…I am Ed.
My name is Ed Adams, and I’m a designer, an illustrator, an artist, and if you want to play the title game - I’m an Art Director. I work in the NJ / NYC metro area and create things that people look at everyday; on the street and on the internet, I’ve worked on projects with the big budgets of fortune 500s to less lucrative jobs for bands and record labels. I thrive on both print and interactive; I’m able to handle everything from concept to flash development and I can act as a liaison between creative and technology with my working knowledge of both backend and frontend code [hopefully saving everyone a few years on their life expectancy]. I’m painfully organized, obsessed with “a christmas story”, and I can’t stand it when my glass coffee table has smudges. Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing: I love to make pictures.

If you’d like to talk about what kind of picture you need made [static or interactive], or you just want to talk about my typography, drop me a line at ed[at]flickertoflame.com and we can sit down, drink some tea, and have a chat.

Plus, you can always track my every move @ twitter (if I’m not being lazy) or head on over to LinkedIn for more professional info. Plus, you can always view the main purpose of flickertoflame.com: my portfolio.

fireworks squashes imagereadyThis isn’t news at all, but I want to get it off my chest anyway.

With the acquisition of Macromedia and the ultimate release of CS3, Adobe made the controversial decision to eliminate ImageReady in favor of the once deadly opponent, Fireworks.  I didn’t know how much I could agree with the decision, since it’s added a speedbump to my workflow with the removal of one simple element that ImageReady had, and Fireworks simply does not: Droplets.  These were tiny app’s that I could create easily to manage my redundant image optimization tasks, like creating groups of JPGs or resizing and optimizing, which was a regular task for me when prepping files for the frontend and backend developers.  Now, I know I can do batch processing in Fireworks, and save the script, but it’s still somehow different than being able to grab a group of files in the Finder, and open them with the droplet app — it just felt more like an OS-based action, rather than software. With Droplets, I never had to even directly open ImageReady, it essentially just ran in the background and I used it as an efficient tool for optimization.

I’ve been using Adobe Fireworks for a while now, ultimately eliminating Adobe ImageReady CS2, since I’ve found that Fireworks does an incredible job at decreasing file size while retaining quality. Fireworks really destroys ImageReady in that fight – the image quality at the end of a batch process is so close to the original, but somehow 30% – 50% smaller in size — maybe even smaller in some cases, and without the noise and blocking that would occasionally happen during an overcompression in ImageReady.  I do like the interface of the batch process that Fireworks has, and although it’s taken some ‘getting used to’, I enjoy that I can grab groups of files and add them to the cue from different directories throughout a job folder – ultimately being able to optimize groups of files that I wouldn’t have been able to grab and run all at once with the Finder and ImageReady. The customization of the batch process panel is so much better than anything ImageReady had, since honestly, the recording of actions and the intial saving of the Droplet App could become a huge pain in the ass with unexpected dialogue windows stopping the flow of the batch process altogether – even though I thought I had suppressed them – defeating the whole purpose and occasionally wasting more time than it would have taken to just separately optimize a small group of images one by one.

So ultimately, I must say that once I took the leap into Fireworks and began to accept the fact that ImageReady wasn’t coming back, and that I wouldn’t get my precious Droplets back, I embraced the new application for Adobe and I’ve been using it with impressive results ever since. In the end, I simply wanted to share my aggravation and fear over losing ImageReady as a main tool for my workflow, and make it known that Fireworks is a really powerful application that gives a better final result than ImageReady – ultimately, it’s worth the time to embrace the new application and relearn your tasks in a new way. If you’ve been fighting the transition and still run ImageReady CS2 on your otherwise CS3/CS4 based system – try forcing yourself to make the switch – you might be pleasantly surprised.

3 Responses to “Fireworks vs. ImageReady: A Duel.”

  1. Hutch says:

    I never compared the exporting of the two. Have you noticed a difference between the jpg compression in Fireworks and Photoshop’s save-for-web? I’d imagine Photoshop is using whatever compression algorithm ImageReady used, but who knows?

  2. Ed says:

    Yeah, photoshop’s save for web is OK, but for some reason it still doesn’t crunch the files nearly as much as ImageRead/Fireworks – and especially with the same quality. When I first started in webdesign I wondered why they packaged the programs together, but after college and really focusing on process and optimization I found that the reason is performance – ImageReady and Fireworks will beat Photoshop’s built-in optimization any day. Give it a try, you’ll probably be impressed – plus, Fireworks is just a pleasure to use in terms of interface and ultimately, increasing your productivity.

  3. sasha says:

    I have kept ImageReady 2 on my computer for just this reason – the droplets. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t take the same functionality and put it in fireworks… I can see where it would go on the interface. I’m just hoping that they will resurrect Debabalizer 1.6.5. Tell me if you find any good workarounds.

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree