Imaging in Fireworks MX 2004

While the database developers and the Lingo programmers determine how to structure the code, the database, and the logic flow, the creative crew can be working on designing the interface for the project. One of the best tools you can use to design the interface is Fireworks MX 2004.

Designers inevitably tend to fall back on Photoshop to design their interfaces. This isn't all bad, but in a lot of cases, they are "using an atom bomb to light their BBQ." A lot of energy is going to be wasted to accomplish the objective.

A simple example illustrates this point. When it comes to working with Director, beveled buttons are a must. In Photoshop, this is a relatively complex process, usually involving layers and layer effects, or if they are really hard-core, channel operations. Then the objects on the layers have to be exported out of Photoshop as individual images are imported into Director. Let's assume the artist spends thirty minutes on this task.

The same thing can be done in Fireworks using the Effects area of the Fireworks Property Inspector. Not only that, a fully functioning button with Lingo code can be imported into Director if the button is created using the Frames feature of Fireworks. Total time? Maybe fifteen minutes in the hands of an experienced Fireworks artist.

This is not to say that all imaging should be done in Fireworks. To us, both applications are simply tools we use every day. Also, we understand a fundamental truth of this industry: The client never cares how you did it. The client only cares that you did it on time and on (or under) budget.

Still, we are writing about the integration of the tools in the Studio, and the integration of Fireworks MX 2004 and Director MX is one of the great secrets of the Studio.