10 Nice additions for Flash CS4

CS4 introduces a lot of exciting improvements for coding, animation, and general usability. In no particular order:

  1. New IK animation system. Flash animators finally get the tools that 3D artists have been using for years. IK allows you to assign ‘bones’ to your characters and pose them. IK works with movieclips and with shapes, though it’s a little useless on shapes since you can only use it with the most basic forms.
  2. New tweening animation mode. No longer do you have to manually add new keyframes each time you want to tween something. Just go to the frame you want to change and modify the symbol. Keyframes are automatically added for any parameters you modify. Additionally, it’s much easier now to create a curved path without using guides.
  3. Flash 10 adds 3D. 3D positions and rotations can be tweened
  4. Realtime audio. Adobe listened to developer’s requests and added the ability to modify an audio stream in realtime. This allows for synthesizers, effects, remixing audio tracks and more
  5. File access directly from flash, without a needless round trip to the server. Before if you wanted to write a flash app that generates an image for the user to download, you needed to encode the file in flash and send it to the server. Now you can do it all from within flash, which is much faster and more efficient.
  6. Project support is greatly improved. No longer do you have to manually add each file to a project. Just select a directory and let flash find all your files.
  7. General GUI improvments. CS4 now has a textbox gui widget that allows you to edit values by clicking and dragging the mouse or typing in a new value. Makes it easy to make quick adjustments with the mouse or enter specific values. Also, the main bar is consistent with other CS4 apps like photoshop and illustrator. A great thing for Mac users is that they can now benefit from the same docking windows that PC users have had fro years. In general docking and organization of toolbars seems to have improved.
  8. Motion Editor. Completely new for CS4 is the Motion Editor. The motion editor gives you greater control and flexibility over your tweens than was possible before. You can now edit the easing curves for specific parameters. You can also
  9. New Filter FX engine, with the possibility of writing your own effects shaders.
  10. Adobe AIR 1.5, motion presets, extensions, and more.

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