Thanks for the reply.
Sorry, Linda, I should have phrased my question better. The 'film strip' analogy was meant to describe simply having consecutive states next to one another in a single image. I didn't mean that it should have a border that resembled a film strip.
This is the kind of thing that I would like to create: http://www.iainmorland.net/images/knob.png (you'll need to zoom in if you open this in your browser).
As you see, this contains a series of states for the animation of a GUI knob, next to one another.
Does that help to make it clearer?
As in your example, the objects on each state would have to be in a different position. Then you could turn on Onion Skinning (the little button at the bottom left corner of the states panel). When you click on the Onion Skinning button a menu opens that enables you to Show All States. Select that option, plus select the Custom option, which enables you to show the objects on each state at 100% opacity.
Hi Linda -- thanks, that's very helpful.
Based on your experience, then, does this seem like a task for which Fireworks would be well-suited (showing all states in different positions, then exporting to one long PNG)?
I'm not familiar with the other CS design applications (well, apart from PSE v6!), so am not sure whether there would be a simpler way of achieving this in a different application. Certainly Fireworks looks good so far as a tool for both web and GUI graphics.
It's a terrific application. The more you learn about it, the more you'll love it. I work exclusively with Fireworks for graphics, so I'm probably predjudiced. :-) As for whether or not it is suitable for your task, I can't say because I don't know what you plan on using the graphic for.
In terms of the particular task, the output would be literally the long 'film strip' PNG containing all the states in a row or column. This is the format in which it will be used by the application.
So far from looking at possible tools for the task, there seem to be programs that are good at animations or good at single images, but it's harder to find something that will save the frames of an animation as an image. Fingers crossed that Fireworks fits the bill.
I forgot to mention that you'll have to make a screen shot of the objects on the canvas. Onion skinning will show them all at once in the document window, but only the first state will be visible when you export them.
Ah, hm -- that could be a bit of a workflow-killer, I'm afraid, especially if there are as many states as there are in the example PNG I uploaded.
Can you think of any other way to accomplish this, either in Fireworks or another CS program?
I appreciate your advice.
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If you can convery your object to a stmbol and make the changes you want in it with the FW Animate function, you can tell FW that you do niot want the symbol instances distributed to States. That will place all istances of the Symbol on the main document window, from which you can export them as you want.
A-ha! Very helpful, thank you.
Since the discussion above, I've had an opportunity to demo Fireworks and try to do what I was describing.
Unfortunately I have found that the method we were discussing doesn't work, for a couple of reasons: the maximum canvas size in Fireworks isn't big enough to accommodate the length I'd need; it's pretty much impossible to distribute the states with exact spacing and horizontal or vertical positioning.
I also found that telling FW to animate a symbol but not create additional states simply cut short the animation; states and animation frames appear to be inseparable. (I may have overlooked something in this last point, but I didn't look into it further because the issues above with canvas size and spacing meant it still wouldn't have worked for me.)
For what it's worth, in case others find this thread and are curious, I've so far had better results in Illustrator blending symbols in different positions. It may be that this would have theoretically been possible in Fireworks too, but the (surprising) limit on canvas size would unfortunately still have been a deal-breaker.
But thanks Linda for your efforts in answering my questions. I appreciate that you took the time.