Is the .fla file included? I can't find it.

Discussion in 'The Flash Ad Creator' started by studioeight, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. studioeight

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    Hi.

    I just purchased the Flash Ad Creator yesterday and have been exploring the templates.

    It looks like I will be able to get some good use out of these but I would love to have the .fla file for the ad I am working on.

    I need to make more changes to it in Flash and can't seem to figure out where to do so in the interface for the application.

    Some of the images I'm replacing need to have links associated with them, for instance.

    When you export, it exports to a .swf file, correct?

    Where is the .fla file which has the changes in it?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. tsims

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    Yes, it exports a swf file. The fla files are located in a folder called "Native FLA Files". The path is Program Files/The Flash Ad Creator v2/ Native FLA Files.
    Terry
     
  3. studioeight

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    Hi tsims -

    Yes, I saw that. The .fla files for the templates are included.

    But that's not what I meant. I didn't phrase it correctly.

    When you export the .swf file, does it also save a .fla file which includes all the changes you made using the Flash Ad Creator software interface?

    I have replaced photos, replaced text, etc. and I need to access the .fla file which has these elements stored so that I can make additional changes using Flash.

    Do you know if the software also exports an .fla file which includes the changes you made? If so, where would I find it?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. tsims

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    No, it doesn't export an fla file, only swf. You'd have to save your fla changes in Flash.
     
  5. studioeight

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    Thank you for your reply, tsims!

    OK. It doesn't export a new .fla file.

    So, if I use the interface of the application to make changes, the software does generate an assets folder with my images in it.

    If I saved those images as the very same names as the images used in the template, then replaced the template images with my images in the template .fla library, would Flash automatically update the .fla file to include my changes?

    OR?

    If that won't work, do you have another suggestion about how I could use Ad Creator software interface to make changes to the template and then go into the template's .fla file to incorporate the changes I made already using the Ad Creator software interface so that I can make additional changes?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  6. tsims

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    I may be wrong, but only Macromedia Flash can produce fla files (it's a legal issue). All other Flash software I have used produce their own proprietary files. For example SWISH can only save projects .swi (no fla) for later editing. It can also export swf files. It cannot import/export fla files. So in that respect Flash Ad Creator is no different than Swish, Wildform, Flax or any other Flash software not produced by Macromedia. However, it is much easier for (me) the swf challenged:image06-2:

    Having said all that, what about editing the changes you want in Flash to begin with? I don't know of any other way.
    Terry
     
  7. studioeight

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    Well, first off the .fla files that come with this software are very difficult to work with. Why?

    1) You can't SEE the design elements in the timeline. Well you can see the text but you can't see the images. All I see are pastel-colored outlines indicating where the images are placed.

    and

    2) The reason I bought the Flash Ad Creator software is because I'm not very adept at using Flash. I've taken a class in it but it's not an application I use every day. It's VERY different than using the applications I usually use (Photoshop, Quark, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, etc.) There are sooooo many layers necessary to make an animation and I get lost and confused.

    ________

    Thanks for the info that exporting the .fla files may be a legal issue. I never thought of that. I donno how that could be the case if it's an issue about the file extension since .swf stands for "Shockwave Flash" which is Flash so I don't really understand.

    Oh and I can't use Swish, though I wish I could because it has good reviews. I'm a Mac user and they don't make Swish for Mac. I'm not familiar with the others you mentioned. I searched for them and took a look but I don't think any of them will meet my needs. (Not sure if they make them for Mac either.)

    The reason I purchased the Flash Ad Creator software is because it came with 150 templates and it looked like a simple interface to work with. But the interface is limited. I need to make more links in the animation than the in the templates, for instance, and change some elements to buttons.

    ___________

    Here are the problems I'm having with the Flash Ad Creator software –

    1) You can't save what you're working on. So, I export a .swf file and can't work on it further because I can't get back into the .fla layers. I did discover some additional software I could purchase which converts .swf files back to .fla files but it will cost me an additional $60 and at this point, I'm not sure it will work for my needs..... because....

    2) The export feature on the Flash Ad Creator doesn't seem to work. It does create a .swf file, yes but I can't view the file in my browser. It crashes my browser when I try to open it. My browser of choice is Safari for Mac but I tried to open it in Internet Explorer and it wouldn't open. I WAS able to open it in Firefox but only a portion of the animation appeared. Not the whole thing. I suspect there is a problem with the action script coding (but admittedly, I am far from being an expert... just guessing).

