That second site has some cool ____! Thanks Bone
I've been on a Fireworks kick lately...finding a LOT of new tricks. I wish I knew some of this stuff along time ago.
>I've been on a Fireworks kick lately...
LOL... so I've noticed!
Since I've never used Fireworks, it would be great for me (and other Fireworks newbies) if you could put a bit more "meat" in your Fireworks posts... what makes it so much better than PhotoShop or ImageReady? How does it interact with other gfx programs (like Photoshop or PaintShopPro).
I use primarily Adobe right now, so all my software works together pretty seamlessly. Would throwing Macromedia into the mix screw things up?
Is it really that noticeable??
The REALLY COOL PART about Fireworks is the extensions. You can download extensions from sites like the ones I've listed and make tasks like Marcia is talking [webmasterworld.com] about happen with a few clicks. Extremely cool.
An old pro like yourself, mivox, could pick up Fireworks and run with it in no time. The main difference, and the best part, is that you can manipulate bitmaps as though they were vectors. Vectors can also have bitmap fills. You can punch, pull, stretch, distort bitmaps like you never thought before.
Over the last few days I have downloaded about 50 new extensions for FW and been playing around with them....awesome stuff. Stuff like batch cropping entire folders of pix. I do real estate virtual tours and I might have 70 -100 high res fisheye panos that all have to be cropped before I run them thru the mapping software. Click. It gets done. I used to do it by hand in PSP. But I'm a BoneHead so it's OK.
FW also integrates right into DW and you dont have to open FW separately...it opens from within DW to make changes on the fly.
FW is web oriented and has an awesome optimization pallette built right in. If you make rollovers it will code them too. I used to do 4 stage rollovers but I dont unless I have to now cuz just the CODE (js) for the buttons weighs as much as the image maps AND the graphics I use now.
What I'm learning now is that I can actually go into FW and design the entire page including slices, rollovers, anim gifs and tables...optimize different areas of the page with different formats (gif, jpeg) and then export into DW. Some of you old time PhSh people who have been doing all this by hand would do cartwheels.
I'm so glad I got the DW/FW studio bundle instead of just the DW program. It was worth the extra $60.
If you save your files ( who wouldn't you ask? <grin>) you can go back and change anything just by highlighting it and changing the properties. I have yet to even use layers although they are there. That alone should tell you something.
I hope I enlightened you a little. Try it out...you'll love it ;)
> old pro like yourself
Hey now! *smirk*
I dont think you can ever replace PHSh...especially for compositing. Most (all) of what I do is web graphics and they are rarely sophisticated.
A few of the extensions that I thought were rather cool were rounding bitmap corners-enter the degree of radius in pixels and bam...its rounded corner time. The other is really cool and it produces transparent masks in a jiffy.
One of my MOST favorite lazyman plugins is AutoF/X Photo/Graphic Edges. "Never do square again". ;)
One trick that MacroMedia suggests, is to add a second monitor and slide all the pallettes over to one monitor and have the rest to work with without all the clutter. I run dual VooDoo3 at 16 bit with a Viewsonic 17 and a 15 off to the side. In windows 98 there is support for this. Check it out.
Say mivox, is that you in the stripes on your site??:)
> is that you in the stripes on your site?
I'm not *that* skinny... ;) Staring at little grey stripes for that long must be bad for your eyes.
> add a second monitor
Again... $$$ Heck, I could use a second monitor for almost ANY program.
BoneHeadicus, your enthusiasm is very effective. Now, I'm going to tell you something that may curdle your blood -- I've had a copy of FireWorks for six months and never installed it.
Thanks to your enthusiasm, I plan to check it out soon, but you know, there's only so much time in a day.
Thats funny tedster cuz I didnt really want to buy it but went ahead and got it with DW anyway. Then I didn't ever use it for about 3 months. Now I don't use anything else.
Someone like yourself who knows js will have an easy time making it do what you need. One cool feature that I learned today was that you can save the steps on the history palette as a command...extremely cool when using a plug in like Blade Pro that can take A LOT of tweaking to get the right look.
I have just started working with Fireworks, too. I also got it with dreamweaver and didn't install for about 4 months. But it is wonderful to work with. I don't like doing photo stuff with it, but for making buttons and gifs, it can't be beat. Much, much easier to make gifs with FW than PS.
Two other great Fireworks links.......
You'll find lots of cool ad on's and filters.
Most professional webmasters don't use Fireworks. It's great for those who are beginning and don't understand HTML that well yet but the code FW writes for your pages is horrible. Nested tables, spacer graphics when the images aren't sliced perfectly as well as problems with multi-browser/resolution compatibility. You can always go back and re-do your margins,widths,lengths etc. afterwards in notepad but it seems like twice the work to me. You also have to go in and clean up all the crap comments and extras it inserts into the code.
I guess I haven't reached the level of profesional webmaster yet. I love using Fireworks though. Someday I hope to be able to write awsome JS extensions that are customized to my needs. As to the browser compatability issue's you are correct, it is always a challenge.
What browsers do you use to check your work ?
> but the code FW writes for your pages is horrible
Mivox slicing your images by hand in my opinion is the best way. You know how it is... short cuts lead to long headaches. I have to admit though, for quick static pages that are never going to be changed, never need to adjust to different width settings and don't have to meet different browsers/resolutions settings it really is a good tool to use :) I have created a few splash pages using it so I won't knock it too much.
I just got Fireworks 3 Bible and it has some really cool extensions for Fireworks on the CD that comes with the book.
And the book is good for learning if you need more information.
I guess my main question (ignoring the 'ugly code' issue) is this: For those of you who own and/or use BOTH Fireworks and Photoshop, does Fireworks have enough significant ease-of-use/quality-output advantages for web graphics that it would be worth buying *in addition* to PhotoShop? Or is it just a really great web graphics option for non-PhotoShop owners?
You can't replace PS.
Fireworks is a great alternative to PS especially for those of us who aren't artistically inclined.
I'm all for automation. I can do stuff by hand as well as the next guy but .....WHY? I really dont enjoy it.
I never use the js that Fireworks does and if I do disjointed rollovers and the like I use the behaviors in Dreamweaver.
The extensions are what really grabs my attention. Being able to process images in a batch mode or repeat the same process repeatedly (how many times have you ever had to do that) makes FW a High-Production tool.
If you're a die hard PS fan....stay that way. Adobe makes top notch stuff without exception.
If you're looking give FW a try.....you might find a new friend.
Fireworks does produce some pretty nasty code IF you use that feature! Basically I just use it to produce the web graphics then just do the code either in DW or by hand.
I think FW is an essential tool, just the ability to lay out mock HTML pages almost exactly as they would appear is invaluable.
Then you can do a selection on a group of objects and replace certain text, find one colour and replace it , change fonts etc. As far as im aware you cant do this in PS.