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Photoshop tools - Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring Software
Photoshop tools - Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring Software

Photoshop tools - Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring Software
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Photoshop tools - Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring Software
Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring SoftwareXtivity is a web design program that lets you add a flash movie or flash animation, streaming video, audio, and interactive graphics to a website. Within an hour you can build an entire web page with moving photos complete with audio that will work with any Macromedia Flash player.

This is the perfect solution for web designers who are looking for an automated flash website builder, as Xtivity features a streamlined professional workflow to let you rapidly create and update your work. Its all done visually so there is no coding involved.

Below is an article that details how Xtivity interacts with Photoshop, followed by a short interview with John Barnes, a senior technical writer at Tivity Software, and below that is a link to the free 30-day trial of Xtivity.

Xtivity's Interaction With Photoshop
by John Barnes, senior technical writer, Tivity Software

Xtivity is a Flash authoring program engineered with the graphic designer in mind. Instead of timelines, coding, and action-scripting, Xtivity uses a layout-based interface that allows for visually designed projects. Users who are familiar with Photoshop will find the Xtivity interface and work-flow a welcome sight.

Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring SoftwareInteractivity is added to content through an extensive list of actions that the user can easily apply and edit with just a few clicks. When completed, the project is exported as a fully compatible SWF file that will play on 98.3% of the world's web browsers via the Flash Player. Creating interactive media experiences has never been easier for the graphic designer.

One of the most powerful features of Xtivity is that it can import entire PSD files directly and still maintain all layer order and transparency. This allows the user to create the look of their project in Photoshop and then import the PSD into Xtivity to apply interactivity. A typical importation of the PSD would go as follows:

In Photoshop, make sure that the document is in RGB color mode, that all text layers are rasterized, and that all layer styles and effects are converted to layers and/or merged with the layer they are applied to.
Save the file as a PSD.
In Xtivity, go to File> Import Photoshop File as Layers. Find and open the PSD.

Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring SoftwareThe PSD is successfully imported into Xtivity and you can now begin adding actions to each layer. See a full tutorial on this at the Tivity Software website.

Xtivity also supports dynamic content. Dynamic content is a graphic that will tile instead of stretch when it is scaled in author-time and run-time. This gives the effect of the graphic dynamically resizing as opposed to stretching and distorting the graphic when it is scaled larger. Using seven-layer PSDs and Alpha Channels, you can create your own dynamic content by following the instructions in the Xtivity Help System.

Xtivity also includes a direct link to image editing software such as Photoshop, Imageready, etc., where you can edit your images and instantly update them in Xtivity without having to open, edit, then save the changes in Photoshop and then re-import the graphic into Xtivity. This provides a faster workflow.
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Interview With John Barnes

What is the advantage that Xtivity offers to users as opposed to similar programs?
Xtivity offers an interface that allows its users to visually create interactive media experiences as opposed to dealing with the coding involved with creating projects in Flash or Swish.

Xtivity Flash SWF Authoring SoftwareIn Xtivity, all of the back-end work is done for you, allowing you to focus on the design and interactivity of the project instead of the coding to make it work. There is no coding, no timeline, no action-scripting to deter users from the design of the project.

How long was this program in development and what users does it specifically target?
The workforce at Tivity Software has been focused on this project for 2 years and we're all very proud of the result. We like to think that our program is for everyone; from the high-end Flash user to the computer-savvy graphic designer.

One of Tivity Software's main goals is to help bridge the gap between the graphic artist and the developer. With Xtivity, users who have the creative aptitude but lack the programming expertise can still present their work in the medium of an interactive media experience.

How will Xtivity expand the market for interactive media and rich internet applications to include non-programmers?
Because of the high learning curve of Xtivity, users will see results immediately. Once a user understands the basic workflow, they will be exporting projects at a much higher rate than they could with Flash.

There should be a noticeable rise in the interactive media market because the ability to create engaging web experiences will be more commonplace with the graphic designer using Xtivity. This especially concerns users who are trained in Photoshop as they now have a tool that can import their projects in PSD format and apply interactivity to each layer.
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Download The 30-Day Free Trial Version

Find out for yourself how Xtivity works by downloading a trial version. The trial software is fully functional and can save projects just like the full version. The only limitation is that the trial version expires after it has been used for 30 days.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Product logo plus blur on color pools.
© 2004 Eric Martin of Futura Studios

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