    ________

    Sooo........ Here I am with 150 templates and an innovative interface which is simple to use but I cannot seem to create an ad with it even by making the changes to the text and replacing the images, limited as that is.

    Why? Because the export feature isn't working correctly. Even when I am IN the application and you're supposed to be able to click on the ad to see it in Flash Player, it crashes my Flash Player.

    At this point, I'm very disappointed! I paid for this software and though the templates are nice and everything, I can't get it to work even with the limited functionality the interface offers. Without being able to export a Flash animation that WORKS in browsers, what's the point?

    ________

    Maybe you can help advise me. Am I doing something wrong perhaps? All I'm doing is changing the text and images and when I push preview it works fine. But it doesn't work to export it. Am I missing a step of something?

    Do you use this software successfully? If so, could you post links to some of the animations you've created with it? Have you had a difficult time with the export?

    Can you SEE the design elements when you open up the .fla files in order to edit the template in Flash?

    I can't seem to find a "contact" link to get in touch with Laughingbird Software. I'd send them an email and ask them these questions directly if I could. I don't see any current posts on this forum from Laughingbird.

    Do you have a contact email address for them?

    If I cannot resolve these issues and cannot use the software to create animations which can be viewed in browsers, I will need to ask for a refund, I guess.

    I don't know what else to do except stop by these forums and list the problems I'm having and hope someone answers with a resolution to my problems.

    All this said, the templates are really great~! I'm not too hip on the cartoons but if I could edit the templates, I could remove them. Other than that, they are very nice and I'm truly looking forward to making it work.

    I've spent hours trying to resolve the problems I'm having with no luck whatsoever.

    Any help or advise would be appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  8. tsims

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    Sorry hear about your issues with program crashing . I don't use a Mac so I can't really speak to that. As I said, all third party Flash software I've worked with ( I have used 4 or 5) do not export projects .fla format and none can open fla.

    FAC is somewhat restricitve in editing, but it is clearly stated on the website what you can and cannot do with the software. It does say for extensive editing you would need Macromedia Flash software. FAC does do what it claims, offer templates and some limited editing features for the flash challenged :)

    PM Marc regarding refund questions.

    Here's a link of a test page unedited:
    New Page 1

    Terry
     
  9. JayB

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    I have just set up a test ad, exported it and run it in the browser with no problems but I am working on my PC not my Mac.

    I don't have the Mac version to be able to check it for you. Have you tried it in anything other than Safari? Safari is one of the more temperamental browsers. I tend to use Firefox or Camino.
     
  10. studioeight

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    tsims - I want to be able to use this software, not get a refund. Not unless I can't get it to work. I have Flash but cannot edit the ads in Flash because, as I said, I can't SEE the design elements. All I see are outlines of where they're supposed to be on the timeline. I DO see the design elements in the library. And I've tried replacing them but it isn't working.

    The test ad you linked to is the exact ad I'm working with trying to replace the pictures and the words. I just want to turn the pictures into links but if it's not possible to do that because the application doesn't allow for extensive editing, then I'm fine with that if I can just get it to show my photos but it's not working.

    When you export from the Flash Ad Creator application, does it create a stand-along swf file?

    Or do I need to do something else to make my photos show up?

    I noticed that there are instructions for uploading the assets folder but I'm not trying to upload anything yet to any website. I just want to SEE the ad I'm creating in my browser prior to uploading it.

    What am I doing wrong?

    ________________

    JayB -

    Yes, I could open the exported ad from Firefox but the whole thing doesn't show up. The templates show up fine in browsers. But when I export the ad with the changes I've made... the images I used to replace the images in the templates aren't showing up. I am saving the images as .jpgs. They should work fine! I'm totally frustrated!

    ____________

    Thank you both for your replies.

    And tsims --

    I have sent a PM to "Laughingbird" who I assume is the Marc you refer to, the software developer.

    I directed him to this thread and asked him for his response and help.

    He has not replied to me yet.
     
  11. studioeight

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    SUCCESS!

    It works!

    Once I get final approval from my client, I'll share the link.

    What was I doing wrong? Here's the answer....

    What I wasn't aware of was that the exported .swf file is not a self-contained file. The assets folder which is also exported and the fonts folder also exported must be uploaded to the same directory in order to make it work.

