Flash Catalyst workshop. As simple as a cheat

Story: Vladimir Kvasnikov
Last week all web-design students had a chance to study some flash-site building at the Flash Catalyst workshop from Michael Koch.

Some delay because of a canceled flight made this workshop shorter, but there was still enough time to study how to make static pages using this program. Moreover, we’ve discovered that it is so simple that it can be treated as a cheat after all these HTML tags and CSS properties for normal web-coding.

All you need to make a good static site in Flash Catalyst is a properly prepared layout, for example, in Photoshop file. After you have imported it in Flash Catalyst program you just need to spend some time setting states (that’s how pages are called in FC). It is as simple as changing the visibility of the layers. Also there are some special elements to create buttons, forms, scrollbars, etc. Choose a layer – text or picture – that you want to be a navigation button and convert it with one click. Save your work, run the project and enjoy the result. Now you have some flash-site working as an interactive presentation.

If you want to make transitions between states going smoother use a special timeline. There you can find a list of all transitions that you’ve created with the help of your built-in buttons. Drag special bars to fade out elements of an old page and fade in a new one.

Although Flash Catalyst is very simple in use you should understand that it is not possible to make any site that you want with the help of this program. Mainly, it is a good choice to present your layout or prototype model to some big customer or investor, when you haven’t got enough time to code it.

For more difficult and dynamic projects you need to study Action Script language and Adobe Flash Builder program. And it is a really good way to develop your qualification and career while flash is getting more and more popular both in the “big” Web and mobile one.

The author is doing his exchange period in our DP in Media.
He studies at Murmansk State Technical University, Russia
Read about the previous workshop conducted by Michael Koch from Lillebaelt Academy, Odense, Denmark.
The workshop was one of the ten Tampere Art Factory International Week workshops