New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Filters, blends, crazy new effects. Discuss new features in Flash 8 and how to use them best.
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mankxx
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by mankxx » Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:40 pm

I just sat through a MacroMedia live online for Studio 8, where the moderator described the new Flash "Basic" 8 (v. the Pro version) as "for those who rarely use Flash and do mostly animation and don't need video". That sounded to me like MM is forcing an upsell on everyone serious about Flash (but don't need the highest-end streaming and data features) and watering down their previous core version. Now instead of Regular and Pro, our choices will be Regular and a notSoFreeWare animation tool? This sounds bad, or at least not such a good deal. Since he wouldn't answer the question during Q&A, I suspect it is a issue they wanted to avoid rather than dismiss, so I'm guessing it's true.

Anyone have more details on this?

jen
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

Re: New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by jen » Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:01 am

Hey there,

I can't really comment on marketing (not involved with that dept in the least), but I have used basic for quite awhile, so I can answer your other questions about the software itself.

From what I can tell, and from what you describe, the main difference is in the marketing and such. Basic is pretty much the equivalent to Flash MX 2004. It's not a "lighter" version than the previous equivalent. I don't think they removed any features (that I can think of) from Flash MX 2004 (non pro). Plus, they added new features in -- the Script window, Script Assist (normal mode), a few other things such as runtime bitmap caching. The same set of components is still in there too. Personally, Basic 8 is an improvement over non-pro 2004.

A new limitation, I believe, is that you cannot upgrade from Flash MX 2004 to Flash Basic 8 - I think you can only upgrade to the Pro version. You'd have to check at the online store for confirmation/more info.

If you have any feature questions (what's in there, what isn't, what you can do, compare, etc), I can help you out.

jen
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

Re: New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by jen » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:22 pm

Oh, and for development, Basic is very capable - certainly not an animation tool. The compiler is the same, you can code with every single class that's available. For instance, you cannot add filter effects in Basic, but you can code them with Basic. The scripting features are identical between the two products. The development differences are pretty much the same as those differences that existed in 2004 (components, screens) - there are really no others that I can think of when it comes to that. Most of the new differences are in expressive features (filters, blends).

I'm unsure of why he didn't answer, but I honestly don't feel it was because it's heavily crippled at all.

mankxx
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

Re: New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by mankxx » Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:43 am

jen wrote:Most of the new differences are in expressive features (filters, blends).

I'm unsure of why he didn't answer, but I honestly don't feel it was because it's heavily crippled at all.
PHEW! What a relief. I don't remember seeing the word "Basic" used right in the name with MX or MX2005, so that looked scary. Funny thing is, the comment that "Basic" was for "infrequent users" who "didn't need video" (or something to that effect) wasn't just a casual comment. I believe the point was a full slide in the presentation!

Bummed to hear the filters tab and blend feature will be Pro only. I was really looking forward to those! As an educator (college level) I'm a bit locked to the school's purchase. Guess I'll have to start lobbying for 8 Pro.

BTW, on that side topic... If you know anyone in the marketing area of MM....
When asked if there would be an upgrade path from the educational version, the moderator said "No" because "the educational version was already so deeply discounted."
Huh? So when my students graduate and want to upgrade to the commercial version, these cash poor newbies end up having to pay the $200 or whatever they've already paid for the ed ver MORE than the established professional studios have to pay? I can think of no greater motivation for them to succumb to the temptation to find a "copy". We certainly encourage them in the professional direction on that, but MM's pricing approach sure makes it hard. If MM considers the Ed price to be such a pittance, why not at least give them that much of a discount.


Thanks for your help!

M

Jason3d
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

Re: New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by Jason3d » Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:04 pm

Thanks for the clarification Jen. While I'm sad to hear that you can't use the property inspector to set the filter effects I'm glad all the core code is there and open to Actionscript. Since it is... I wonder if we'll see someone come up with a home brewed component that would offer some sort of interactive setting of filtereffects? It may not be able to show the exact result on the stage but if it had a sample 'tile' with the effects applied to it you'd at least have an interactive preview of the effects.

There I go, typing out loud again. Now someone else will write it before I do.

As far as the pricing goes, I do understand MM's position on going from educational to full versions. The whole reason you can get the lower priced ed versions is that you agree to a ULA that more or less states that you won't be using the software to make money. They figure once you need to start making AND selling your flash work you should get the non-ed version. It would be a nice gesture if they offered some minor discount % for ed upgraders. *shrug* Saving my pennies to get my own personal copy. Hey, I've got my Flash 2 install CD here on my corkboard, the last version I bought out of my pockets. I wish I could upgrade from that.

billdcat
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

Re: New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by billdcat » Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:25 am

It's not a component, but I am working on a small example showing a few filter effects and blending modes. Not as interactive as some that I have seen, but shows the effect of filters/blending modes between two movie clips a bit better than some. Hopefull it will be up tonight.

Keshava
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:56 pm

Re: New Flash "Basic" 8-- did we just get hosed?

Post by Keshava » Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:46 pm

Thanx for info


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