Quark has been presenting and recording a series of free eSeminars about creating Flash assets with QuarkXPress 8 (and QuarkXPress 7 with Quark’s Interactive Designer XTension).
One of the most popular sessions is “Self-running Flash Presentations”. Quark describes it this way:
Would you like to create a compelling Flash presentation that continuously repeats its contents?
Learn how to produce timed page display and presentation loops created in QuarkXPress without any programming skills and export it to Flash. Typical applications include point of sale kiosk presentations, interactive advertising such as banners, shop window or trade show presentations and self-running demos.
Use looped animation sequences, video sequences and page transitions. Once finished, you can easily export the presentation as a Windows or Mac projector file for standalone use or SWF for a website. You don’t need any programming skills so you can concentrate on the design process.
You can watch a recording of this session, and others in the series, at http://www.flash8magic.com/us/recordings/. Scroll to #4 to see this one.
IT Enquirer has an in-depth report that confirms my opinion of the Flash capabilities in QuarkXPress 7 and 8 vs. those in InDesign CS4. Here are some highlights from the executive summary:
Indesign CS4 has Flash capabilities. QuarkXPress has had them for many years. The report examines the different approaches taken by both companies to interactive Flash file design and development and provides a detailed comparison of both products, rating them on their Flash support.
The report states that Quark and Adobe take a fundamentally different approach to Flash support. Quark’s philosophy appears to be to enable designers to do as much of the Flash work as possible with their existing tools and without needing to be developers, by integrating Flash design tools directly into QuarkXPress 8.
In contrast, Adobe’s philosophy appear to be to encourage users to do most of the interactive Flash work in a separate application i.e. Adobe Flash.
We have tested and rated both products as to their Flash functionality. We rated the products without judging vendors’ basic philosophy, but solely with respect to what InDesign and QuarkXPress let you do outside of the Flash application. The comparison between the two products shows that QuarkXPress 8 enables layout designers to go further in offering multi-media design without having to learn Flash, while InDesign adds Flash capabilities more as an add-on and not as an extra way for its layout designers to offer services beyond print publication layout.
You can download the full report by registering at the IT Enquirer website.
Quark has a free downloadable booklet about using QuarkXPress with Adobe’s Creative Suite, at www.8.quark.com/en/cs_integration. If you’re wondering about how far Quark has come in supporting (and surpassing) Adobe’s applications, this is a great place to start. And it’s not just a marketing piece — each section points out the limitations you’ll encounter when working with Adobe documents in QuarkXPress. That in itself is a useful tool for anyone using QuarkXPress!
The booklet and Web pages highlight Quark’s longstanding ability to import and manipulate native Photoshop files, and its new ability to import native Illustrator files. It also explains how to export HTML for use in Dreamweaver, and how to use the new Flash-creation features in QuarkXPress. In addition, ito explains how to import and export PDF files, and has a final chapter for InDesign users that explains how to use QuarkXPress.
At the end is a helpful chart that compares what QuarkXPress 8 can do with files from Adobe Creative Suite, versus what InDesign CS4 can do with them. Here’s a small version of it:
In addition to the downloadable booklet, the Web page also includes a brief video that highlights Quark’s integration features, and four special pages that focus on these topics:
- QuarkXPress and Adobe Photoshop
- QuarkXPress and Adobe Illustrator
- QuarkXPress and Flash
- Other Points of Integration & Side-by-side Integration Chart
The Illustrator page includes a 20-minute video on how to use QuarkXPress to create illustrations, and the Flash page includes a 45-minute video on how to create sophisticated Flash designs in QuarkXPress.
The booklets are available in English, International English, French, German and Italian, with Spanish to come.
I did see one interface glitch on the Web page: the four links at the bottom of the page aren’t working, so use the tabs at the top to take you to those same places.
Flash authoring seems to be the Killer Feature that’s turning heads more than any other in QuarkXPress 8.
Quark is taking the hint, and is now offering free live Webinars that focus on how easy it is to create interactive Flash projects in QuarkXPress. Today they announced two Webinars, on October 21 and 23. Each is an hour long.
To sign up, click here for Oct 21, or here for Oct 23.
Here’s how Quark describes the Webinar:
You’d love to use Flash® — but you’re not a programmer, so what do you do? Create Flash design directly in QuarkXPress 8® no programming required. You can easily add animation, video and sounds to your projects in QuarkXPress 8.
In one hour you’ll learn to:
- Use the built-in Flash authoring tools in QuarkXPress 8
- Repurpose content to design across multiple channels
- Leverage the rich design features of QuarkXPress 8 in your Flash designs, including transparencies, image manipulations efforts and more
- Use QuarkXPress 8 to convert QuarkXPress assets into Flash, for layouts produced in QuarkXPress as far back as QuarkXPress v3.3
Our presenter and expert is Andrew “Drew” Bartlett, Sr. Technical Product Analyst for QuarkXPress, specializing in Interactive and Web. Drew has been with Quark since April of 2005, prior to that he was a Product Manager and Product Specialist for DexMedia where he built web sites and developed interactive campaigns for local advertisers.
Don’t miss your opportunity to create Flash – no programming required!
In case you missed it, here’s a quick introduction to Quark’s Flash authoring environment, by Jeff Gamet: “Easy Flash from QuarkXPress“.
I think this is a clever stealth move by Quark: since almost everyone has a copy of QuarkXPress somewhere in their office, and the upgrade to version 8 costs just $299 from any version, then $299 buys you an intuitive Flash authoring tool that you already (mostly) know how to use.
Who would have thought that QuarkXPress would become the preferred Flash authoring tool for designers?