Adobe Photoshop 6 is an exciting upgrade to this premiere image-editing program. When you’re preparing bitmaps for use in Flash, Photoshop 6 adds some extremely useful and powerful Web features that make saving high-quality .JPEGs and .PNGs a snap. The PNG-24 format is a great format to use with Flash, because this file format supports lossless compression and can use an alpha channel (a.k.a. transparency mask). In this section, we show you how to export a Photoshop image (.PSD file) as a PNG-24 image to use in Flash, and how to create a 3D-object simulation with imagesequences from Photoshop.
Creating alpha channels for .PNG files
Photoshop has excellent selection and masking tools for the most complex images.
Although some third party plug-ins can make the task a lot simpler, a little knowhow with Photoshop tools can also go a long way toward simplifying your task. In the following tutorial, we take an image of some houses along the beach and mask the background sky. This lesson assumes that you have a working knowledge of Photoshop layers and layer masks.
The image with a Levels adjustment layer
When you’re creating your selection, pay particular attention to the edges of the rooftops.
Option+ or Alt+clicking the Add a mask icon uses the active selection as the black area of a layer mask.
It’s always a good idea to crop unnecessary information (especially if it’s hidden by a mask) from the image before importing it into Flash.
The Save for Web command enables fast Web image previews in Photoshop 6. You may need to resize this dialog in order to display horizontal images on top of each other.
Using a bitmap with an alpha channel enables you to seamlessly place other elements behind the bitmap in a Flash movie.
Color management in Photoshop 6
Many strategies exist for color calibration on desktop computer systems. Macintosh computers have had a leg up in this area of graphics creation and output ever since the development of ColorSync. Apple’s ColorSync software provides one of the most complete system-level color management solutions for desktop publishing.
Unfortunately, while Windows 98 and Windows ME do include ICC profile support, it’s not as comprehensive as Apple’s ColorSync system. Since Photoshop’s 5.0 release, ICC color profiles can be specified and attached to most image file formats.
In a nutshell, ICC profiles describe the color capabilities of a given input or output device, such as a computer monitor, printer, or scanner. When an ICC profile is attached to an image, the profile tells the application that is using the image how the colors in the image should be interpreted. If every program in your workflow supports ICC profiles, then, theoretically, this provides a consistent display and output of all graphics.
However, while Photoshop and most page-layout programs recognize ICC profiles, the majority of applications do not. Some Web browsers do not support embedded image profiles, although Apple has proposed many ICC tags to make color management a reality for the Web (see www.apple.com/colorsync/benefits/web). More importantly, Flash 5 does not support ICC profiles. Neither does the current implementation of the PNG-24 format. The .JPEG file format is the only current Web image format that supports embedded profiles. Moreover, ICC profiles typically add about 500 to 800 bytes to an image’s file size.
Herein lies the problem for serious graphic designers who routinely work under tight color management. If you specify an RGB space in the Color Settings preferences (Edit➪Color Settings in Photoshop 6, or File➪Color Settings➪RGB Setup in Photoshop 5.5) other than sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (Photoshop 6), or Monitor RGB or sRGB (Photoshop 5.5), and have Display Using Monitor Compensation checked (Photoshop 5.5 only), then what you see in Photoshop is not what you see in Flash when you import the image. This is why Photoshop 6’s Save for Web feature and its Preview Menu are so invaluable. They enable you to see how the .JPEG, .GIF, or .PNG looks without Photoshop Compensation.
If you work primarily with Web or screen graphics, then you should use Photoshop 6’s new Color Settings presets to quickly switch color spaces. For Web work, always use Web Graphics Default. For ColorSync management on the Mac, choose ColorSync Workflow. On the PC, choose a setting that best matches your printing needs (Color- Sync is an Apple-only management system).
In Photoshop 5.5, change your RGB working space to sRGB, or turn off Display Using Monitor Compensation if you continue to use other RGB spaces. Either method enables you to work with your images so that the Photoshop Compensation and Uncompensated Color settings render the image exactly the same within the Save for Web preview panes. Also, disable ICC profile embedding in the Profile Setup preferences (File➪Color Settings➪Profile Setup) by unchecking all the boxes under the Embed Profiles heading.
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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