March 4, 2008

Video clips of Adobe's keynote session in Miami

In case you weren't able to attend the recent InDesign and Vector Conference in Miami, here are two video clips from the keynote Address where Michael Ninness of Adobe demonstrated a "technology preview" of some stuff that might appear in a future version of Adobe software. The stuff that you see in the videos involves InDesign and Flash.

Michael starts off by talking about creating interactive buttons in InDesign. The implementation is actually pretty sweet and I only wish Illustrator would be able to do that someday. Michael then proceeds to create a SWF slide presentation from InDesign, with some pretty cool page transitions.

In the second video clip, Myke continues by taking an entire magazine publication from InDesign and bringing it right into Flash (all the pages come in as movie clip symbols as individual frames on the timeline, which alone is pretty cool). Then he attaches an ActionScript and turns the whole thing into a fabulous SWF version of the publication.

Would love to hear your thoughts on what you think of this stuff...


David Coffin said...

Certainly very interesting. But...

I already do most of this using InDesign and Acrobat to create interactive PDFs. What are the advantages to outputting SWFs instead, as opposed to simply making Flash easy to embed in PDFs, ON ALL PLATFORMS?

Actually, I choose NOT to do much of this in my interactive PDFs. I don't see any value in interface "flash" for its own sake. Page transitions, images sliding into place, buttons with gratutitous roll-over states; what do these do for publications that aren't "made-you-look!" ads? InDesign magazine isn't going to suddenly become more attractive or useful to me when the pages start to curl or the diagrams need to stop sliding before I can read them.

I'm not trying to be a kill-joy; if these things actually sell product, fine. I'm turning how-to books into rich-media "you-are-there" workshops, not trying to simply draw attention to my content. I want that content to be more useful, so I'm all over multimedia that helps clarify and expand on that content, such as links, embedded audio and video, remote roll-overs that add captions and make diagrams sequential and responsive while not quite being (or needing to be) full-scale animations... All of this is here now. (Well, the last bit could be a whole lot deeper...)

What WOULD get my attention is not having to export to Acrobat (or Flash) to see the interactivity I've built in InDesign. Right now I don't usually bother to do any of it in ID; I wait til the pages are built (button graphics in place as needed), all the videos and audio edited, then put them together and make it interactive in Acrobat. Works fine, if a bit slow; more presets, Styles or Actions would be great.

Anything that makes it easier to create graphic animations that wouldn't have to load as videos would be cool, too... (Why can't Mac uses put Flash in PDFs???)

Since I'm a one-man shop, the whole "hand this off to the Flash developer!" thing seems really regressive. Surely the trend is towards making it easy for designers and content creators to expand into ever more media types without learning new languages or hiring new staff. I suppose that's implied in these demos, too, but I'm not impressed with any talk about how I can stay stuck "doing what I do best."

Thanks for posting the videos, Mordy, and for all your great content; when you're talking, I'm listening!


David Coffin said...

PS. Anything that helps to expand InDesign from its mostly CMYK/for-print orientation into something that acknowledges its multimedia power will be a GOOD THING (like, maybe, Kuler?? Or ANY kind of better color picker). Go for it, Adobe!

Anonymous said...

I have worked on similar stuff (converting a paper layout from Indesign to a interactive flash version (book/web cross publishing)) but using what's currently available (actually CS2 and Flash 8).

One of the problem that i would really like to see adressed is the difference between the text rendering engines...

That fixed, we could even think of having a flash/web version of InCopy!

Otherwise, i would be really curious of the quality of the images that are generated. In a project, i had to generate PDF files and convert them to jpg so that the where of adequate quality.. the base jpg export of Indesign is pretty much useless for electronic publishing.


jim Pogozelski said...

I kinda agree with David.

Why do marketing guys always think copy/paste is such a "chore"?

As a designer I find those pre-fab page turns to be too PowerPointy. As a Flash guy, too, why are stops not included in the frame-to-frame export? (I gotta click each frame to make a stop). So if the type stays the same, copy/paste is preferable. Less work getting around the helpful "features'.

Of course it's very pre-release, so I'm sure it'll smooth out.

Kapil said...

Check out something similar here-

QuarkViewer for QuarkXPress 7:

QuarkViewer is an XTensions module for QuarkXPress 7.3.x that allows users to export QuarkXPress layout pages for viewing in Microsoft Silverlight player. QuarkViewer may run as a pure desktop application or a Web application.

Our approach has been 1 click export. Behavior and user interface are pre-packaged and only relevant data (previews, vector info) is collected during export. Thus this is not meant for production workflow but another way to distrubute your artwork in a rich reading experience environment.

And last but not the least, it is available today :)

Anonymous said...

i feel like adobe spends too much time fracturing workflows between products rather than integrating workflows on a holistic level. if i've got a 'layout' (and it shouldn't matter what product it came from (adobe or not) it should be piece o cake to get it into flash or a/e or ps or ill any of 150 different ways with paths/text/bitmaps intact and editable...a macro that gives me crapperpoint-like page transitions may make marketing happy to have something to 'tout' when release time comes, but doesn't help people create more effectively (REALLY). ID should be the premiere layout design tool in adobe's toolbox--for print AND web and interactivity (just look at the text tools)--how much time do i waste because a designer insists on using ps these days? and fireworks textbox rendering bugs when roundtripping with ps--don't get me started. oh well, i'll still use the whole gamut--it's the best game in town, but boy i hate little 'features' like this. and it may not always be the best game if they keep this crap-feature-bloat up.

Gary Spedding, Ph.D. said...

Somewhat in relation to this topic. Wonderful job on Pixel Perfect again this week Mordy. Everyone check that feature out on 3D and animation.