11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2010 4:17 AM by SublimeYe.ua

    Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues




      I've been a loyal Fireworks user since 2003. I'm at the point now where if Adobe ever discontinues it, I'd probably quit the industry before I'd go back to designing Websites in Photoshop .


      I've had this issue for a few years now and was never able find a satisfactory solution. I was hoping someone may have an answer or at least offer a good explanation as to why things have to be this way. I am currently using CS3.


      Here's the issue -- when exporting a graphic as either GIF or PNG-8, significant banding and other artifacts occur no matter what the quality or export settings are. This is NOT the normal banding associated with the limitations of 8-Bit graphics (yes I am aware of the difference between GIFs and JPGs). This is Fireworks seeming to not detect enough colors. Even when I set the colors to 256 (and click "rebuild"), Fireworks will only include 113 colors, for example, and I will get the artifacts. There is no way for me to manually include all 256 colors (short of manually adding them 1 by 1, I guess, but I didn't try that because that seems like a ridiculous waste of time).


      Moreover, the exact same graphic exported from Photoshop using identical settings yields a much higher quality graphic.


      I've uploaded two screenshots for comparison:


      1. A graphic ready to export in Fireworks as a GIF: DOWNLOAD/VIEW
        Note the significant and noticeable banding. Also note only 230 colors are being included in the color table even though 256 colors are chosen from the export settings.

      2. The EXACT SAME graphic ready for export in Photoshop: DOWNLOAD/VIEW
        Note in spite of the identical settings, the Photoshop version is much smoother. Also note Photoshop is using all 256 available colors.


      So is there anything I can do about this? Some way to force it to fill the color table? Dithering isn't really something I want to do.


      I realize under normal circumstances these graphics are more suited for being JPGs. But there are times where I NEED something like transparency and JPG is not an option. More importantly, I would like to use Fireworks' ability to export PNG-8's with alpha transparency (so it looks cecent in IE6 without hacks and IE-specific code) but this issue keeps me from doing so.




        • 1. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
          heathrowe Most Valuable Participant

          Hey boo, your image links are not working!


          • 2. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
            BooYaKaSha113 Level 1

            Eh... Sorry about that, I've attached them here.

            • 3. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
              pixlor Level 4

              Set your palette to "Exact."



              • 4. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
                BooYaKaSha113 Level 1

                Hey, thanks for the quick responses guys,


                I actually tried that. In the export palette, when I choose exact it immediately reverts back to "adaptive". I couldn't figure out why at first.


                I never thought to use the "image preview" before getting your response, but I tried that and I get the following message:


                "The image contains more than 256 colors. An adaptive palette will be used".


                I have attached a screenshot of this. In the screenshot, the "pallete" dropdown still days "adaptive" -- that's because when I choose "exact" it immediately swithes back to "adaptive".


                I also tried unchecking the "remove unused colors" option in the dialog box -- no dice.


                Thanks Again,


                • 5. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
                  pixlor Level 4

                  Oh duh! I was using your Photoshop screen capture as a base image for my test. No wonder it looked like it was working! Never mind. Sorry!


                  Can you post a Fireworks document, rather than screen shots so we can have a go at it? (At least this section?)

                  • 6. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
                    Stowball Level 1

                    This is an excruating limitation/flaw of FW's current export algorithm.


                    If an image has more than 256 colours, using an 8-bit palette will automatically snap to Adaptive and use nowhere near enough colours. I run in to this a couple of times a day at least, so I pretty much just always export as PNG 24/32 and then re-export in Photoshop - but it's a complete pain in the arse!


                    The FW team are aware of the issue - but if you log a bug, you can hopefully escalate its importance to be fixed for CS5: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform


                    I did start work on an extension that would hope to solve this issue - but gave up due to time constraints and other limitations of FW. I might re-investigate though because I'm sick of it.



                    • 7. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
                      BooYaKaSha113 Level 1

                      I'm not sure what makes me more sad/angry...


                      1. That it's (yet another) Fireworks bug (although the term bug may be arguable, it's a bug to me). Here we are on version 10 some of the most basic functions just flat out don't work right. I'm very worried Adobe is going to neglect and discontinue this product -- it has such a ridiculous amount of potential, yet I could sit here right now and list 100 bugs/annoyances that have been around forever and still aren't fixed. I read over that CS4 update released the other day, and aside from the text engine fix, all I could think was "this isn't NEARLY enough"...

                      2. That the Fireworks team is aware of it. To me this means if it's not already fixed, then I shouldn't hold my breath.

                      3. That you are suggesting -- best case scenario -- we will have to wait for CS5. And Adobe will actually expect us to pay for a fix.


                      Maybe they could just integrate Photoshop's export engine. Although given how they did integrating Photoshop's text engine, I'm afraid to ask.


                      Completely off topic, but while we are on the subject of bugs/limitations, you know that issue where appying a layer mode (like overlay) to an object, then grouping it, then either grouping it again or converting it to a symbol wipes out the layer mode completely? How many times a day do you run into that one? For me, it is completely crippling to my workflow, and renders the symbol library completely uselss to me. And yeah pretty sure the team knows about that one too.


                      Also, have you checked out http://adobegripes.tumblr.com/ yet? If you have any experience with Adobe products, it is LITTERALLY coffee-through-the-nose funny at times.



                      • 8. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues

                        I share your pain on this and am also frustrated that this is a known issue yet they neglect to anything about it for two releases. PNG-8 is a superior format to GIF for web developement and it's ridiculous that Adobe doesn't provide better support for it.


                        The only workaround that I have found to the banding and limited color palette issue is to set the window to 2-Up and manually add colors to the palette by selecting the New Color icon and then choose a color from the original image in the 2-Up view. It's tedious and painful, but it seems to work.

                        • 9. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues

                          This is a major bug that has been in dire need of fixing for a LONG time.


                          Bumping this thread to call attention to it.

                          • 10. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues
                            Scotchester Level 1



                            Any progress on resurrecting your extension?

                            • 11. Re: Fireworks 8-Bit Export Issues

                              No answers. No reaction.


                              FFS, what the fck is going on?

                              With every version of adobe products - it became more luggy, with more bugs and less good features. Damn it.


                              Adobe team has been died ... only financial director has left.. he is gathering money from adobe sales