SWISHmax, a serious competitor for Flash, and affordable

  • the_real_tisse
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi all

I know this is not going to get appreciated by all those hardcore Flash users, but it is very true.

Swishmax has about all the abilities, possibilities Flash MX has (with the exception of tweening).

What is Swishmax?

Swishmax is the next evolution of Swish 2. Now, I know Swish 2 was looked upon as 'spielerei', 'fun for kids', ... Even that isn't true, take a look at some sites completely designed in Swish 2:
liquid-thunder.com
tisse.com (biassed on this one ;) )
voycemusic.co.uk
grupourbis.com

Well, Swish 2 had amazing capabilities, and very very easy to use. Now that Swishmax has arrived, lots more is possible.

Just a few top notch examples of things that you would expect to be only possible in Flash, well, now it is possible in a very userfriendly environment. Check these out:
a 4 track mixing console courtesy of Brian Ayers, administrator of Swish-tutorials.
a complete chat room
dna spin with adjustable speed courtesy of Brian Ayers, administrator of Swish-tutorials.
a scrollbar courtesy of Brian Ayers, administrator of Swish-tutorials.
elastic menu, yep, elastic courtesy of Brian Ayers, administrator of Swish-tutorials.
api drawing
.....

Now, what is so new to Swishmax?

Well, there are these:

- more than 200 built in effects
- the ability to author and save your own custom built effects
- Comprehensive scripting support through our SWiSHscript language, advanced script editor and built-in debugger.
- Supports input and dynamic text making adding input forms a breeze.
- Advanced drawing tools and features (including 3D shapes)
- Enhanced import and export options. (chose your own compression, flash player, ...)
- lock the framerate for perfect synchronisation of audio
- timeline in frames and seconds
- and much much more!

You can even have a dynamic backend in html, php, xml, ...

In fact, every feature the flashplayer has, can be used with Swishmax :D

Downside:
- the built in play mode is only equiped to play movies in flashplayer 4, so to test and view the higher scripts, you'll need to export it to view it in the standalone flashplayer on your pc.
- no Mac version

And now for the beauty of it all, the price, only 79.95$ as a launch price, 99.99$ later on.

Now, I don't want you all to go and buy the thing because of the things I said, there is a 15 day trial you can download.

My suggestion: download it, try it out and be amazed :shock:

Hope this is useful.

kind regards
Tisse

www.swishzone.com, the home of Swishmax and the place where you can go to the link of the trial download

ps: Brian Ayers is the admin of www.swish-tutorials.com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • b_heyer
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bleh you made me a semi believer, i'll go look and see!
  • the_real_tisse
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Only one thing: try to look at it without prejudice :)

Also, the Swishscript is just a bit different from Flash ;)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's powerful yes, but it's still click and go mainly.

One of the things that makes Flash more powerful than SWiSH is that you have freedom to do things your way. So in the ActionScript world, SWiSH doesn't hold a candle at all to the capabilities of Flash.


Animation wise: Maybe, it has definitely improved, but it is still all click and go.

ActionScript wise: It's improved there too, but still click and go and not even close to what Flash can do.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i agree 100% with lostinbeta

but the point they're gonna say is typical and popular: what about the
people that don't want to learn flash? for them, then it's probbly more
than enough. But it's extremely difficult to convince a professional that
a product like swish is better or even on the same level as flash. At
least, not this professional.
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Exactly Unflux. I am not saying SWiSH isn't good, it's come a long way from what it once was, and I must say I am impressed with what it has pulled off.

But when it boils down to it, Flash is capable of so much more than SWiSH if you are willing to put forth the extra effort. But for those people who just want something easy, go for it SWiSH is probably for you.
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lostinbeta wrote:
ActionScript wise: It's improved there too, but still click and go and not even close to what Flash can do.


I have to disagree on that, you can even use expert mode and type in your code that you want to use. Just as in Flash. You can use click and go, agreed there, but you can have everything Flash can with Swishmax now. You see, even Swish 2 was a huge deal more than just click and go. It is just that most people never give it the time to really get into the program. They look at it, try some stuff, then say 'oh, nice but just kid stuff' and leave it at that. To really understand what the program is about, you have to give it some time and dig deep (just as you did with flash the first time around).

