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What technical communicators
 need to know about Flash



                      Sarah O'Keefe
            DocTrain West, M...
About the presenter

 Principal, Scriptorium Publishing
 Expert in XML, XSL, and similar technologies
 Not an expert in Fl...
Agenda

 What is Flash?
 Adding Flash to your workflow
 Flash demo
What is Flash?

 Vector-based format for moving images
 Adobe technology via Macromedia
 Proprietary
 .FLA for Flash devel...
Putting Flash in context

 Flex
 Captivate
 Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)
 Camtasia
 Silverlight
Where can I see Flash content?

 98% of desktops and laptops have Flash Player
 (says Adobe)
 Web video
 Web games
 Gratui...
Games

 nickjr.com
 luminosity.com
 kongregate.com
 and many, many more
Video

 YouTube
 Many major media sites
How might you use Flash in a
tech pubs workflow?
 Quizzes
 Video
 Animation/simulation
 e-Learning
 Customized interface f...
Quizzes
 Polls
 Reader feedback
 e-Learning assessments
   Branching support
Video

 Talking head video
 Instructional video
Animation/simulation

 Explaining difficult concepts visually
Basic Flash concepts

 Stage
 Timeline
 Keyframe
 Symbols
 Tweening
 Publishing
 ActionScript
Stage

 The area on which your objects move around.
Timeline

 The sequence in which events occur.
Keyframe

 A frame where an object changes.
Symbols

 Reusable objects.
Tweening

 The process of generating the frames between
 two object states to show a change.
Publishing

 Generating output from the Flash development
 environment, often as SWF.
ActionScript

 The Flash scripting language, a variant of
 JavaScript
Important notes

 Flash is a time sink.
 Animation can be surprisingly effective.
 Consider localization costs.
 Remember ...
Are documentation and training
converging?
 Classroom versus book
 Interactive online training versus interactive
 online ...
Visual communication

 Difficult and time consuming
 Effective
 Will it displace text?
Challenges for Flash

 Content silos
 Integration with XML?
 Proprietary
 Mobile devices
Challenges for technical
communicators
 Are you a visual thinker? (I'm not.)
 Is Flash relevant to your content? Should it...
Q&A
Contact information

 Scriptorium Publishing
 www.scriptorium.com
 info@scriptorium.com
 +919.481.2701 x105
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What Technical Communicators Need to Know about Flash

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Presented by Sarah O'Keefe at Documentation and Training West, May 6-9, 2008 in Vancouver, BC.

Flash-based content lets you add with animation to your text and graphics. In this session, participants will see examples of Flash-developed content and a live demonstration of basic Flash development. Topics include:

* Timeline
* Keyframes
* Tweening
* And much more

If you’re curious about Flash and want to find out what it’s all about, this is the session for you.

Published in: Technology
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Transcript of "What Technical Communicators Need to Know about Flash"

  1. 1. What technical communicators need to know about Flash Sarah O'Keefe DocTrain West, May 2008 Vancouver
  2. 2. About the presenter Principal, Scriptorium Publishing Expert in XML, XSL, and similar technologies Not an expert in Flash!
  3. 3. Agenda What is Flash? Adding Flash to your workflow Flash demo
  4. 4. What is Flash? Vector-based format for moving images Adobe technology via Macromedia Proprietary .FLA for Flash development files .SWF for compressed files
  5. 5. Putting Flash in context Flex Captivate Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) Camtasia Silverlight
  6. 6. Where can I see Flash content? 98% of desktops and laptops have Flash Player (says Adobe) Web video Web games Gratuitous splash pages Some mobile phones
  7. 7. Games nickjr.com luminosity.com kongregate.com and many, many more
  8. 8. Video YouTube Many major media sites
  9. 9. How might you use Flash in a tech pubs workflow? Quizzes Video Animation/simulation e-Learning Customized interface for content delivery
  10. 10. Quizzes Polls Reader feedback e-Learning assessments Branching support
  11. 11. Video Talking head video Instructional video
  12. 12. Animation/simulation Explaining difficult concepts visually
  13. 13. Basic Flash concepts Stage Timeline Keyframe Symbols Tweening Publishing ActionScript
  14. 14. Stage The area on which your objects move around.
  15. 15. Timeline The sequence in which events occur.
  16. 16. Keyframe A frame where an object changes.
  17. 17. Symbols Reusable objects.
  18. 18. Tweening The process of generating the frames between two object states to show a change.
  19. 19. Publishing Generating output from the Flash development environment, often as SWF.
  20. 20. ActionScript The Flash scripting language, a variant of JavaScript
  21. 21. Important notes Flash is a time sink. Animation can be surprisingly effective. Consider localization costs. Remember accessibility. Captivate and similar tools offer limited functionality but much faster development.
  22. 22. Are documentation and training converging? Classroom versus book Interactive online training versus interactive online documents
  23. 23. Visual communication Difficult and time consuming Effective Will it displace text?
  24. 24. Challenges for Flash Content silos Integration with XML? Proprietary Mobile devices
  25. 25. Challenges for technical communicators Are you a visual thinker? (I'm not.) Is Flash relevant to your content? Should it be? How do you fit Flash development into the project schedule? What about localization? What about accessibility?
  26. 26. Q&A
  27. 27. Contact information Scriptorium Publishing www.scriptorium.com info@scriptorium.com +919.481.2701 x105
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