Macromedia, Inc. today announced the release of Macromedia Fireworks 8, a comprehensive solution for creating and optimizing high-quality, lightweight graphics and images for the web. Fireworks 8 delivers many new creative tools, interactive design features, and mobile assets to expand the Fireworks palette for web designers and developers who need to create, edit, and optimize graphics and images quickly for websites or as mobile content. Fireworks 8 is also part of the new Macromedia Studio 8 suite, which also includes Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Macromedia Flash Professional 8, Macromedia Contribute 3, and Macromedia FlashPaper 2. To learn more about Fireworks 8, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/fireworks/
“Fireworks 8 is a widely used web graphics design application known for its ease of use, support for vector and bitmap images, and unmatched optimization tools,” said David Mendels, general manager, Macromedia in the press release. “The latest release will give designers even more creative freedom and productivity as they create digital assets for websites or mobile devices.”
Fireworks 8 is unique in its ability to support both vector and bitmap images. The new release adds a range of effects, enabling more beautiful, realistic, and higher-quality web graphics. The latest features include more than 25 new blend modes, such as overlay, color burn, additive, and subtractive, to alter the look of colors and objects. The new shadow effect adds a perspective shadow that gives images greater dimension and depth. Fireworks 8 was designed specifically for web designers as a stand-alone image editing and optimization tools and includes highly efficient roundtrip integration with Dreamweaver 8 and Flash Professional 8, letting users save time by sharing assets without having to reapply changes.
Fireworks 8 also includes new interactive design features and new mobile assets for digital asset creation, including the ability to create pop-up menus in the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) format without the need for programming. New mobile assets give designers and developers a selection of bitmap interface components to jump-start their mock-up efforts as they design mobile interfaces.
“Macromedia Fireworks 8 is critical for us to complete our new Internet portal and for maintaining the sites our students complete for nonprofit agencies and community organizations,” said Rick Reece, instructional technology specialist, Broward County Schools in the press release. “Fireworks 8 enables us to quickly create high-quality images, move vector and bitmap files between other graphic programs, and build upon our design comps with ease.”
The new features in Fireworks 8 are also balanced with a range of enhancements to existing features for better user experiences and overall project workflow. The product offers refined user interface aspects, the improved ability to consolidate tools into common panels for easier access, and expanded file import capabilities to support QuickTime Image, MacPaint, SGI, and JPEG 2000 formats, making interchange between Fireworks 8 and other programs is easier.
“Web designers and developers can greatly benefit from an integrated solution for web graphics,” said Rikki Kirzner, partner, Hurwitz & Associates. “Tools for creating professional, vector-based graphics with blends, drop shadows, and similar advanced features really help users design more efficiently by consolidating common tasks.”
Macromedia Fireworks 8 is expected to ship in September. Localized versions in German, French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese will be available shortly thereafter. Pricing is $299 for a full license (NA commercial) and $149 for an upgrade. Education, government, and volume pricing is available. To learn more about pricing options, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/fireworks/
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