Flash Tools Find Common Ground

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2002-03-25

Although Macromedia Inc. gets the most attention as the caretaker of Flash, there are several other worthwhile tools on the market that can be used to generate content in the Flash format. Adobe Systems Inc.s LiveMotion is at the top of that list and is the main competitor to Macromedias Flash MX.

Traditionally, these two tools areas of expertise have been clearly delineated. Macromedia provided a superior developer environment for advanced interactive Flash applications, and LiveMotion was a more designer-oriented tool that was well-suited for animations and graphical applications.

With the recent releases of Flash MX and LiveMotion Version 2.0, which also shipped earlier this month priced at $199, the products have moved closer together in terms of features. Macromedia Flash MX provides more designer-oriented interfaces than previous editions, and Adobes LiveMotion upgrade includes a new ActionScript Editor.

However, although this means that Macromedia Flash MX is easier to use and that LiveMotion can provide some interactivity, both products still maintain their previous sweet spots.

Even though Flash MXs interface has notable improvements, eWeek Labs found LiveMotion 2.0 was still much easier to use for creating simple Flash animations and graphics. And although the script editor in LiveMotion is a welcome addition to the product, it is very limited in comparison with the code-level features in Flash MX.

And, of course, Live-Motion does not support any of the new features found in MX and the Flash 6.0 player.

A trial version of LiveMotion 2.0 can be downloaded from www.adobe.com.

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