Fireworks MX Magic CD-ROM – 12 Jun 2002
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About the Author
Lisa Lopuck is an award-winning web designer, a highly regarded speaker at web conferences around the world, and a best-selling author. She has been on Macromedia's Fireworks advisory board since the product's inception and for the last 10 years has consulted as web creative strategist for numerous high-profile companies including eBay, Inktomi, Palm, Sprint, National Geographic, Twentieth Century Fox, Microsoft, and Apple. She was the founder and Chief Creative Officer of eHandsOn.com, an online learning company, and in 1996 was cofounder and Creative Director of the award-winning web design firm Electravision. Lopuck holds a bachelor of arts in communication design from UCLA.
Jeffrey Bardzell is an e-learning specialist at Indiana University. He also is a Macromedia software trainer and author, e-learning consultant, occasional literature instructor, and former education policy analyst. His computer publications include Special Edition Using Fireworks MX (Que Publishing, August 2002, ISBN: 0789727269), Fireworks 4 Expert Edge (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, July 2001 ISBN: 0072131462), Flash 5: An Architectural Approach (an online curriculum at eHandsOn), and contributions to the Flash 5 Bible (Hungry Minds, Inc., February 2001, ISBN: 0764535153). His academic publications include Improving Early Reading and Literacy (Corwin, forthcoming) as well as several articles on early literacy, school finance reform, and epic poetry.
Joyce J. Evans has more than 10 years of experience in educational teaching, tutorial development, and web design. She has received Editors' Choice awards for her Fireworks 4 f/x & Design book (The Coriolis Group, May 2001, ISBN: 1576109968) and has authored numerous graphic design titles including Dreamweaver MX Complete Course (Hungry Minds, Inc., September 2002, ISBN: 0764536869). She also has contributed to several books such as Dreamweaver 4: The Complete Reference (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, May 2001, ISBN: 0072131713) and Dreamweaver MX/Fireworks MX Savvy (Sybex, May 2002, 0782141110). Joyce actively writes reviews and articles for several graphic design magazines.
Steven Grosvenor is cofounder of http://www.phireworx.com, a Fireworks resource site, coauthor of Dreamweaver MX Expert Edge (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, July 2002, ISBN: 0072223553) and is Senior Systems Architect for a managed Internet security company in the United Kingdom. Grosvenor's background is in cross-platform systems integration, interface design, and interaction and architecture design. Demand from users for a customized, interactive experience led him to develop and create many timesaving and creative commands and behaviors for Dreamweaver, vastly reducing deployment time for corporate sites and increasing their portability and scalability. His drive to increase team productivity led him to develop extensibility add-ons for other products in the Macromedia web suite including Dreamweaver MX, Fireworks MX, and Flash MX. One of the new breeds of commands for Fireworks MX, "Twist and Fade 3.0," created by Grosvenor, had the accolade of shipping with Fireworks MX. His other publications include several Fireworks MX and Dreamweaver MX tutorials, which can be found at http://www.macromedia.com.
Joe Marini received his bachelor of science degree in computer engineering technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1991. He has been developing software professionally for 15 years for companies such as Quark, mFactory, and Macromedia, and he was a founding partner of his own company, Lepton Technologies. While at Macromedia, Marini was an original member of the Dreamweaver development team and represented the company at the W3C's DOM Working Group. Marini lives and works in San Francisco, California, with his wife, Stacy, and dog, Milo.
Abigail Rudner is an artist, designer, trainer, and consultant specializing in web and interface design and photo illustration. She has worked with clients including Levi's, Wells Fargo, The Wall Street Journal, America Online, Absolute Vodka, Apple, Microsoft, FAD and Publish! Magazines. She has taught web design and related topics with love and enthusiasm across the United States for the better part of 10 years. Rudner holds a bachelor of fine arts from Parsons School of Design.
Ann-Marie Yerks is an author, instructor, and fine artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She recently worked with New Riders Publishing as lead author of Inside Dreamweaver 4 (ISBN: 0735710848), which was published in May 2001. Yerks also has developed online classes for New York University's virtual campus, for Sessions.edu, and has taught web design at George Washington University. She began working with Fireworks several years ago in her job as a web developer for the Journal of Commerce. She also has worked on web sites for PBS, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the University of Michigan, and she has contributed to a variety of books and publications, including Web Review, Intranets Unleashed, and Lycos.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
To give a preview of what to expect when you work through this book - you will learn how to create flashy buttons, understand the concepts behind large-scale link management, building the ultimate navigational bar, creating perfect pop-up menus, etc. There are a few advanced topics like using Fireworks extensions and collaborative workflow. All in all, this is an excellent book deriving its value from the project based approach (one project per chapter) written and reviewed by experts in the industry.
The entire book is in black and white so the only color you will see is the little yellowish orange on the cover. The book doesn't sit like a normal book on a bookshelf because of its unique dimensions (8x10 instead of 10x8). I personally didn't care too much for this format but it isn't bothersome either. The project files are on the accompanying CD-ROM. The book uses a two column format throughout whereby the text is aligned with the associated images. This provides faster understanding of the topic being discussed.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the chapters on how to build a very cool navigational bar and how to design a dynamic interface using rollovers etc. The chapter on flashy buttons was fun also. Beginners will not be confused by the writing style which is very direct and simple. I didn't find anything magical about this book as hinted in the title but it is a very practical book and useful to almost any Fireworks designer.
Considering the tremendous background that the authors possess, they could have provided more tips and covered another 10-15 projects for the price of the book. But other than that, this is an excellent book on the path to becoming an Intermediate user if you don't mind the price. Enjoy!
Fireworks Magic is divided into sections which deal with certain tasks, or techniques. In many of the "Magic" books this works because the techniques are useful, timesaving, or at least provide motivation and inspiration to create. That is not the case here. The problem with this particualr book is two fold:
The techniques illustrated are, in many cases, elementary in comparison to the book's focus. If you do not know how to blend a background together (a web technique used sparingly in modern design anyway) or proper exporting formats (jpg vs. gif), why would you spend hundreds of dollars on Fireworks which is almost exclusively a web design tool? This book has almost no instructional value so even if you were a designer and your firm was switching over to fireworks (something we did several years ago) this in no way reflects the type of book your boss would put on your desk to bring you up to speed. In other words, if you were reading this book, you probably already have fireworks experience but they want to show you how to blend a background or export a .gif? Not very well thought out.
Secondly, the work presented in this book is, with a couple of exceptions, poor. If one of my designers presented something similar to the work shown in most sections of this book, we would be having a serious talk about their need for retraining. In fact, there are many techniques used in this book which I truly question.
In the very least, this book could have been a source of design inspiration. It the best case it could have been both a inspirational design book and have some good instructional content. In reality it has neither. With the exception of two sections, this book is a proverbial show and tell for mediocre designers.
If you're looking for a beginner's book, try Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 Training from the Source. It's excellent for those who have little or no knowledge of Fireworks.
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