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In that image, the duration for the first frame is 500. The remaining frames are 7. Open the Frames panel and set the duration for each frame individually.
(This is the CS3 interface, your version may be different. The Frames panel should be under the Windows menu.)
For your other question, the .gif format is not the best format for photographic images, since you can only have 256 colors. You might want to check on image rotators or, yes, Flash.
Thanks so much for quick helpful response, pixlor!
Okay, this is consistent with something I'm seeing. I change the settings for duration, but they don't "stick" even when I save the file. I just reopened it and I see 1500 next to all the frames / states. But it's still acting on the 500 / 7 settings. Earlier when I had the file open, I saw the 500 / 7 and then as I watched, it seemed to change to all 1500.
I think we will take this to Flash ultimately. But since I don't know that and don't want to learn, I'm hoping to understand this gif problem, just so I can show the client a rough in FW.
Thought it might be a cache issue based on another thread I read, but I cleared and tried a couple times with no luck.
I notice my setting to stop at 3 loops isn't "sticking" either.
Okay...it works for me, but....
One thing to be careful of is saving vs. exporting. When you create your file, you should save it as a Fireworks .png document. Then, to produce your animated .gif, you should export it. I like using the Image Preview (under the File menu), as I can tweak any of the settings I want. Other people prefer the Export item and optimize their output.
There are two kinds of .png files. A Fireworks .png has all the layers, vector shapes, Web layer, active filters, and special proprietary information that Fireworks uses. A flattened .png is just a bitmap, whether it has 32, 24, or 8 bits. There's no distinction between these files based on the extension. Another user once suggested using .fw.png for Fireworks documents and .png for exported .pngs and I found that a good suggestion.
In any case, a good rule to follow is to use save when you want a Fireworks .png and export when you want a Web-ready bitmap of any format.
So, this is my "but." I took your file and changed the durations of the other frames. I saved it as a Fireworks .png. I then went to File > Image Preview and selected Animated GIF as the format. From the Animation tab, I set the number of loops to 3 and exported. I then saved the .png again to store the loop information.
Here's the .png (474k):
Here's the animation (303k):
Given that the .gif format does't have the colors to reproduce photographs well, I still recommend you look into image rotators. These are scripts that can cycle through a set of images. See this thread:
Thanks so much for the help and the files. I see several places I may have gone wrong. Great example of doing something a few times and thinking you know how to do it, when you really need to slow down and reread the instructions.
I really appreciate your time to provide both a fixed file and all the coaching. Now I can get something to my client quickly and go back and review the notes as needed in the future.
Happy to help!