The Blob


11 January 2009


1 month with Flash CS4

Now, it's 1 month I work with flash CS4 demo at home. What's the verdict? I can tell you, I'm not going to buy this upgrade right now.

I liked:
- new organisation of interface (much space for the working "canvas")... but it's not enough (see further)
- search in library
- seems faster, more reactive for little projects
- Thank god, now it can browse font family (can find the Din Medium Italic for example and not just the "Din" as before).
- Of course the 3D rotations, moves, etc.
- Pixel Blender: a new world of distortion, incredible effects, transitions,...

I hated:
- the memory usage (with my macbook pro and 2gb it become quickly unusable), so slower for big projects
- the poor update of interface for development. Flex builder or flashDevelop is 10 times ahead.
- the motion tween interface. After 1 month, I still can't use it. I think there is a big potential in term of animations. You could be really precise and make eases as you want but actually you can't... the interface is just a crap. It take 90% of your screen if you want to animate everything you want and so you can't see the result:

So at the end you are just frustrated you are not able to exploit 100% of the possibilities just because of this stupid interface. And yeah, another great thing: you can't make the value of your "ease" more than 100% or less than 0%. So you can't make a bounce effect at the exact position you want (just try to do it, you'll see what I mean). Just take a look at the video on adobe TV it seems even the adobe guy is not comfortable with the motion interface.
- I still hate the sticky effect of the interface. When you move windows it accidentally stick to another window or to the border of your screen... For a mac user it's really a pain, especially if you use a tablet.
- Fonts still have different render if dynamic or static (line spacing). Still have problem when exporting on PC, some fonts move a little (I don't have this problem with photoshop, illustrator, indesign).
- Your projects can quickly become a mess. The interface was made for simple projects or simple animations. But now you have incredible powers (3D, new motion tools, pixel effects) so you can make huge projects, huge animations but then everything become confuse and you lose a lot of time finding everything, moving a keyframe, changing a tween, etc. I think flash should now turn to interface like Nuke or Shake. Because of all its 3D capabilities. It's time to grow up Flash!

My conclusion
If I use flash CS4, after 1 or 2 hours I'm just frustrated to have so much great tools in such inadequate interface. So I'll just use flash as I'm doing now; trying to make as much as possible in photoshop, illustrator or flex builder and use the less possible flash IDE. In fact I just use it to compile and quickly integrate graphic stuff.

Maybe one day Flash is going to get a good interface?

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