Adobe LiveMotion

Able to export files to both versions 3 and 4 of the open standard SWF Flash Shockwave format, LiveMotion borrows heavily from the Adobe After Effects look and feel with the familiar "twirly" drop-down menus and time line metaphor. In addition, Adobe has utilised its expertise gained in such applications as Photoshop and Illustrator to add a robust and intuitive set of drawing tools that allow very complex images to be created in LiveMotion.

As well as the standard drawing tools there are also separate palettes for 3D effects, gradients, transparency, sounds and other special effects to be added to objects.

Creating animations is simple. Just select an object (or group of objects), set the timeline marker in the desired place in the length of the animation and change a property. For example, if an object is designed to fade in from 100 per cent (invisible) to 0 per cent (visible) over 10 seconds, at the start of the animation the object's transparency value is set to 100 per cent and set to 0 per cent at the end. Just about any property of an object can be animated in this way, including text values changing over time.

Objects can also contain different "states", from which actions can be triggered. A simple use of states is when an object is designated as a button. When the button is in the "up" state, a text box containing a description of the button may be hidden. When the button is in a "hover" state - that is, the mouse pointer is within the boundaries of the object on a Web page - the text box could be made visible. When the state is "clicked", the browser may be told to load another URL, play a different animation or perform some other action. If more complex operations are required, LiveMotion supports the industry standard JavaScript language.

LiveMotion is very easy to pick up and intuitive in its operation. The tutorials are excellent, allowing even a beginner in a keyframe-based application such as LiveMotion to come up to speed very quickly.

Adobe LiveMotion

Price: $640.40 approx.

Phone: 1300 550 305

Platform: Win 9x/NT/Macintosh