When Apple introduced Leopard, which in effect killed my hack for creating SWF Panels that ran within the Creative Suite, I thought I had reached the end of the line. Luckily in December of 2008, John Nack, the Senior Product Manager on the Photoshop team dropped me a line and asked if I wanted to kick the tires on two new projects they were working on internally for Adobe that would not only solve my dilemma but make my life easier.
The projects were called PatchPanel and SwitchBoard. Both were Flex SWC libraries that allowed Flex developers to create either SWF plug-ins or AIR applications that communicated with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. SwitchBoard was the library you would use when you wanted to create stand-alone applications using Adobe’s Flash or Flex Builder (which is now called Flash Builder). PatchPanel was your choice if you wanted to create SWF plug-ins that ran in either CS3 or CS4 of the previously mentioned CS applications.
I created a ton of innovative tutorials for Adobe using ExtendScript, PatchPanel, SwitchBoard and Photoshop Panels, which were available on Adobe’s developer site for Photoshop. Description of the tutorials below:
Notes on the tutorials
[Note: The SDK used for these tutorials is no longer supported.] Please note that these tutorials complimented and built off of the excellent documentation and examples already included with these tools. I recommended starting with Adobe’s documentation first and then proceeding to these tutorials. The order of my tutorials was important as well, starting from simple and building from there. In addition, to minimize your learning curve, I started with methods in ExtendScript which I built upon and integrated into SwitchBoard, PatchPanel and I believe Photoshop Panels as well. For the seasoned ActionScript developer, I suggested focusing on the ExtendScript tutorials followed by either SwitchBoard – if you’re interested in building AIR applications that interface with the Creative Suite apps (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) – or PatchPanel – if you were interested in creating Flash plug-ins for the CS apps mentioned above.
The following are the scripts included in the download, the majority of which come with a pdf tutorial:
– Hello Photoshop
– Add a new Photoshop document
– Get the # of layers in my Illustrator document
– Add/Remove all of the symbols in my Illustrator document
– Remove all the Swatches in my Illustrator document
– How to paint with Symbols in Illustrator
– Integrating your ExtendScripts with SB
– Debugging Embedded JS/ES files
– Two-way communication between SB and Illustrator
– Extending Photoshop’s DOM by adding Callbacks
– Integrating your ExtendScript with PP
– Flash Panels for multiple Creative Suite applications
– Painting with Code in Photoshop
Photoshop Panels (aka CSXSLibrary.swc)
– Enhanced Hello world
– Integrating your ExtendScripts with the CSXSLibrary
– Integrating Papervision3d with your Photoshop Panel
– Integrating WiiFlash + Papervision3d with your Photoshop Panel
It’s important to note that these tutorials would not be possible without the tireless support of John Nack, Bernd Paradies, Michael Daumling, Jeff Tranberry and Tom Ruark.