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Circuit diagram - Macromedia Freehand

Hi, I am a novice to Flash and freehand. I would like to animate engineering circuit diagrams using these 2 software. For example animating a circuit with resistor, capacitor and transistor. Any ideas? Is using these 2 packages a good approach and can it be done? Any useful tips? Thanks...

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  1. #1

    Default Circuit diagram

    Hi,
    I am a novice to Flash and freehand. I would like to animate engineering
    circuit diagrams using these 2 software. For example animating a circuit with
    resistor, capacitor and transistor. Any ideas? Is using these 2 packages a
    good approach and can it be done? Any useful tips?

    Thanks

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    sridhars Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Circuit diagram

    I'd say that those are very good tools for that task. As a print designer, I don't use Flash much, but designing your animation elements in Freehand and animating them in Flash is certainly how I would approach the project.

    I'm not sure if it is still an issue, but I recall some problems with stroke widths rounding up to 1pt when thinner strokes are imported from Freehand to Flash, but otherwise the workflow should do nicely. Going the other direction (getting Flash objects into Freehand) is a bit trickier, so save your FH design files for editing in case you need to make major changes to the elements. Minor changes can be handled by the tools within Flash, which work quite a bit differently than the Freehand tools.

    --
    Bill
    FHMXa/WinXP/Athlon2500+/1GB


    On Thu, 21 Apr 2005 18:14:50 +0000 (UTC), sridhars <com> wrote:
     

    Bill Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Circuit diagram

    You are certainly looking at the right tools. Be forewarned; the learning
    curves are significant (but so are the rewards).

    What you describe is, to me, the most exciting uses for FH (or AI) and
    Flash--making technical illustrations which are much more information-rich
    through animation and scripting. Although I do not consider myself a Flash
    guru by any stretch, I recently emulated the multiplex wiring system of a
    vehicle in Flash as a training aid for technicians. One frame of the main
    timeline contains all the logic of the multiplex program, written as a bunch
    of if() statements. (If the parking brake is off and the ignition is on, and
    the rear emergency door is open, then a buzzer will sound and applying the
    throttle will not raise the engine RPM--that kind of thing). I can go back
    and edit the "program" any time I want, and the interactive parts behave
    accordingly.

    Look around the web (places like FlashKit) and just look over some of the
    tutorials and examples which use FlashScript to emulate mechanical physics
    (things like snow falling, and things with motion which seems to work very
    subtly and naturally, like gravity and acceleration.) Underneath those
    effects are some pretty simple scripts which manipulate your objects (or
    your values) mathematically, instead of just as dumb frame-by-frame
    animations or fixed effects like you can do in things like Powerpoint.
    (Although you can do that kind of stuff, too). For example, you can find
    examples which create sine waves programatically, like an
    occiloscope--complete with interactive controls.

    One of the real beauties is that when done, you can save your
    fully-functioning circuit board as a standalone, self-running file. Also
    realize that fully functional SWFs (output from Flash files) can be embedded
    in pages of Acrobat PDF files. So you can have the bulk of your "textbook"
    written and laid out in ordinary bookish fashion, and let the on-page
    illustrations contain the accompanying animation and interactivity.

    I'd recommend ActionScripting in Flash MX by Phillip Kerman as an excellent
    book to get you out of the ordinary frame-by-frame" mindset and into the
    idea of letting FlashScript emulate what you are trying to show.

    So you're certainly on the right track. But you're about to get into
    something that will be so much fun your ideas for what you want to do will
    continually outrun the amount of time you have to do them. ;-)

    JET





    James Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Circuit diagram

    Thanks to both of you.
    sridhars Guest

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