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REVIEWS - BOOKS

Title:
Integrating Flash, Fireworks & Freehand
Author(s):
Joyce J. Evans
El-Camel's Ratings:

Publisher:
Coriolis

Reviewer:
Viesha Tews

** CONTRIBUTE A REVIEW **

If you are a professional or freelance designer, web developer, project manager, teacher or student or want to design and build a website, this book will be useful. It is aimed at an intermediate/advanced level, and assumes a basic knowledge of Flash, Freehand, and Fireworks. What the book sets out to do is highlight the strong points of each programme, and demonstrate how they can each add to a project and work together/and be incorporated into different stages of a web project.

Even if you were familiar with only one of the programmes, with time and patience, you could make good progress with this book.

Much thought had gone into the choice of projects, intended for usefulness in the real world. A lot of work had gone into developing web sites that exist purely as an educational aid for this book. In addition, a CDRom was included to accompany the book.

As this is a Web book, other functions such as print were not covered, but mentioned nevertheless to clarify things for the reader.

Freehand was covered in depth, the differences between the pen and Bezier tool, both powerful implements. Detailed instructions on creating puzzle shapes, (very useful for me as I'm always thinking up novel competition ideas), maps, perspective grids, an alluring but tricky glass of wine, complete with highlight. In addition, shortcomings are defined, e.g. importing Photoshop files into Freehand, means you cannot edit them.

The Fireworks section clearly explains how this is the best tool for importing Photoshop file (PSD) with layers and editability intact. Its other strengths are slicing and optimizing bitmaps, and text effects with bitmap fills. It goes through all the vector tools in Fireworks drawing and editing in Bitmap mode, e.g. adding transparency to a mask, making a composite image.

Joyce Evans tries to anticipate any time-wasting glitches or mistakes that could set you back before you make them, & clearly explains about saving in various formats.

In this economic climate, where web people are expected to flit between different programmes with ease, it is hard to know each one to such depth and this is a very useful reference book. Apart from the main three, integration with Dreamweaver/Ultradev, and Photoshop are covered.

Some invaluable inside tips are disclosed such as "you will save a lot of time and headaches if you design in Freehand for the final result in Flash...it is more difficult to position elements in Flash."

www.JoyceJEvans.com is the companion Web site to this book, check it out for updates and new tutorials. Joyce is also responsible for the creation and maintenance of the Idea Design Web site www.je-idea.com and numerous refs to useful sites such as Ianís Tips archive, and www.freehandsource are mentioned throughout the book.



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Integrating Flash, Fireworks & Freehand
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