Thoughts on Adobe CS5, specifically Flash!

Well as usual an Adobe launch video got me appropriately pumped for using new Adobe stuff. If you all haven’t seen the launch video yet for CS5, its over yonder…. … you can skip the webcammers in the beginning though. Also there’s more detailed videos here…

For me the jaw-droppers were the Photoshop demo (removing the horse and autofilling in the background) and the magical rotoscoping in After Effects. I’m not a video production guy, but I do understand how painfully slow rotoscoping can be, so I’m sure there’s some video guys out there which were brought to tears thinking about how much free-time just got added to their lives.

The Flash CS5 “top 3 features” (per this video) are obviously kind of a joke now because one of those features got sunk by Apple last week, but the other two are definitely nice. Saving as an XFL format will be a time saver.  Many times I’ve opened an .Fla file just to dig one thing out of the library, and when a library is 800 movieclips strong, that can be a pain. Especially with my tendency to name objects by mashing random letters. So searching through a folder in the Finder for an item will be much nicer.  I still need to stop banging fist to keyboard though to name stuff. Also I should say, there’s more to it than just searching for files, you could open one, edit it, and your Flash project gets changed too. Guessing you’d need to publish the swf again too.

The other top feature was Text layout panels. This is definitely an improvement, but to call it a top new feature is relative to what else is new. I’d consider that more tidying up what already existed in Flash. And I’ve never really felt that text in Flash needed a ton more.

So what new stuff didn’t make the Top 3 list?  I’m looking at the Flash CS5 What’s New page for reference…

Code Snippets. This looks like the return of a similar feature from the Actionscript 2 days. Which to be honest I didn’t think had actually left entirely. But if it was gone, and its back, well thats great.  New programmers do love press-n-code buttons.

ActionScript Editor, I was looking forward to this more than anything. I’ve gotten used to how quickly I can code in XCode, so if its anything like that, thats major to me.

Video Improvements. “Hi to you too”.  Oh sorry, I just got done watching the example for the video improvements. Some guy just keeps saying “hi” to me and I had to respond. I didn’t see this in the example, but apparently, there’s a new cue points property inspector.

Spring for Bones. I’ve sat here for 5 minutes thinking what to write about this. This feature is the baby-acceptable toy I try to give my 17-month-old when he desperately wants to touch a very breakable electronic toy of mine. Placation only angers him further. His head cocks all the way back until eventually he falls over from being so off balance. And then the real tantrum sets in.

Finally, Deco Drawing Tools. I should have written about this before Spring for Bones, because I’m pretty tantrummy now. We see something like this with every version of Flash, its a question mark tool. Do I need that? When will I use it? Why am I drawing buildings with this? The demo video doesn’t help much either. They list fire and lightning as things I could draw with this tool, which both sound 100 times more useful than pre-made buildings. The trees might be cool with some customizing but in the video they look silly. Chances are I’ll find something to do with it (blur the stampiness out of it beyond recognition =)

Anyway, the conclusion here is that I paid the $899 to upgrade the Master Collection before the Launch Video was even over. And despite being underwhelmed by those last couple features, CS5 as a whole looks pretty awesome. These new versions always do, and they always make me wish I did more regularly with each program.

So poll time…


8 thoughts on “Thoughts on Adobe CS5, specifically Flash!

  1. Clint says:

    I thought the same thing when they “Photoshoped” the horse out of the field!

    btw, can you lend me $2600???


  2. In my opinion the best feature is the ActionScript Editor , I am writing code now in flex… it will be nice to work just with flash … or with both.

    I think this is the best version of products released by Adobe 🙂

  3. I agree with you on the most part, but what do you find tantrummable about the Spring for Bones tool? o.o
    Also, for me the jaw-breakers were almost all in PS: Content-aware fill (and scale, if I’m not mistaken) and Puppet Warp.
    Btw, I just have to ask: What do you think of the new icons? =P

  4. The IK in Flash needs to be totally scrapped and redone. Toon Boom Animate has it perfect for 2D. That should be the model for Flash. So to add springiness to it is like multiplying 10 to 0. You still get zero. Its an un-useable character animation feature. For construction cranes, or whatever object they showed in the demo, its okay. But for character animation, its not good at all. You can’t rig up a body and do much with it. UNLESS they have changed something drastically in CS5 and just aren’t mentioning it, but I doubt that. If they redid the IK, it should be THE #1 top feature because that would actually bring animators back to Flash.

    And yeah, Puppet Warp was cool. I saw that a couple days ago on the site, but I don’t remember seeing it today.

    And Clint, I can lend you $2600. First I just need $500 from you, so I can go to the racetrack real fast. I promise I’ll come back with the money though =)

  5. By the way, I’m glad to see more votes rolling in for upgrading. I got nervous when I was the only vote that upgraded, and 3 others were for never upgrading.

    Adobe is up to some cool stuff.

  6. Thanks to CTE funding in CA (don’t’cha just love acronyms) we have a site license for the CS5 Master Collection AND a 24 month maintenance contract. If Adobe sticks to their 18 month cycles that means CS6 is already paid for too!

    Code Snippets will be the biggie in the classroom. Kids + ActionScript = Total Confusion without Behaviors (or now, Code Snippets)

    P.S. Justin, forget the ponies. I hear Adobe and Apple are coming to PPV: Silicon Valley Cage Match. Vegas is taking bets. 😉

  7. cyber says:

    I don’t think the export feature phone for iPhone is useless. If it runs well with the new iPhone OS and Adobe or Cartoon Smart will launch its own app store for mobile devices. People would jailbreak and take advantage of these options.

  8. Hehehe, I don’t foresee CartoonSmart or Adobe starting their own App Store, but I like the idea of it. I did read once there is an app store for jailbroken phones, so obviously they will see some new apps soon. But still, the people that have jailbroken their phones is probably under 1%. I don’t know anyone thats actually done it.

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