Macromedia, Inc. today announced Macromedia Flash Professional 8, the latest version of the Flash authoring tool used by designers and developers to create rich interactive content for websites, interactive presentations, and mobile devices. Driven by extensive, global customer input, Flash Professional 8 marks a significant release that encompasses major advancements in expressive tools, video, quality user experiences, and mobile content authoring. Flash Professional 8 is part of Macromedia Studio 8, a software suite that also includes Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Macromedia Fireworks 8, Macromedia Contribute 3, and Macromedia FlashPaper 2. To learn more about Flash Professional 8, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/
“Our customers continually surprise and delight us with the incredible experiences they create with Flash,” said David Mendels, general manager, Macromedia in the press release. “It is just amazing to see what people create with the technology. Now with the new real-time effects, alpha-channel video, improved text rendering, and performance improvements in Flash Professional 8, we can’t wait to see what Flash designers and developers will come up with.”
Flash Professional 8 enables creative professionals to design and develop interactive content that provides customers with the most engaging online experiences. Flash Professional 8 now includes unique tools for designing graphic effects, animation, text, video, and content for mobile devices. New effects, including drop shadow, blur, glow, bevel, and color adjust, permit more compelling designs with pixel-perfect control and precision. The new custom easing tool enables precise control over animation. The revolutionary FlashType font-rendering engine ensures clear, high-quality text. These new expressive features raise the bar for the quality of business and individual websites and improve digital experiences.
“Sony Pictures Entertainment is thrilled to partner with Macromedia to launch the online campaign for ‘Underworld: Evolution’,” said Marc Weinstock, senior vice president of marketing, Screen Gems in the press release. “Consumers will be blown away by the new creative features of Flash Professional 8, and we’re excited that they’ll be able to see it first at http://www.entertheunderworld.com
The new video tools and workflows in Flash Professional 8 offer industry-first capabilities for integrating video within digital experiences. Video professionals can now easily design, encode, and deploy customized, interactive video using the new Flash Video Encoder, which delivers some of the highest quality video in the industry at the smallest file sizes. The encoder operates as part of the integrated authoring tools in Flash or as a stand-alone product with batch-encoding options. New support for 8-bit alpha channels at runtime means customers can now combine semi-transparent video with other video, graphics, or digital assets for amazing online productions. Also included is a new Flash Video plug-in for professional nonlinear video editing systems so editors can export video directly for the web in Flash Video format.
“Flash Professional 8 is an integral part of our work for international customers,” said Franziska von Lewinski, head of project management, Interone Worldwide in the press release. “Strong brands require strong websites linked to intelligent strategies and Flash 8 makes it all possible. For example, the aim when re-launching the international BMW website ( http://www.bmw.com/com/en/ ) was to provide an incomparable brand and product experience as well as focusing closely on user requirements. Using Flash video and motion graphics enabled us to present the exceptional character of the brand optimally online.”
Flash Professional 8 also includes core tools to aid developers who want to create and deploy content and applications for mobile devices using the Macromedia Flash Lite player. Flash Professional 8 includes interactive device emulators that make it easy for developers to build content once and test it on a wide variety of devices using preset, updatable profiles for more than 70 mobile devices enabled with Flash Lite.
“We are excited about the possibilities afforded by the Flash Professional 8 authoring tool to develop exceptional mobile applications,” said Brad Brockhaug, senior director, Forum Nokia in the press release. “In mobile development, timing is critical. The new mobile testing features will save Flash developers and designers valuable time as they continue to bring to market innovative content and applications for mobile devices.”
All content created in Flash Professional 8 is viewable by worldwide audiences with Macromedia Flash Player, the renowned client runtime player. The newest version, Macromedia Flash Player 8, maximizes the online viewing experience. This latest release is another part of the company’s overall Flash Platform strategy to design, develop, and deploy rich content and applications across devices and platforms.
Macromedia Flash Professional 8 is expected to ship in September. Localized versions in German, French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese will be available shortly thereafter. Pricing is $699 for a full license and $299 for an upgrade. Education, government, and volume pricing is available. Macromedia Flash Basic 8, a subset of Flash Professional 8 used for simple motion graphics and animation, is expected to ship in September in languages noted above, with full license pricing at $399. For more pricing information, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/
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