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Swish 2.0

Swish was one of the first text effects tools to come to the rescue of Flash designers wanting to make flashy text effects. With the 2.0 version Swish has matured towards becoming something resembeling a general Flash authoring tool.

Our canadian reporter Michael Sorrenti took a crash course in Swish 2.0 and made this review for us.

I installed the trial version of this package and started on a simple client presentation. I had heard of numerous issues with registering this program but found it very easy to get my demo up and working in no time. Once the program had been installed on my system I immediately got to work without bothering to read any tutorials. I found the menus to be easy to use and for the most part self-explanatory. The timeline closely resembles that of Macromedia Flash and works in frames.

I immediately began to import images and play with the capabilities of the program. I had decided to create a presentation for a client in order to give the review a purpose, which better simulates the needs of a designer. The goal of the project was to create a new client product.

I gave myself about 40 minutes to see how far I could get with this program in such a short amount of time. I found the interface to be easy on the eye, but found some options to be cluttered and out of the way such as the option to import sound. I started by placing the text and logos that were essential to the presentation.

I then added effects to the text to breathe some life into an otherwise dull presentation. The effects range from snake which makes text circle any given point to explode which times text to implode or explode at a given frame. The text effects take seconds to manipulate and implement compare this to the hours it would take to create such effects with flash and you will have your ($50.00) license paid for within a week.

Once my headlines and text was imported I changed the colours and added appropriate effects that were elegant and took seconds to perfect. I then imported a client logo into my presentation. I found it impossible to modify the logo once I brought it into Swish so changes were made in Photoshop before it was imported. Another great feature is the Move tool which allows you to drag your imported images to specific locations on the screen the program then generates the appropriate frames and moves your image according to your specifications.

Swish comes with some drawing tools that are an added feature to the newest version, (2.0) I feel that these drawing tools would rarely be used because of the nature of the program, but they are great for creating simple shapes which can enhance the overall look of your presentation. I imported sounds into my presentation specifying what frame I wanted the sound to start.

My only gripe here was that an option to repeat the sound effect was not given in the main menu. Once the effects and images were all in place and in appropriate scenes I needed to add some programming features which would direct users to my client's website. I found adding a stop function to be a cinch, and creating an outside link to a URL was also very easy to do.

Next I created a replay button and tested the presentation. All this in 40 minutes.

Over all I found this program to be a real time saver. It makes creating compelling presentations easier than ever and is a must for any graphic/web designer's toolbox. And, with such a low price there isn't one reason every designer should not have a copy of this wonderful application. Thank you to the people at Swishzone.com for helping me to put together a simple yet effective presentation in a flash (no pun intended).

Summary

Pros

- Small files size

- Fast learning curve for Flash users

- Built in and easy to use text effects

- Some programming abilities, all of which are very easy to use

- Low cost

- Great import and export features

- Increase productivity

Con's

- Not able to save work as an .exe

- User's need's Flash player to view your work

- Bugs

- Licensing problems

- No "scale" effect that allows you to increase the size of your text frame by frame

- Cluttered panels when all are opened at the same time

 

About Mike Sorrenti

Michael Sorrenti is the President of Game Pill Inc. and writes for Flash Magazine on a variety of topics close to his heart. He can be reached at info@gamepill.com with any questions or comments. Game Pill Inc. is an interactive studio that specializes in online game development and interactive marketing. Based out of Canada, Game Pill is a small boutique studio of animators, programmers and art directors.  Game Pill Inc. has entertained audiences in many mediums including touch screen kiosk development, online experiences and most notably online games and e-learning.  Game Pill has mainly worked bringing the properties of Fortune 500 companies to life and currently in the process of creating their own properties for licensing.  Game Pill Inc. has worked on projects for: Wrigley’s, Cott, Disney, CORUS, Astral Media, Mazda, and many others.

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