sound and Flash swf files in your applications. The authors cover how to prepare these media files for use in Catalyst and how to import them. You will also learn how to build the playback components for these assets.
After discussing the options for publishing your project as web-based a Flash or a desktop AIR application, the authors introduce the more advanced topic of using Catalyst's Design-Time Data feature to build a data-list component from your artwork and text. While building a dashboard for managing a database, the authors cover the basic workflow between Catalyst and Flash BuilderTM.
The book has a companion CD which contains the lesson files.
*Peachpit - Adobe Press provided a review copy to me free of charge.
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