The Flash CS5 Photoshop Import Options Panel - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5 Photoshop Import Options panel gives you a detailed choice of what is imported into Flash CS5, and how, from .psd files. You can send bitmap artwork directly to the library as assets or movie clips; type and vector layers can be converted or kept as editable paths or type layers.

Here’s a detailed look at what you see in this panel:

  • Select Photoshop Layer Comp: If your document contains layer comps, you can select one from this drop-down list. The layers and positioning that make up the selected comp become active in Layer view.

  • Layers view: All layers in the .psd file appear listed on the left side of the Import to Library panel, and you can choose which layers to import by selecting the check boxes to the left. Highlighting a layer displays its import options on the right.

  • Merge Layers button: When more than one layer is highlighted, you can choose to merge the layers on import into a single layer, which has no effect on the original .psd file.

  • Convert Layers to Flash Layers or Convert Layers to Keyframes: Selecting the Flash Layers option maintains the layer structure (as well as layer groups) and distributes layer contents exactly as they are in your .psd file. Selecting the Keyframes option distributes layer contents across a sequence of keyframes on the Timeline.

  • Place Layers at Original Position: This check box (selected by default) positions layer contents exactly as they are in the original .psd.

  • Set Stage to Same Size As Photoshop Canvas: Selecting this option resizes your movie to match the original size of the .psd file.

  • Import This Image Layer As: The two options shown convert the layer contents to either a bitmap image with editable Flash filter effects (converted from Photoshop layer styles) or a flattened bitmap image, which merges any applied layer styles along with the bitmap image.

  • Editable Paths and Layer Styles (Shape Layers Only): You can keep shape layers and vector artwork editable in Flash by selecting this option, which places artwork on the stage as drawing objects.

  • Editable Text (Type Layers Only): Selecting this option keeps imported text layers editable, re-creating Photoshop type layers as Flash type layers.

  • Vector Outlines (Type Layers Only): Selecting this option converts type layers into raw vector graphics (drawing objects). Type is no longer editable, but its outline can be manipulated with tools, such as the Subselection tool and Pen tool.

  • Create Movie Clip for This Layer: Selecting this option converts the layer contents to a new movie clip symbol that’s also added to the library. You have the option of setting a registration point as well as an instance name.

  • Publish settings: For each layer, you can set individual compression and quality settings or choose to use the document’s publish settings instead. A handy Calculate Bitmap Size button lets you see how your selected compression and quality settings affect the resulting file size of the imported content.