Direct Import into Flash MX from Freehand and Fireworks MX
Being a vector-based application, Freehand is ideally suited to performing some of the industrial-strength tasks that simply can't be accomplished in Flash MX. A great example of this would be typography. Flash MX's Type tools are rudimentary when placed up against the typographic tools in Freehand. Another example is the use of the perspective grid feature of Freehand to give the proper illusion of perspective. This feature is unavailable in Flash MX.
In this case, the artwork can be prepared in Freehand, the symbols created, and the entire drawing can be dragged and dropped, imported, or copied and pasted either onto Flash's main timeline or into a graphic symbol or movie clip in Flash MX.
When the image moves into Flash MX, you are presented with the Freehand Import dialog box shown in Figure 12. The choices to be made are fairly intuitive.Figure 12 The Freehand Import dialog box in Flash MX allows you to choose how Flash MX treats the artwork.
Another method of importing the Fireworks MX artwork into Flash MX is new to Fireworks MX. When the symbols are ready for export, don't bother opening Flash MX from the Start menu (PC) or Dock (Mac). Click the Quick Export button in the top right corner of the Fireworks MX window. A pop-down menu of Export choices appears, as shown in Figure 13.
Figure 13 New to Fireworks MX is the Quick Export button with one-click access to many of the tools in the MX Studio.
Select the Flash pop-down menu and choose Copy. This copies the contents of the canvas to the clipboard. Select Launch Macromedia Flash to open Flash, and simply paste the contents of the clipboard into a new movie clip, graphic symbol, or onto the main timeline.
If you select Export SWF, be aware that you will lose all of the symbols in the Library and will be unable to edit any of the objects in the SWF. This is because a .swf file is the final version of the Flash MX file used in a web page.
The beauty of a symbol in the MX Studio is the ability to create the object once and then use multiple instances of the symbol in the artwork. The ability to move the symbols between the various applications in the MX Studio is a huge productivity boost, and streamlines the graphics production process. As well, the numerous methods of moving the symbols between the applicationsdrag and drop, copy and paste, or importallows the designer to work either locally or remotely with no loss of production time.