So is Flash CS4 perfect, or not?

If you think Flash CS4 is perfect, doesn’t need to change, or don’t care about Flash at all then you can quit reading this and go back to Flash and tween something.

If you don’t think it’s perfect then keep reading. Actually, even if Flash is perfect this post still applies… so please keep reading anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

Adobe’s Product Improvement Program is what this post is on, because it might not be obvious from the option’s name but it’s a) not a survey, b) doesn’t require any work, and c) pretty darn important. Essentially you can opt into this program that sends anonymous information (the info it sends is pretty much like the list you see in the History panel) about what features you use in Flash. Big deal? Yup. It tells us what features you actually use. And that then helps us know what’s most important to you. Which is good. You help influence what gets attention in Flash. You, personally. You affect the future.

So your good deed of today is to go make sure this is turned on. Go to Help > Adobe Product Improvement Program in the main menu, and in the window that opens read the info and click Yes Participate if you agree with the stuff it says. And then create a whole lot of new motion tweens. Please. I’ll promise to upload more FLA files if you do!

Author Jen deHaan

Jen deHaan is a freelance graphic and web designer, fascinated with great layout and usability. She has been working in the software industry since 2001, and has held positions with Macromedia, Adobe, and Motorola in the Silicon Valley area near San Francisco. Jen has written and contributed to over 20 print publications on web design that have been published by Peachpit, Adobe Press, and Wiley. She now lives on a farm with her family and dogs in central Vancouver Island, Canada.

More posts by Jen deHaan

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Mr K says:

    Hi Jen, long time no chat.

    I gotta say, coming back to Flash after a long time, I’m finding CS4 a bloated beast. There are some great things in there like Bones, but when it now takes SO much more code & requires a change to the HTML tags for your flash file JUST to allow a button to link to another site – I shake my head and walk away.

    I’m not convince all the amazing new stuff in AS3 should ever have made some of the simplest of things obsolete.

    Anyhoo … hope things are going well for ya

  • Jen deHaan says:

    Hey there Mr K! Wow – long time indeed! Great to hear from ya!

    A button is a little bit more code, but only an extra line (3 vs 4). And you can still use AS2 in CS4 as well (works with new tweens and non-runtime IK even) ๐Ÿ™‚ Regarding the tags, do you mean the eloas stuff? Luckily those days are over, but even using something like swfobject that solves it for the legacy IE where it helped with the click thing, means less code than some of the default stuff people use ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mark says:

    Hi there!

    I think Flash CS4 went to far toward coding. Not eweryone has time to learn coding… There are millions of Flash users but only couple of tousend getting actually money from Flash Coding knowladge… So the rest of us, needing Flash just to pep up our web sites are clearley leaved on the ice here, since not ewery one can afford to learn AS as many of us neither have time for it at all. It is like Adobe went huge step behind by “user frendly” use of Flash… Writing a 5min code for buttone alone is proff that I am right! Generaly I think their sales will eventually fall bach strongly just because of that. As matter a fact, Swish (flash concurrent if you can say that so) already rised their prices for Swish max2… They are not blind, they see the flash is becoming imposible to use for people without coding knowlage and that they are the only alternative, posible of use without actuall need to learn the coding first… I think Adobe went way to wrong way here.

    Personaly had to change to Swish! As said this may hear, but I just had no other choice!! Have no time as actually no need (no real money from work) to learn the AS coding, and without coding you canยดt even crate an button any more…

  • ButtercupSaiyan says:

    The IK/Bones don’t even work properly.

    Aside from some workflow-crippling bugs, it lacks almost everything: Spring-based bones; a visual cone for joint rotation constraints; a dedicated tool for reconnecting, readjusting, and transforming bones, strength and weight zones for the influence of joints; a real hierarchy without everything on one layer (hello, errors that just ruined an hour’s worth of work!); and the ability to bind multiple symbols to the same bone.

    On top of that, if you use it in a prolonged animation, the limbs will slowly shrink over the course of time. The arm will go from 100% to 92% in size. And if you try to readjust a bone in the middle of an animation, everything else will “itch” or “squirm” around even if it’s not really connected. I’ll have to stick to CS3 for everything that I want to do.

    There’s also other bugs. I used to hotkey “Shape-> Optimize” to my spacebar and this would automatically smooth an area that I selected with the lasso. Now, if I do this, it pops up a confirmation box (DO IT!) and won’t remember the previous settings. The WORST thing is, it crumples the fills around the Magic Lasso selection. This never happened before, and the only way to fix the damage is to use the Paintbrush on “Paint Behind” and redraw it manually …

  • DeLukin says:

    Have you noticed any performance issues when using the Adobe Product Improvement Program? I’d hate to activate it if it’s going to grind my system to a screeching halt…

  • Gerhard says:

    I was very excited to try out the new version, but I have to say that the way the animation and keyframing features are working makes simple things take twice as long to do.
    The tweaning features are a good idea but it doesn’t work right. They should have made it like After effects or even keep it like it was in CS3, it was working fine. even moving keyframes around and matching motion with multimple items is a giant pain!

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