Archive for June, 2005

Open Studio Discussions Breeze Room

The Open Studio Discussions is a Breeze room that will be open for 2 hours from 7-9pm PST every other Tuesday (starting 07-05) for anyone that uses the Studio (Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Flash, Contribute, FreeHand) to come in and ask questions, share ideas, tips, techniques, and explore breeze on a more personal level.

This is pretty much an underground thing and generally after hours for me, but I’m looking forward to seeing sites and apps, chit-chat or anything cool you have to show off and/or help you get an issue sorted out.

Why Breeze?

A lot of times passing emails back and forth can become tedious, time consuming and complex in support so I use Breeze to communicate directly with the customer to identify the issue, determine a solution, and provide guidance and help to implement that solution. It’s that simple…if I can’t understand the issue through email, generally I’ll ask them to join a Breeze Meeting (screen share etc..) and that way I feel like were both on the same level during the entire experience, its great!

Remember:

2 hours
7:00-9:00PM
(sync time zone, I’m in California )
07-05-2005 (every other Tuesday)

New Fireworks tutorials, articles and extensions for the month of June

Macromedia.com

Fireworks Exchange

CommunityMX

Fireworkszone

If you know of anything you may have created for Fireworks, please let me know as I dont want to leave anything out.

Thanks!

What’s with the Oriental Theme?

Some may wonder why I picked an oriental theme for my blog. A lot of my appreication for asian art comes from my mother when she went through an oriental phase and explored various mediums used by traditional artists and here I am…just a little kid wondering what I was looking at with no appreciation until I was older and majored in Art in school. She used to have this amazing Oriental bed with a large headboard that had tight, intricate patterns carved out of the mahogany wood. I was completely fascinated by this wonderful piece of art yet it was just a King-size bed. Ever since then, I’ve been on my own quest…exploring asian patterns, colors, and textures.

I’m currently exploring ChinaTown (San Francisco, 20 min walk away from my flat) and other avenues for a traditional artist to give me private lessons since I stare (and others tell me I stare) way too much at the computer. Yet, are these people telling me I stare too much at the computer really into computers or is it just me? Sigh…true signs of a computer addict right here folks.

Thank goodness I live in San Francisco now, (used to live in Dallas, TX) I can finally get out of the casa and see something completely different every weekend ….blows me away. This is how crazy this last weekend was in SF, I woke up and stumbled into the kitchen to get some water. Samantha (my kitty) meows because she doesn’t have any food, I grab the cat food to find out there’s none left..crap..so I put on my shoes and went on a search for Cat food. Unfortunately, the 3 corner markets around me were closed so I had to walk up to Market Street, by the time I got a street away, it sounded like there was a Motorcycle show, but it was the Dykes on Bikes group sailing down Market Street …I completely forgot it was Gay Pride Weekend, there must have been a million people spread through out downtown watching the parade!

pride_parade.jpg

Anyways, I’m completely mystified by the orient and hope I can master the rare techniques used by the ancients. Sorry for running off-topic there, it was just too much fun seeing all the people having a good time…

Handling multiple domains pointing to one IP address (virtual servers) in Contribute

Depending on how your environment is setup, you might have multiple DNS’s or some type of Virtual server configuration that will conflict when setting up site(s) that point to the same IP address. You’ll quickly find out you can only connect to one site (typically the first the one you setup) and not the other on the same IP.

Contribute will automatically find and detect any alternate Web Addresses and will add them to the Web Addresses tab found in the Administration panel of Contribute.

Here’s how to remedy this issue, in Contribute 3.1 go to:

  1. Edit > My Connections
  2. Enable the site if its not already enabled and click the “Administer…” button in the top-right.
  3. Select the Web Server link on the left column
  4. Under the "Web Addresses" tab, remove any IP addresses and remove any host names that are not associated with the main site.

Exploring the Path Scrubber Tools in Fireworks

I often get asked how to use the Path Scrubber tools and find myself forgetting how to use them properly since I often use a tablet to control the various elements for sensitive strokes. The trick is to go into the Stroke’s Advanced Options and add pressure and other options. You’ll discover unique combinations with all the options once you start to experiment with creating custom strokes.

