This has been a rather comprehensive chapter that reviewed many of the new imaging features of Fireworks MX 2004 and the tight integration between Flash MX 2004 and Fireworks MX 2004, and between Fireworks MX 2004 and Freehand MX.
We started off with a review of the tour segment of the Oakbridge Community Center and a review of the planning steps that lead to the creation of the images for the tour and the site's web pages.
We talked about the importance of developing a realistic key event schedule. The key event schedule lays out, as we said, "the flow and pace of the project." We also cautioned against regarding the schedule as being carved in stone. The best schedules are those that account for the unexpected, yet still lay out a clear path to the completion of the tasks at hand.
With the schedule in place, the team can get to work.
We presented a brief overview of many of the enhancements and new tools in Fireworks MX 2004. One of the major enhancements is the Fireworks interface. Panels now take on a life of their own, the canvas can now be changed to accommodate the content, and multiple document navigation is now done through a series of discrete tabs at the top of the Document window.
One of the new tools is the Replace Color tool. This tool replaces colors of your choosing in a rather unique and powerful manner. We demonstrated this by changing the uniform color of a baseball team from red to purple.
Another new tool is the Red Eye Removal tool. Finally, Fireworks MX 2004 is able to easily remove this artifact with the click of a mouse.
One of the major changes to the Fireworks MX 2004 application is the addition of Auto Shapes. These items can be thought of as interactive clip art, controlled through the manipulation of Control Points programmed into the Auto Shapes. We showed how to turn a Doughnut Auto Shape into a rather interesting textured logo and how the Arrow Auto Shape can be used as a mask.
From there, we moved into button creation and thoroughly reviewed the use of the Button Editor. We even showed you how a new feature of Fireworks MX 2004?Send to Email?can be used to send the artwork for peer or client review as an email attachment right out of Fireworks MX 2004.
Workflow between the applications in the Studio is still one of the great secrets of the Studio. We talked about workflow and then demonstrated how Fireworks MX 2004 should be regarded as the Flash MX 2004 image editor. We reviewed how artwork created in Fireworks MX 2004 can move into Flash MX 2004 without the loss of transparency. We also demonstrated how a Fireworks MX 2004 image can be edited from Flash MX 2004 by simply clicking the edit button in the Flash MX 2004 Property Inspector.
We then moved to building the masthead for the tour pages. We started by preparing the image of the building used for a "sky transplant." We then reviewed the creation of a mask that enables the building to fade into the sky background. We also had Chris explain a rather unique technique for creating clouds using the Alien Skin Marble Filter and how to save that effect as a pattern for subsequent reuse.
The logo was created in Freehand MX. This gave us the opportunity to review the industrial-strength text handling capabilities of Freehand MX with an emphasis on tracking and kerning. We also explained how to convert text to editable paths for subsequent manipulation. In addition, we explained that this is a great way of ensuring font substitution doesn't occur. This section concluded with a "drag-and-drop" technique for quickly moving artwork from Freehand MX to Fireworks MX 2004.
We concluded the chapter with a thorough review of one of the great productivity tools in the Studio?the Batch Process feature of Fireworks MX 2004. We showed how over a dozen images for the tour were scaled down to 62% in less than two minutes.
With images prepared and ready to go, the pages that will display them have to be constructed. Let's go see how the web crew is doing as they contend with building Dreamweaver MX 2004 templates and adapt many of the new features of Dreamweaver MX 2004 to their workflow.