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Adobe Debuts LiveMotion

Adobe Systems Inc. Monday unveiled Adobe LiveMotion software.

LiveMotion allows designers to create individual dynamic Web graphics to complete pages that incorporate motion, sound and interactivity, in an object-oriented, vector-based authoring environment. Additionally, LiveMotion exports to a wide range of graphics formats including, GIF, JPEG, PNG, Adobe Photoshop, and Flash(.swf) format. LiveMotion will also support the W3C's Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format in the next release of the product.

LiveMotion is tightly integrated with Adobe's complete Web authoring solution- Adobe GoLive, Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, leveraging the familiar Adobe user interface, with menus and options that already in use by Web designers who use other Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator. This decreases the learning curve and enables designers and developers to move into a productive and efficient workflow right from the start.

"In today's e-commerce driven Internet, competition for attention is fierce. Designers are finding it necessary to incorporate animation, interactivity, high-quality sound and video, and other technological advancements to make their Web sites stand out in the crowd," said Hank Skorny, senior director of Adobe's Internet Products Group. "LiveMotion provides Web professionals with a streamlined production workflow for creating and delivering visually engaging content that will increase customer reach and retention."

Adobe LiveMotion contains its own set of content creation tools that allow designers to create effects without having to use an additional outside application. LiveMotion provides vector-based drawing and shape tools that borrow from Photoshop and Illustrator. For example, designers can use the LiveMotion Pen tool to gain access to the path of an object, and then change or edit individual anchor points. Also, any combination of creative effects can be saved as a Style and then applied to other objects. This makes it easy to maintain consistency throughout the LiveMotion composition while increasing productivity.

Live Motion uses the Adobe graphics engine to provide support for both the native Photoshop and Illustrator file formats. Imported content can be enhanced and animated using a wide variety of design features. Designers can place native Photoshop and Illustrator files directly into LiveMotion or open layered Photoshop and Illustrator files as keyframe sequences, composite objects, or as a series of independent objects. Designers no longer are forced to give up the flexibility of layers as they are by other Flash (.swf) authoring environments that require layered files to be flattened and converted into a composite file format before being able to work with them.

Echoing the After Effects Timeline, the LiveMotion Timeline is object-based, and not layer-based. Nearly every attribute - position, opacity, shape, rotation, scale, color, special effect attributes, text, etc. - of every object can be independently animated in a non-destructive manner. Designers can edit animated or static attributes at any time in the editing process, so they do not need to start over if they change their mind. This editing method keeps designers interacting with their composition at all times, editing the animation attributes right in the Timeline rather than in a series of dialog boxes.

Adobe LiveMotion is currently available as public beta for Macintosh and Windows, including Windows 2000. The final version is set to ship in the second quarter and will retail for about $399 in the United States.