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Toon Boom Studio FAQ Pages - Interacting With Flash

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For anyone who is trying to use TBS and Flash together in their content creation workflow, this thread will contain some tips and information that we have learned at TGRS in our transitional efforts.
Problem: We often need to quickly and easily moving assets from Flash to TBS (either prior Flash work assets or newly created Flash assets that you choose to create in Flash for use in TBS)
Obvious method: publish FLA content to SWF for your movie and then import the SWF movie into TBS. At that point to acquire specific assets for future use, you have to hunt for them in the exposure sheet and move them to a library. Can become very tedious at best particularly for large numbers of assets because you bring over significant additional stuff and it is all over the place in the exposure sheet because of how it was imported.
Easier method:
(i) Make sure all the Flash assets you want are in symbol form in your Flash library.

(ii) Copy the desired symbols into the library of a "new" Flash document (this step is needed if you are only moving some of the library symbols and just want an easy way to insure you get all the symbols you want into your import movie)

(iii) Create a single layer timeline with some number of blank keyframes (you will eventually want one frame in your time line for each symbol asset you want to move to TBS)

(iv) Starting with the first frame of the time line, drag the first symbol from your library into frame one (approximately centered in the frame. If the symbol is larger than the stage area, you should open the symbol for editing and scale the actual source art to be able to fit inside the stage.)

(v) Repeat this process frame by frame until you have each symbol on stage in its own separate frame. You have basically created a sequential movie of your desired symbols library ready for TBS import. It is like a symbols slide show, one frame per symbol.
(vi) Publish the SWF for this time line. (name your SWF something simple like f1.swf or whatever you choose as that is the way the element in TBS will be named on import.

(vii) Open a new animation set in TBS and import your desired SWF that you just created

(viii) You now have an exposure sheet with two elements, one called "drawing" which is empty and one called "f1" or whatever you named your SWF file. You can delete the empty "drawing" element just to get it out of your way.

(ix) Now you can do one of several things depending on how you want to use these assets.

(a) You could just select the whole "f1" element and drag it into your desired global library in one step. This moves all your newly imported symbols into the library together inside that element. And they are now available to reuse in your future TBS production work.

(b) If you prefer to subdivide the assets into several different library catalogs based on the nature of each asset then you can drag them one at a time from the exposure sheet into your desired library catalog.

(x) Once you have put all your imported Flash assets into their chosen library and catalog, you can set the library view to "thumbnails" and go through and appropriately name each template for future reference. (I like the thumbnails feature as it makes the library look like a "contact sheet" where you can scan all your assets comparatively.)

Even for a Flash library of several hundred symbols this process is relatively fast and you now have those assets available to use in your TBS work. the symbols came from Flash but the animation can be done totally in TBS.
This is a much easier method then trying to strip selective pieces out of prior Flash movies . It works really well and opens up being able to use Flash for appropriate content creation like things that need shape tweening or 3D props you brought in from Swift 3D through Flash etc.

Workflow Note: (The TBS into Flash import process is nearly seamless but the Flash into TBS import process is not. You can work in Flash and move symbols to TBS where you can do additional work and animation and then for action scripting and interactivity you normally want to complete all the work in TBS and then import to Flash and after adding interactivity you just publish your content from Flash.)

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