[OT] Request for icon app

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Fri Jan 14 18:29:07 EST 2005


Chipp Walters wrote:
 >
 >> I'm looking for an app to build both Win and Mac icons from my Mac.
 >>
 >> IconBuilder is out -- Photoshop only, and I use Fireworks
 >>
 >> Iconographer is out -- it messes up the mask on Win ICOs, and
 >>                       their tech support has failed to reply
 >>                       to any of my three requests over a six
 >>                       week period.
 >>
 >> What else should I look at?
 >
 > You don't have a copy of Photoshop? TskTsk

Having and enjoying are two very different things.  :)

I have Photoshop 7, I just don't care much for it.  Since I do little 
photo retouching but a LOT of UI stuff, I find Macromedia Fireworks to 
be infinitely more productive for me. I realize I'm in a minority on 
this one and I don't think badly of anyone who uses Photoshop, but I do 
so love what Fireworks has done for me.

Fireworks is almost the opposite of Photoshop:  primarily a vector 
graphics tool with very strong support for working with raster images 
(they're discrete objects within Fireworks, so if you've spent 15 years 
working with SuperCard and Rev it feels quite at home).  It supports 
most Photoshop plugins, does gorgeous anti-aliasing with lots of 
fine-tune control, and has one of the most sensible interfaces for 
making multi-state buttons this side of Button Gadget. :)

Fireworks is everything I had always wanted from SuperPaint, with extra 
bonus points for making sliced images with HTML in multiple code styles, 
including tight code for their competitor's product, Adobe GoLive 
(something not even Adobe could do with their own LiveMotion when they 
had the chance).

Firework has a number of iunique UI conveniences, like on-the-fly font 
and pattern previews as you drag the mouse across menu items (that's 
right, in real-time; pretty nifty and way convenient).  Plus, with its 
focus on vectors I can save styles (line width, pattern, shading, 
bevelling, glow, etc.) from any object and apply them to any other with 
a simple drag-and-drop.

Another benefit to working in vectors it independence from output 
resolution:  I can change output resolution on the fly as needed, and 
the program offers fine control for all export formats, from GIF and PNG 
  to Flash, with an excellent real-time-update preview.

I know, I know:  Photoshop's been earnestly adding in vector workflows 
in the last few versions, but for me it's no comparison with a tool 
designed for that from the ground up.

I got turned on to Fireworks by a contractor many years ago, and it's 
been the best investment in a graphics package I've ever made (after the 
venerable and way underpriced GraphicConverter, that is; Thorsten Lemke 
is a god, and an inspiration to all independent software developers).


As for Win icons, I think I may have found my solution at VersionTracker 
-- icon2ico:
<http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15327>

I can make my images in Fireworks, drop them into Apple's free Icon 
Composer, save them, then drop that .icns file onto icon2ico to make the 
Win .ico files.

I've only been playing with it a few minutes, but thus far it seems to 
do quite a nice job.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  __________________________________________________
  Rev tools and more: http://www.fourthworld.com/rev



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