The next version of Adobe’s software suite is sure to feature new integration with Flash after Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait for the corporate go-ahead to take advantage of the synergy of these applications — they really do go well together. It’s the uniqueness of each program that make them excellent complements to one another, with or without the fancy “automatic integration” features. After Effects makes gorgeous motion graphics effects, but it’s not interactive — enter Flash.
Lee Brimelow has been busy working on tutorials taking advantage of AE + Flash over at The Flash Blog:
Flash 8 FLV Alpha Channel Tutorial: Flash can now do irregularly-shaped masks. Add that to video, and you can use video as a mask. (This could be a whole lot of fun with animated effects built in AE, too, including particle effects and such that Flash might not be able to generate in real-time.) The tutorial is online and free.
Lynda.com Flash 8 + AE 7 Integration video live: Not free, but looks like a terrific tutorial, as well.
Not to be outdone, Adobe has their own free tutorial they’re offering online, live, which you can access from around the world as long as you’re willing to be awake in the afternoon New York time:
Advanced Design Using After Effects and Flash
By taking advantage of After Effects 7.0 features and the new Flash 8 Player, we not only can easily publish video for the web, but enhance user experiences by creatively adding video elements. In this session, interactive designer and animator Paul Trani will teach you how to export files from After Effects 7.0 and integrate them into Flash. Thursday, October 12, 3 p.m. Eastern
There’s also an “AE for Flash people” tutorial coming up in November.
Adobe is offering in-person tutorials, too; I’ll be attending the event in New York next Thursday. If it inspires some new work (and I hope it does), I’ll be sure to share it. Of course, I may be naughty and just use code in an open source tool for the Flash end rather than stumble through the Flash 8 IDE, but that’s how I roll.
Updated: Friendsofed, my favorite Flash book publisher, has a book due in December on mixing Flash and After Effects, articulately named From After Effects to Flash: Poetry in Motion Graphics. Tiago Dias and Tom Green are the authors. O’Reilly has nabbed some of their authors and have impressive-looking upcoming titles for Flash 9 and ActionScript 3.0, too, so there’s plenty of Flashy goodness to absorb.