I've been attempting to optimize some animated banner GIF's but have been running into some confusing problems. When I configure the image quality options for a GIF, the size the image preview dialog shows me is not the size that's saved to my hard drive. In fact, the image size saved seems almost arbitrary compared to settings I've used. For example, I've tried optimizing a 200x200 GIF with 2 states (settings: 256 color, 100 loss, 0 dither) and it's come out as 45k, then tried saving that same image with 2 colors and it's come out as 70k (and not 2 colors, I might add). I admit I'm a Fireworks beginner but I've been using Photoshop for years, so I understand the Save As dialog and image optimization.
My general process has been to save each GIF state as a high quality JPEG and import each state into Fireworks and save as Animated GIF. Any help here would be appreciated as I have someone waiting on these banners.
You need to 'export' as an animated GIF not 'save as.' Note that the GIF format will never give you a good result with JPEG's because of the limited number of colors available. You might get a better resut exporting in Flash format.