    I don't know why it isn't working for me to test it in browsers from my local drive because the exported folders (assets and fonts) are in the same directory.... but I uploaded it to my client's site and was able to view it embedded in an html page I created so all is fine!

    Thanks for some great templates. Apologies for taking so long to figure it out.

    Would be helpful if the software created a self-contained file when exporting for additional edits. I have a demo version of software which converts .swf files back to .fla files including layers and design elements so if the exported .swf file were self-contained, I'd be able to edit it more. But no problem. The software works as it was intended. I just didn't understand the instructions.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. tsims

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  13. studioeight

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    Yes, I saw that! That post helped me out a lot! I need to go reply to the thread.

    Here's a link to what I created.. still working on the page but it's a start... got the thumbs up so thought I'd share it.

    PDI Secure Construction Affiliates

    I also designed their website. :)

    Thank you a lot for your responses and help on this thread, tsims!
     
  14. JayB

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    Well done, helps a lot when you understand the instructions doesn't it.

    I know this isn't a critiques thread but Web Dev is my career so can I suggest that the Logo banner you have at the bottom of the page, which is classy, should go up the top where the plain text is. Shame to waste such a nice graphic by having it below the fold.
     
  15. studioeight

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    Hi JayB-

    Yeah, was just trying the banner at the bottom. I agree. I moved it back up top.

    I used that banner on every page on the site so why change it now for this page? ;)

    About Project Developers, Inc.

    It was just an idea to put it at the bottom to make the Flash ad pop more but after reading your critique, I realized you were right. :D

    Thanks much!

    ....

    Oh and about the instructions, yeah, I knew I'd have to upload the assets folder to the server once I published the ad, but it was a bit confusing because I really thought I'd be able to view the ad from my local drive since the assets folder was right here stored in the same directory as my ad! I still don't understand why it doesn't work that way. But hey, I guess I can't understand everything. lol ;-)
     
  16. JayB

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    Companies usually want their branding to sock you in the eye the minute you reach their page which is why, no matter what the page layout is, you normally find the logo top left or right. Bit restrictive if you're trying to be cutting edge but hey, we wouldn't be in this business if we didn't like a challenge. :image06-1:
     
  17. Randy... Guest

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    JayB - I'd like to say Thanks to you for your constructive input. I hope you'll continue to visit the forum and offer your advise.
     
  18. studioeight

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    JayB - yeah, I've been in the business for a long time and I know how important branding is. There is something to be said about the tradition of putting the logo in the top left hand corner. That's a new logo I designed for this company and it's important to get it seen repeatedly because when a company changes logos, the continued branding process is really important! Thanks for your input! It's always good to get feedback from colleagues.

    I second digger's comment! Keep 'em comin'!

    ......

    I made another ad for this company...

    It's here

    Project Developers, Inc. - Secure Construction Industry Leader

    Thought I'd share this one, too. Pretty soon, I'll have a collection of these and I'll have to create a marketing plan to make the best use out of them.

    Thanks again to Marc and Laughingbird Software for these templates!

    I feel sorta bad that it took me so long to figure out how to publish them. Oh and one more thing.... When working with this particular ad (template 8), I was able to see all the design elements on the timeline in Flash, unlike the other template I used so that's fabulous! This means I'll be able to do additional edits in Flash to further customize the ads!

    Best $40 I spent all year. lol :D Just these 2 have saved me loads of time!
     
  19. JayB

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    Thanks guys. I drop by from time to time but not as much as I'd like due to work and commitments elsewhere. I've got both FAC and the Logo Creator both of which have saved my bacon on more than one occasion. One of these days I'll have to run round there and give Marc a big kiss.

    Just don't tell him I'm coming. :image10:
     
  20. Syrus XL

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    Hi studioeight,

    There are ways of seeing your images inside Adobe Macromedia Flash. FAC 2.0 only uses movieclip 'place holders' these are the exact size of the images it would display when exported out of the FAC 2.0.

    So, for example you could import all your images into the Library with Flash (PC = CTRL+L) slightly different on a Mac. Then run along the timeline and find the movie clips where the images are supposed to be, and click into them until you get to the main background holder. Drag across your image from the Library and drop it on the stage, making sure that registration point is correctly aligned with the image. You can now click back on the Timeline and see your images.

    ATB.
     

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