Grant has done it again…First, it was the XAML Exporter for Fireworks and now we have a fancy Gradient Transform panel to use for modifiying Gradients with extreme precision.
One of my favorite features is being able to expand the panel (illustrated above) as wide as you want and use the zoom in feature to manipulate the nodes with ease.
Be sure to give Grant a thank you and any feedback you think would help make the panel even better!
Fireworks Album Creator 1.1 has numerous bug fixes specificially in the Black and White Players.
New/fixes for version 1.1
- Every file name is converted to all lower case to avoid common problems associated with serving files on Linux/Unix Web servers.
- Non-alphanumeric characters (1-9, a-z, A-Z) used in folder names, slideshow titles, album titles, and captions are escaped (i.e. converted to the ‘%NN’ notation). The included players have been modified to unescape these characters when parsing slideshow.xml, so that they will appear correctly in the slideshows.
- Two of the players included in the package (player_black and player_white) started behaving erratically when a thumbnail was clicked while the slideshow was still running. This has been fixed in this release.
- In the previous releases, non-JPEG files were simply copied out to the destination folder. This has been fixed, and all graphic file formats supported by Fireworks can be exported out as JPEG.
- The source document is no longer displayed while processing the slideshow.
Have fun and of course let us know if you find anything else!!
Oh this soooo rocks!! If you havent seen Senocular’s Scale3/Scale9 extension for Fireworks, then by all means download the PNG now, open it in Fireworks and maniplulate the components yourself to see how much time this can save you when prototyping applications or re-usable site layout elements. (You only need to install the extension if you want to create your own custom components.)
Why am I excited about this?
Have you ever had to make mock designs with elements that you had to:
- Select the bitmap (Lets say its an OSX form submit button)
- Cut it up into 3 bitmaps. (Left corner, Middle, Right Corner)
- Use the arrow keys to nudge the corners out so the word "Please Click me" fits on the button
- Scale the middle slice horizontally so it meets the left and right corners with no gaps. Nice! That just took 1-2 minutes!
Now open the PNG file, grab a control node on a button and slide it to the right.
What do you think? Was that faster? Any suggestions to improve?
Can you imagine the possibilities this can have with prototyping site layouts, flash apps, or anything like custom containers/rectangles where the corners need to stay intact? I’ve used the components a couple times already and sped the process up by 90%, however, when you need to create a custom component, it might take some time, but you only need to do it once!
Viktor Goltvyanitsa over at Dreamworld has busted out 2 new extensions that are worth noting for others to play with and use on a daily basis. Viktor is active in the Fireworks Forum and enjoys helping people out by creating extensions for Fireworks.
Extended CSS Menu:
Download Extended CSS Menu
This panel gives you the ability to batch images at a specified resolution and adjusting the quality/scale and smoothness all in one shot. Its a nifty extension that I find myself using every now and then when I run into this type of workflow where I need to batch images with a specified resolution.
Download Set Resolution
Yes, you heard that right! Batch images (large and thumbs at the same time) and generate an XML file that gets loaded into a SWF file instantly (depending on how many images you batch). Its un-believable with what you can do with Firework’s API and Flash 8 to create some of the best extensions out there.
Currently, you can download the sample FLAs for the Fireworks Album Player which have a few goodies implemented such as using Slice-9.
There’s also a couple Flash Developers creating different versions of the Slideshow so check the site for any updates to the Creator or the Default Fireworks Album Players. If you build one, please post it in the forums so everyone knows about it!
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 the extension, I’ll release the FLA once I clean it up a bit.
motionFX was created to ease the repetitious pain of going to each frame and incrementing the blur’s percentage for an animation. The motionFX extension allows you to create a sequence of bitmaps that are ready to be imported into Flash for rollover effects or any objects.
Download motionFX (2.0)
Access the motionFX panel by: Window > motionFX
- Create a new document: 300w x 300h, 72dpi
- Create a text block called "motionFX" at 35pts or whatever you want (Company Logo etc..)
- With the Text Block object selected, open the motion FX panel (Window > motionFX) and select Zoom Blur from dropdown menu.
- Click the "Create" button and it will take a few seconds depending on your processor speed to render the animation.
- Open the Frames panel and observe the frames it created. (To learn how to use the frame panel, look up "Frames Panel" in the Help menu)
- Preview the animation by using the Frames "stop/play" buttons at the bottom of the canvas
- Insert a slice, open the optimize panel and change the settings to PNG 32, Matte: transparent / Change Canvas color to transparent
- Right-click the slice and select "Export Selected Slice…"
- Create a new folder on your HD somewhere to place the animation.
- Within the Export dialog, change name, and navigate the "Save as Type" drop-down menu to "Frames to Files" (This will export out the PNG Sequence for best results in Flash) Click "Save"
- Open Flash 2004 and Create a new Movie Clip.
- Import file of the PNG sequence (File > Import) into the empty MC
- Preview! (ctrl-enter)
A big thanks goes out to:
- Brian Edgin
- Hiroshi Miyazawa
- Thijs Triemstra
for giving me guidance, ideas and helping me write cleaner ActionScript!
Of course, please let me know if you find bugs.
Export your design mocks as a Slideshow to show the team with a few clicks. This Fireworks extension allows you to create a slideshow based upon how many frames you have in the PNG file.
Viktor also developed a Color palette for use in Fireworks. Be sure to check out the Blender tab to create blends between 2 colors with a quickness. Both of these extensions have been released to the FW Exchange this month as well as others.
Viktor’s site: http://www.zaporozhye.org/dreamworld/