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Subject: Re: FLASH: Re: LiveMotion Pros & Cons
From: John Dowdell
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 22:34:15 +0100

At 10:50 PM 5/29/0, Michael Ninness wrote:
>> What does LiveMotion give you that Flash doesn't?
> I am posting this to answer the above question for those of you
> still wondering what features are unique to Adobe LiveMotion.

Howdy Mike, it's nice that you come by here... I hope you're not
uncomfortable if I ask questions on some of the features you posted.

> Multiple File Formats (it's for Web graphics AND animation)

In case you haven't seen this, Flash exports as GIF animations, JPEG and
SWF too. There's also QuickTime export, Illustrator files, DXF, PNG
sequences, more.

If the qualifier is instead "LiveMotion offers multiple file formats for
sliced images", then the compression, optimization, and slicing control
found in Fireworks has been on ImageStyler owners' wishlists for quite some

Why does the LiveMotion product literature still emphasize export formats,
when it's less capable here than either Flash or Fireworks? This isn't a
flame or a challenge... I'm just really curious what leads to that
unanswered emphasis, thanks.

> Integrated Vector and Raster Tools
> Native support for Photoshop and Illustrator files
> Edit Original command
> Graphic Styles, Animation Styles, Rollover Styles
> AutoKeyframe and AutoTween
> AutoSymbols

All are capable of comment, but I have a question on that last one... when
people have asked why the "Library" in LiveMotion is so different from the
existing Library in Flash, the reply has been that LiveMotion handles
dynamic library functions for you, hidden, with a name of "alias" instead
of "library".

But if you apply a transform to such a cloned element -- such as skewing
something you've duplicated, for instance -- then from what I recall of the
beta all the other copies will also skew. In other words, the transform
matrix seems to be applied to the original copy of the artwork, rather than
to its instance on the screen.

Am I reading this right, or are *all* transforms applied to individual
instances of this implicit library? Thanks in advance for pointing me in
the right direction here.

> Time-based Timeline (as opposed to Frame-based)
> Object-based Timeline (as opposed to Layer-based)

I don't feel good about either of these... trying to stick a time-based
sequencer atop an event-based animation format like SWF is difficult. I
could see a time-based sequencer atop a time-based format like QuickTime,
but in formats which play every frame, there may not be an exact time.

This interface problem has already confused people trying LiveMotion, who
implicitly assume that frames will be dropped so that the sequencer's
labels will match reality. What use do you see for a seconds-based timeline

And I know that the product literature is already far down along the path
of "object-based timeline", but it's really a parameter-based timeline...
you can have keys and tracks for each animatable attribute of an object,
not just the object itself. (Think of the distinction between MacroMind
Three-D and early Infini-D, for instance... this difference drove the later
parameter-based keying of Electric Image and CoSA AfterEffects.) I don't
think this will actually hurt anyone, not like the previous problem will...
it's just a funny neologism, that's all.

Anyway, I hope you're comfortable with the above... I'd really like to
learn why there's a continuing emphasis on file formats for export, and
whether there are indeed deeper library differences than just having it
hidden, thanks.

btw, if you happen to come across a SWF made with LiveMotion that you're
particularly excited about, then I'm sure folks here would like to see it
too, thanks.


John Dowdell, Macromedia Tech Support, San Francisco CA US
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