First, I'm not a fireworks regular. I use it when I have to to get something done (mostly web optimazations). I would use it more but, frankly in many cases the UI is counter intuitive to everything else adobe makes.
Here is my problem...
I need to add (not replace) a static background to ALL existing frames(states) in a fireworks gif animation (with alpha) , the end product gif will be an element in the Edge web animation...details
I have an animated seq of a rotating object that was created in 3ds max and rendered as a png seq with alpha.
I opened the SEQ "as animation" in fireworks. I set the frame rate. It plays fine. So far so good....
I imported an image that I want to be BEHIND the animated seq on ALL frames. I tried puting it on a sub layer behind, i tried puting it on it's own layer behind, but it ONLY shows on the first frame (state).
I tried using "share with all states" but it replaces the SEQ images already on the "states" instead of adding it behind them like in the arrangement of the layers.
So first, can this be done and if so how?
Second, why is this process so counter intuitive in fireworks? I mean if a layer is behind something then it should be a simple button click or check box etc to say "show on all frames (states)", you know like any other product adobe makes. Even "image ready" made more sense than this. My thought process was that since I needed to end up in fireworks to create and optimize the gif that i should be able to put it together there also but it's turning out to be a lot harder than it should. I guess I can just composite my elements in AE (which is a piece of cake compared to fireworks) and then render another SEQ that I import to fireworks to create the optimized gif. While I'm a fan of the "creative suite" concept, one of my biggest complaints about the "suite" is the lack of master oversite so the common functions, keyboard shortcuts, and fundimental UI concepts are consitant accross all the apps so it functions as a "suite" and not just a collection of seperate applications. I know that demanding that all applications follow certian rules would slow development, in the long run it would make it a lot easier for the end user to spend more time being "creative" and less time trying to figure out why something doesn't work like it does in all the other apps. Just my $.02
Thanks for any help and or explaination
Starting with your original animation, create a new layer and then import the image into it. Be sure to give your layer a distinct name not already in use by another layer. Don't bother trying to drag your layer to the bottom position of the layer stack; it's a nightmare. Instead, move the layer to the second from bottom position, and then drag the bottom (or background) layer above it.
Once the image has been added to its own layer, and that layer has been named and correctly positioned, you're ready to share it to other states. Select the layer in the Layers panel, ctrl-click for the contextual menu, and choose Share Layer to States.
Thanks for the response.
You know I tried that exact thing the only difference being I didn't change the layer names. So not naming the layers would keep that from working ?? Also as you eluded to draging layers to position them in fireworks is a delicate operation. It always seems to take 2 or 3 times to get it to drop where you want it. I named the layers and it works as you said. Unfortunately I was really pressed for time so I had already given up on fireworks and just composited the SEQ with the BG layer in AE and kicked out another PNG SEQ and then open that "as animation" in Fireworks and then optimized and exported as a gif. So there are allways several ways to do things.
The drag-and-drop UX of Fireworks' Layers panel drives me nuts! I've been meaning to write a post on the subject, but it would take a while to document all the ins-and-outs, and where exactly it goes wrong.
The layer-naming recommendation might have been overkill; it just seemed like a good idea, erring on the side of caution. At the very least, it might help a user to keep better track of the layers across states.
Yeah, there are usually multiple ways to do things; glad you found a workaround.