LiveMotion 1.0: Win98/NT4 SP4/2K review:

LiveMotion 1.0: Win98/NT4 SP4/2K

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MSRP: $299.00

LiveMotion 1.0: Win98/NT4 SP4/2K

(Part #: 23140001)
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Seamless integration with popular Adobe products; familiar interface; streamlines common Flash authoring tasks; outputs to a range of popular formats.

The Bad Automatically converts vector graphics to bitmap objects if an effect is applied; advanced scripting options buried by the interface.

The Bottom Line Great for anyone who wants to jump straight into Flash animation without becoming an expert in or needing the benefits of advanced scripting or complex interactivity.

8.0 Overall

LiveMotion 1.0 streamlines many cumbersome but common Flash tasks. We were initially disappointed by the missing ActionScripting support, but after we dug a little deeper, we found Adobe's alternative approach in many ways preferable to Macromedia's proprietary scripting language. Adobe users can easily orient themselves to the familiar interface, and non-Flash designers won't have much trouble quickly producing basic Flash animation. Overall, LiveMotion successfully introduces comprehensive Flash authoring to the Adobe suite of animation products. LiveMotion 1.0 streamlines many cumbersome but common Flash tasks. We were initially disappointed by the missing ActionScripting support, but after we dug a little deeper, we found Adobe's alternative approach in many ways preferable to Macromedia's proprietary scripting language. Adobe users can easily orient themselves to the familiar interface, and non-Flash designers won't have much trouble quickly producing basic Flash animation. Overall, LiveMotion successfully introduces comprehensive Flash authoring to the Adobe suite of animation products.

LiveMotion offers an open-ended Run JavaScript behavior, a great advantage for advanced developers. Flash Player includes an extensive set of JavaScript methods and properties. In a modern browser, JavaScript can be used in place of Macromedia's proprietary ActionScript language. The technique is slightly different from Flash scripting in that a JavaScript application lives outside of the Flash Player movie rather than being embedded within it. For many developers, however, that change represents a productivity gain and a step closer to standards compliance. If you know your JavaScript and you're prepared to do a little creative tinkering, you might find yourself happy to lose ActionScripting.

With LiveMotion's automatic keyframes and automatic tweening, you can tweak, reposition, or delete keyframes very easily. Just insert a keyframe for a specific attribute and change the object. LiveMotion automatically inserts an end keyframe and tweens the desired effect between the start and end. If you need to go back and edit the object within the start and end keyframes, LiveMotion will automatically insert new keyframes and re-tween.

Sound support includes WAV, SND, AIFF, AU, and MP3 formats. Standard sound controls such as panning, fade in/fade out, and volume, as well as the ability to link sounds to specific objects and events, round out the audio options.

Overall, LiveMotion represents a solid choice for graphic designers and animators ready to jump into Flash animation, utilizing existing familiarity with Adobe products to output media in a range of formats. For power users concerned about file optimization or leveraging the full power of Flash Player, more mature products like Macromedia Flash, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop will remain the tools of choice.

Applying textures and effects automatically converts vector graphics to bitmaps.

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