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Link Round-Up: Adobe’s Treasure Trove of CS3 Information

I have been spending a lot of time on Adobe's website going through their treasure trove of tutorials, videos, and white papers on CS3 while I impatiently await shipping of my Web Premium CDs (I knew I should have gone with the download edition!).

In particular, Adobe has put a lot of effort into a short, topical video training series, and then put the videos out there free for all of us. In the past I always found the articles on their website lacking relevance or just plain outdated. These short videos are about one particular topic and there are almost 300 of them, so chances are that the feature you want more details on is covered. It is also worth noting that Lynda.com produced the videos. Thanks, Adobe - you hit a home run with this one.

When I was at Via I ended up taking on the role of "early adopter", which usually resulted in me being the knowledge holder for the likes of Studio/Flash 8 and other new software at the time. I've tried to continue in that role at XPLANE as much as time allows. That said, a lot of friends and colleagues have been asking me about CS3, knowing that I actively pursued becoming a beta tester and placed my order the day it was released. So I've compiled a list of the CS3 (mostly Flash-oriented) articles and videos I have been reading and viewing over the past few weeks:

+ Article: Migrating from Flash 8 to Flash CS3 Professional, by Jen deHaan
This is a great writeup giving you an overview of the major new features in Flash CS3. It is written for those who use Flash on a day-to-day basis, so the write-up is a bit long (8 pages), but you'll enjoy the details of each new feature followed by a short how-to.

+ Video: Importing Illustrator Files into Flash, by Mordy Golding
Mordy has his own great video podcast, so he knows what he is doing when it comes to a short training video.

+ Video: Using Symbols Effectively Between Illustrator and Flash, by Matthew Richmond
With about 90% of the design files coming to me at XPLANE as Illustrator files, finding the best workflow between Illustrator and Flash is essential. Learning about symbols and when to use them in Illustrator should help to reduce the amount of time I spend converting graphics for use in Flash.

+ Video: Exporting QuickTime Files (from Flash), by Abbas Rizvi
At XPLANE one of the projects we're currently working on is a new version of the wildly popular "Did You Know" video from Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. In addition to updating the content and graphics, we're taking what was a PowerPoint presentation and turning it into a video. With CS3 the designers can hand me Illustrator files (which I can now import flawlessly) and then I can work my animation magic (on the timeline or through code) and output to QuickTime with ease, without any nasty Flash 5 workarounds.

+ Video: Understanding the Fireworks and Flash Workflow, by Alan Musselman
Fireworks is now a great design comp tool complete with multiple "pages" and a shared component set with Flash and Flex. This video shows you how to take the best advantage of the more integrated apps.

+ Video: Copying and Pasting ActionScript from an Animation, by Chris Georgenes
Now a designer can animate on the timeline and developers can copy it to and for use in ActionScript 3 code!

+ Adobe Flash Design Center
Don't forget this page with links to some additional helpful tutorials, articles and launching points to additional materials.

Like I noted above, there are almost 300 videos in the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Video Workshop, so I suggest you dive in and find the ones most relevant to your daily work flow. The interface makes it a breeze to sort and find the videos that best suit each user, and taking advantage of the tool nets some interesting topics that you might not have known about.

I'm interested to hear what your favorites are as well - I'm sure I am missing some good ones with all the choices - so comment on what you've found!

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