eLearning Development: What’s new in Flash CS4?

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Adobe’s CS4 suite is the second major release since Adobe acquired Macromedia. The new Adobe CS4 suite has some new exciting and time-saving features in all its products.

If you have been bugged by previous Flash versions not allowing you to publish for latest Flash Player there is some relief here. Flash CS4 allows us to finally publish SWF files for Flash Player 10 – the latest version of Flash Player. Flash Player 10 is becoming very popular and in December 2008, was already installed in more than 50% of the computers surveyed worldwide. By first 2 quarters of 2009, it should cross 80%.

We particularly like the following new features in Flash CS4:
1. Object-based Animation – You can now have complete control over each animation attribute. Tweens can be directly applied to objects now, instead of keyframes, using the Bezier path.
2. Motion Paths – Flash CS4 automatically generates motion paths that can be easily modified using familiar Bezier handles.
3. Motion Editor – You can now have complete control over keyframe parameters, including rotation, size, scale, position, filters, and more.
4. Motion Presets – That’s a fancy name for ‘prebuilt animations’ that can be directly applied to any selected object. There are many inbuilt presets available and new presets can also be created and shared with project team members.
5. Deco and Spray Tools – The Deco tool could be used to quickly create kaleidoscope-like effects and to apply fills. The Spray Brush tool can be used to spray symbols across any user-defined areas.
6. 3D Transformation – With the new 3D translation and rotation tools, 2D objects can be animated through 3D space, allowing animation along the x, y, and z axes. Local or global transformations can be applied to any object.
7. Inverse Kinematics with the Bones Tool – The new Bones tool can be used to create chain-like animation effects with a series of linked objects. The tool can also be used to distort a shape instantly.

And here is Richard Galvan, Product Manager of Flash CS4 Professional, demonstrating the new features of Flash CS4.

Overall FlashCS4 does look like a great improvement and would help eLearning developers immensely in improving the quality and efficiency of development.

If you have experienced FlashCS4, do write in to us to share your thoughts.

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