Recently, the team I work on at Adobe was given a special task; to create new education-based assets to use in demonstrations, tutorials and to share with educators and other education colleagues. The main idea being to produce content that could be considered usable from a “non-designer/arts” perspective.We worked in teams. My team consisted of me and my colleague Steve Adler (also a former educator, like I am). We’ve both been amazed by the great new goal-based tutorials that can be found on AdobeforAcademics, and in particular, we were inspired by the timelapse video tutorial that can be found there. It’s a very thorough tutorial on using Premiere Pro to create a timelapse video.

Note: this article and many other education related posts can also be found on the Adobe EdTech blog Read the rest of this entry »

Written on September 12th, 2013 , Adobe, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Muse, Design, Education, interactive, Teaching, technology

The latest Classroom in a Book for Fireworks CS6 is now in print!

I’m so excited! I just received copies of my latest book on Adobe Fireworks. Hard to describe the feeling of seeing your words in print. But after months of conceptualizing, writing, re-writing, editing and revising, it’s finally here!

I had a wonderful editing team to work with on the Project. Sheri German, my friend and Technical Editor  (2nd time in a row) for this book kept me on task and was did a great job of making sure steps were accurate and clear. I owe her so much for the attention to detail she paid to this book.

Linda Laflamme, my Developmental and Copy Editor, did an amazing job of getting into my head, helping to to flesh out details in an easy to understand, but concise and personable manner.

And of course, Valerie Witte, my Production Editor at Peachpit, was super-supportive, incredibly patient and always there when I needed her. She is a joy to work with.

I’d also like to thank my son, Joseph Hutt (himself and aspiring writer and creative individual) for allowing me to use photos I took of him in some of the exercises in the book. Likewise, thanks go to my very good friend Tom Green, fellow writer, teacher and mentor of mine, and his son Rob Green, for giving me permission to use photos of them in the book as well.

I am very appreciative of the fact that Peachpit Press recognized the need for  text on Fireworks, where many publishers have not.

Thanks also to all those people whom I’ve talked with, griped with or who so generously shared with me their skills, opinions or sample art to use in sections of the book.

I’m very pleased with this edition of the Fireworks Classroom in Book. It’s the third CiaB I’ve written on Fireworks, and I feel it’s the best one so far. My goal with this edition was to rewrite as much of the book as possible, and refresh as much of the art work and exercise files as was feasible. I think I met my goal, while also adding completely new content and addressing feedback from previous editions.

It’s also a bit more of a personal book for me, because so much of the artwork – photos, interfaces, wireframes – are of my own creation. Many images from my yearly camping trip with Joe, Tom and Rob (and Marley, the camp mascot) appear in this edition, so while it’s an instructional text, it also contains memories for me.

Back cover of the book, featuring Tom green in a slideshow interface.

Back cover of the book, featuring Tom Green in a slideshow interface.

What is a Classroom in a Book?

For those of you who’ve not picked up a Classroom in a Book (CiaB) before, these texts are both reference and how-to manuals in one. Project based, they take users through an introduction to the software’s interface, and then get right into using the tools to produce content. In short, hopefully answering not just the how, but also the “why”, when possible.

While not a replacement for official documentation, it’s hoped you will glean ideas, workflows and tips from these books that you might not necessarily get from the manual.

If you’re interested in designing, wireframing or protoyping for the web, applications or even just doing more with your screen graphics for PowerPoint, I think this book gives you just what you need to use Fireworks effectively.

If you’re a teacher, I’ve also written a companion guide for the book to help you plan out lessons, and giving you summaries of what each chapter (lesson) covers.

If you pick up a copy, please let me know what you think. I would love to get feedback on the book.

If you haven’t already, head over to Community MX and see what a digital face lift can do! Of course, this new look is more than skin deep. Here are just a few of the exciting changes that are integral to our new design.

  • New Pricing: If you ever hesitated to join CMX because of the price, you’ll be delighted to see that you can now get the student discount of $9.99 a month all year, every year. Why? Because we’re all students in this ever changing business.
  • Graded Tutorials: If you ever had trouble finding tutorials that were appropriate for your level of expertise, you’ll love the menus of graded tutorials.
  • Better search: With almost 4000 tutorials, it can be hard to locate what you’re looking for. Photo collections? JumpStarts? CSS or PHP tutorials? Find them more easily with the CMX search box.

We’re running an open house for the week so that you’ll have a chance to look around and see if what we have to offer is for you. You can also download the stunning new CMX stock photo collection of 12 images from New York City, look at scores of JumpStarts, and access thousands of extensions, tutorials, and articles that will give you a valuable technology lifeline.

Written on September 13th, 2011 , CommunityMX, Design, Education, web design, workflow Tags: , , , ,

Update: I’ve fleshed out this post and it’s now on CommunityMX as a more detailed – and free – article.

 

In the wonderful world of web design, there are two main graphic camps – Fireworks users and Photoshop users. This post isn’t so much about the different camps – there’s tons of articles out there on that topic – but more so on the reality that sometimes – maybe even often – a designer either has to work with both applications, or has to prep artwork to go from Fireworks to Photoshop. Read the rest of this entry »

Adobe has announced it’s first ever mid-cycle release. In an effort to keep pace (and show they can keep pace) with changing technology, Adobe today unveiled a significant upgrade to Creative Suite 5.

Read the rest of this entry »

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about updating my Twitter home page background. I discussed the steps in general, but the more I wrote, the more I realized this topic would make a really good tutorial.

So over a few days, I rebuilt my page again and wrote the piece, which is now live on Commmunity MX.

It’s a biggie, and follows my workflow from start to finish (Bridge > Photoshop > Fireworks). It’s an article I’ll be sharing with my students as well, who are currently using Fireworks in a prototyping course I teach. While there is a huge focus on Fireworks, I like the article more because it shows how to use several products in tandem with each other. In design, you don’t operate in a vacuum; chances are very good you will use at least a couple types of software to complete a project. This is something I want my students to understand.

So if you’ve got some time, drop by Community MX and check out the new tutorial. Let me know what you think.

Between following various people on Twitter and surfing the web, I’ve recently come across some very cool add-ons for Adobe Fireworks, my favorite software for making wireframes and designing Prototypes. So I’m sharing this good fortune with you.

Live long, and prototype . . . Read the rest of this entry »

Written on March 20th, 2011 , Adobe Fireworks, Design, workflow Tags: , , ,
My new Twitter background image, created with my photos and - of course - Fireworks

New Twitter Home page image

A couple years ago I created my first Twitter home page background image using Fireworks as my design tool. The goal was to use the background image as a branding tool by supplying a mini-bio on the Twitter page, in what looked like a little content pod. The background of the background image  was one of my photos from up north, faded into the web page background color. And it was fine at the time.

Some time ago, though,  Twitter revamped its site, generally making more content available to people visiting their own home page or the page of people they are following. Which is good, I guess. But this also meant that less of the background image was visible. In fact, on my 15 inch Macbook Pro, the actual Twitter content was overlapping my old mini bio. Not good visually, or for branding. Read the rest of this entry »

Today my latest tutorial went live on CMX. It focuses on the advantages of Fireworks Button symbols, how to create them and how to edit them. And because design doesn’t exist in a vacuum, the article also covers how to use various tools in fireworks to create the custom artwork for the symbol, as well as how to expand an existing prototype design to  hold this new content. I packed a lot into this piece, so if you want to learn more about Button symbols (and Fireworks in general) be sure to drop by Community MX and check it out.

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