Use Fireworks Animations

Internet users are really just cruising; they scan web pages, rarely ever stopping to read the whole page, so it is important to keep the text concise and to grab their attention. If you're designing sites and want to add animation, Fireworks can do that for you and can add a little bit of sparkle to catch the eye.

Since Netscape first included animation in its web browser, and was followed soon after by Explorer, animation has been used by more and more websites. With internet speeds increasing and competition high Flash is rapidly gaining in popularity and with these user friendly tools just about anyone can create their own animation with Fireworks.

Before you even open the application, you need to have some idea of what your animation is going to be. The best way to work that out is by creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a series of drawings showing how you want the animation to go. You don't have to be a budding artist to use one of these, stick figures (if nothing else) will do for getting your ideas down.

To create an animation you need two or more frames, just like a movie or the old trick of how to make your own cartoon on the corners of some pages and then flipping through them. This is done with the Frame Inspector in Fireworks. Open the Frame Inspector, then select Add Frames. When the dialog box opens, you need to decide how many frames you want to add and where you want them to be located in your animation. The default option causes a new frame to appear directly after the original, but you can move the frames by clicking on a different space before adding them, or by clicking on the frame you want to move, holding down the mouse button, and moving the frame to its new location.

When your new frame opens you will notice that it will be empty.  You will need to copy and paste the picture from frame 1 into frame 2; in this example we will use the name of your company and in each frame you will make it smaller. When this is done it is easy to see what you have created; there is a set of controls at the bottom of the screen.  These controls look much like those on a tape deck or CD player with arrows pointing in the direction of play. Now check and see what you have created with the help of Fireworks Animation.

There is an easier and faster way of getting the job done with the tools on hand: you can use the feature called Distribute to Frames. Simply create your image, then select that image with your mouse. Every time the mouse button is released, a new image will be created. Then you can vary the images according to the plan on your storyboard. You can also share backgrounds between the frames and much more. Now you can export your Fireworks Animation and put your new creation on the web.


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