February 26, 2008

"Power" ful start to Vector Conference

The first day of the InDesign and Vector Conference here in Miami got off to a great start with a technology preview from Adobe. Then a power outage throughout much of South Florida threw the conference for a bit of a loop. Here's a brief rundown of Day 1 at the event.

Tim Cole and Myke Ninness, both from Adobe, spoke about InDesign CS3 as it exists today, but the session also started talking about a trend where many designers are creating work in InDesign which is then being published online with Flash. This process however is a manual one which requires a lot of work. In classic Adobe fashion, Tim and Myke started pondering about what it might be like to layout rich designs in InDesign and be able to publish those easily in Flash with interactivity. And then the technology preview began. We got to see a "future version of InDesign" with a totally revamped interactive button feature. Then, Myke selected pages in the Pages panel and added transitions to all the pages (all Flash of course). He then chose File > Export and selected SWF as the file format. The result? An instant Flash presentation with interactive buttons and page transitions. It was sweet!

Going a step further, Myke spoke about how developers can really do some amazing things with ActionScript. So he took the same layout from InDesign and this time exported the document in a new format called XFL. Then he opened the XFL file in what looked like the next version of Flash (CS4?) and with some ActionScript code added, turned the document into a totally cool interactive screen version, with photos that zoom when you click on them, and more. It was cool! From the looks of things, the future seems bright for designers who are looking to easily publish their content in Flash.

After lunch, just before the afternoon sessions were about to begin, the power went out at the Miami Beach Convention Center. We quickly found out that power was out in the entire area. We were soon to learn that most of South Florida was without power as well. Apparently, a weather-related issue triggered a major shutdown of the power grid here. Obviously, this posed a problem at the conference. But what was totally cool was people grouped together and speakers answered questions. It quickly turned into a huge Q&A conference. People bunched around speakers as they discussed ideas and features on their laptops. The power outage lasted close to two hours, and in the end, power was restored and the conference got back on track.

Always an adventure! I'll try to post more updates tomorrow -- hopefully nothing to do with power outages :)


Greg said...

InDesign to Flash? I can't figure out why one would even start that way. I bet its a lot of work - I can't imagine that it is less work than just starting with Illustrator and exporting to Flash.

Mordy Golding said...

I think the workflow is more about a publication that NEEDS to go to print anyway. Yet one that also must appear online. And rather than just dump a plain 'ol static JPG or even a PDF, a Flash version opens the door to more. Think less about one-off jobs and more about periodical publications. Once the groundwork is done, the process is actually painless.