Understanding the Path Scrubber tools:

  1. Create a new document
  2. Using the Vector Path tool (P), create a stroke on the canvas.

    Note: The tool’s effect works better when applied to strokes larger than 4pts and only on pressure sensitive strokes such as:

    • Air Brush
    • Line tool
    • Bamboo
    • Calligraphy
    • Pencil
  3. Select the stroke and go to:

    Property Inspector > Stroke type > Stroke Options > Advanced…

  4. Move the “Edit Stroke” panel to the side of the stroke you created on the canvas which will allow you to tweak the appearance real-time.
  5. Add 76% for the pressure and 100% for speed or adjust how you see fit, click Ok when you’re finished modifying the stroke’s appearance.
  6. Before closing the Stroke Options pop up panel, save the stroke style by clicking the “Save” icon in the lower-right corner. You might accidentally change the stroke so this way you can select the stroke anytime without re-creating it. (At least this happens to me when using the tablet on occasions. :S )
  7. Select the [+] additive or [-] subtractive scrubber tool and brush or tap around on the stroke

Tip: By default, the scrubber tools do not have a keyboard shortcut. Add the key "7" to both scrubber tools in "Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts…" to flip back and forth while scrubbing the paths to create a more realistic stroke effect.

Extract textures directly into Fireworks using Extension Manager

Its definitely not rocket science so if you have textures to share, I’d recommend you to create an extension and share them with others. Here’s the MXP so you can install it and see how it works.

First create an MXI file, list your textures, description, UI access etc.., and then package the MXI file in Extension Manager to produce the MXP file. One benefit for creating texture extensions is they easily be turned off or on when you want from extension manager without deleting the textures. This is one way to manage a ton of textures.

For others wanting to find in-depth information about MXI files, they can review the PDF on our site.

Personally, I prefer to start with a text file and rename it as ext_name.mxi, but others prefer to use the MXI Creator or MXI Wizard which guides you through the MXI creation process. I’ll have to admit I like the MXI Creator better than the MXI Wizard, but try both of them and see which one works better for you.

When your finished editing the MXI file by adding textures and changing the description and UI access information, open Extension Manager if its not already open and go to:

  1. File > Package Extension
  2. Browse and select the MXI file (note the MXI file needs to be in the same directory as the textures to work)
  3. Name your MXP file and save it.

Here’s what the MXI file looks like below. Feel free to use the template and replace the textures with your texture names.

<products>
<product name="Fireworks" version="6" primary="true" />
</products>

<description>
<![CDATA[
Textures system 1<br>
24 original Fireworks Textures<br>
www.fireworkszone.com
]]>
</description>

<ui-access>
<![CDATA[
Select textures from Textures drop-down menu.
]]>
</ui-access>

<license-agreement>
<![CDATA[

]]>
</license-agreement>

<files>
<file source="system01.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system02.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system03.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system04.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system05.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system06.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system07.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system08.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system09.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system10.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system11.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system12.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system13.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system14.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system15.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system16.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system17.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system18.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system19.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system20.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system21.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system22.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system23.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
<file source="system24.png" destination="$fireworks/configuration/Textures/" />
</files>

<configuration-changes>
</configuration-changes>
</macromedia-extension>

Thanks to Thierry at fireworkszone.com for providing the textures and MXP.

CMX JumpStart Vegas

This CMX JumpStart kit is fully baked and ready for your de-constructing pleasure. Designed by Fireworks guru Linda Rathgeber, and coded by CSS guru Stephanie Sullivan, this JumpStart kit will get your gears in motion as well as discovering new tips and tricks like:

  • Adding the FlashObject Javascript
  • Using sIFR for custom fonts
  • Customizing your slideshow, or using a static image instead
  • Understanding how the page was built in Dreamweaver
  • Understanding the hacks needed to ensure consistent rendering in multiple browsers
  • Adding your own masks to the Fireworks source png
  • Understanding the skip to content link
  • Working with Linda Rathgeber’s Fireworks source png file and slicing/exporting images

Wow, they really thought this one out from beginning to end, so head on over to Community MX and read the full article.

Good job community MX players, I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with next!

 

Lorem Ipsum sup wha huh!?

Have you ever needed to use filler text for a design mock and used either jibberish or went to a site and snagged their content? What about changing all the content in a textfield from lowercase to uppercase?
Senocular created a command for Fireworks that does this for you automagically, nice!
Download the Text command from Senocular’s site
~Enjoy

PNG transparency finally in IE7 w/o having to use hacks

Wow, I found this to be a good read on PNG transparency in the upcoming version of Internet Explorer 7. A developer (Sam Fortiner) from the Internet Explorer team now has a blog and explains all.
Wonder what this means for the community when IE7 is released to the masses. hmmm. ;)
Check it out:
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/04/26/412263.aspx

Think your good at Chess?

I love playing chess and playing chess while watching the AI determine its move visually is a different way to play chess if you ask me.
At first, I thought it was just “cool effects”, then once I started losing, I realized I’m focusing on watching the AI make its move which can be distracting.
Anyways, I’m hooked on this version of chess, you gotta check it out if your a Chess player.
Thinking Machine4
I might have to purchase the table version when they finish it, but of course, I’d prefer the HoloChess in Star Wars. :)