Is there a slideshow program that supports imported Flash templates?
June 5, 2007 9:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a program other than Flash that can be used to make SWF slideshows/picture galleries... but it must use customised templates imported from Flash.

I'm looking for a program other than Flash that can be used to make SWF slideshows/picture galleries... but it must use customised templates imported from Flash.

The details: I work in a big news organisation. Currently only our online graphics staff make slideshows. They have designed some pretty templates in Flash, and they build the slideshows in Flash using these templates.

My problem: I want other staff to be able to make slideshows, too. I know there are lots of programs out there (that are, very importantly much cheaper and simpler than full-blown Flash), that let you build slideshows and output them as SWF files. However I want everyone to use the existing templates that have been designed by our designers, not to mess around using ugly pre-sets or making up their own designs on the fly.

I can't find any such program that clearly says it can import templates from Flash. Does such a thing exist? Preferably something cheap and easy. It doesn't have to be super-cheap, however - Photoshop Elements would be fine, for example, but as usual the documentation is no help and I'm hoping someone out there already knows the answer...

If not, any other suggestions for how to tackle the problem would be welcome (and no, my agenda is not to downsize the graphics team, but to free them up to do more interesting stuff in Flash!)
posted by 8k to Technology (5 answers total)
Why not get your developers to write a Flash slideshow which loads external images specified in an XML file? Then you'll just need to drop some pictures into a directory and edit an XML document. You may even be able to get the actionscript to read in the contents of the whole directory - no XML editing required.
posted by blag at 12:52 PM on June 5, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks blag! Unfortunately though I am dealing mostly with journalists/editors who would find editing an XML file way too hard, and our graphics teams are not developers at all - they know a little bit about Actionscript, but I'm 99% sure it's not enough to get this kind of thing up and running.

I guess if the hivemind can't point me to an app then it probably isn't out there :) I'm going to instead try getting the designers to create new templates *in* PS Elements and hopefully that'll work.
posted by 8k at 2:34 PM on June 5, 2007

A quick Google came up with this Flash slideshow which automatically displays the contents of an 'images' directory. There's an included PHP script which gathers the information on each image - no XML editing needed. I've checked over the source .fla and it looks pretty straightforward - it should be easy for your guys to customise. They probably won't have to mess with the Actionscript at all, just add a new layer containing the template. Hope this helps.
posted by blag at 5:58 PM on June 5, 2007

Meant to say - if you're still having problems, drop me an email and we can sort something out.
posted by blag at 6:18 PM on June 5, 2007

Have you considered Soundslides?

I work at a newspaper where our photographers and reporters love, love, love Soundslides.

It's very easy to create custom HTML templates that the swf is embedded in, but you can also download the flash component and customize that, too. And there's a support forum if you or your graphics guys want guidance.

It may not give you quite the degree of customization you want, but it's cheap and super easy.
posted by katieinshoes at 7:35 PM on June 5, 2007

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