And really true, every code that you use in Flash can be used in Swish (with some minor changes as for what is called what). Also, lots of kids don't like this version because it has scripting. No matter what, one has to learn scripting to use it's full potential.

Only thing not supported is tweening and that's about it. Another difference is, people that use Flash will have a hard time admitting they use Swish, and believe me, lots of pro and respected design companies use Swish but won't tell everyone because it is looked down upon.

But, ofcourse, everyone is entitled to his / her opinion. And yes, guess I'm not very objective since I truly like Swish, but I tried to look at it objectively and I have to say, once you give it a go you'll see it simply is a huge lot more than just "an easy way out".

And what it all comes down to is what a person does with a program I guess. It can be great, excellent, easy, ... but a bad designer (whether they are using flash or swish or dreamweaver or notepad or ....) will make bad designs, a good one will make a beautiful site no matter what program used (and I am definately not implying I'm a good one, learning every single day and trying to improve ;) )

Anyways, I think you'll be amazed of the designs made with Swishmax and the coding behind it. Not a lot around as yet (with the exception of some small examples) but I'm pretty sure there will be some kick ass sites coming in the near future using SWISHmax :)

And lostinbeta, it really isn't just 'something easy'. It is not about people not willing to learn Flash, it is for people that don't want to fork out the ridiculous price of Flash but still want the same (!) capabilities with a cheaper program which is user friendly. And really, really true, it just has the same capabilities (scripting and all).

You see, what they did is, they use a scripting language that the flashplayer understands, so basically you can use any script in there that is supported by the flashplayer. All those examples I posted links to, are done in hardcode scripting, not just click and go. And they are adjusted by the people themselves, not just some premade effects and all.

Really, give it a chance and you'll see what I mean :)

kind regards
Tisse
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the_real_tisse wrote:
And lostinbeta, it really isn't just 'something easy'. It is not about people not willing to learn Flash, it is for people that don't want to fork out the ridiculous price of Flash but still want the same (!) capabilities with a cheaper program which is user friendly. And really, really true, it just has the same capabilities (scripting and all).


Sure Flash is expensive, but if you are good enough at it and get a job building a site for $500 it practically pays for itself in 1 shot. (Assuming you buy Flash alone and not the Studio package).

One thing that tends to get overlooked in "program wars" is that most of the time it isn't the program, it is the user. Sure someone using SWiSH can make a better site than someone using Flash, but same goes for the opposite.

There are even people who make way better images in MS Paint than many people can in Photoshop. For example, before amazing programs like Photoshop were created, people used to take the time out and draw pixel by pixel images like this... http://www.gfxzone.org/personal/lazur/0 ... eturn.html (I don't know what program that one was done in, but it's just an example)


And if it matters, one of my things against SWiSH is that people who aren't willing to learn this more advanced stuff it has, they tend to create stuff that all looks the same and you can just look at what they create and say "Oh that is SWiSH for sure". I'm not saying all SWiSH stuff looks the same, but since they do offer click and go effects, the people who aren't willing to learn and experiment just create the same stuff. Of course the same can also be said for Flash in some cases.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lostinbeta wrote:
One thing that tends to get overlooked in "program wars" is that most of the time it isn't the program, it is the user. Sure someone using SWiSH can make a better site than someone using Flash, but same goes for the opposite.

Exactly my point in my reply, totally agree ;)

Quote:
And if it matters, one of my things against SWiSH is that people who aren't willing to learn this more advanced stuff it has, they tend to create stuff that all looks the same and you can just look at what they create and say "Oh that is SWiSH for sure". I'm not saying all SWiSH stuff looks the same, but since they do offer click and go effects, the people who aren't willing to learn and experiment just create the same stuff. Of course the same can also be said for Flash in some cases.

Again, totally agree with that statement :) Lots of people don't take the time to explore a program to its full extend and capabilities. And since the new Flash version has built in effects as well, probably will see lots of 'identical' Flash sites appear.

And, by the way, not out to go to war on this, just wanted to say that there are other things than Flash that (and I know, hard to believe) have the same capabilities Flash has. The only difference is, Flash is accepted in the design world as a 'standard', Swish isn't (yet ;) )

I mean, the liquid thunder designer (and me too for that matter), got a lot of emails asking for parts of the .fla, not the .swi. The liquid Thunder site got reactions at Flashkit by respected Flash users as 'that is just too good to be Swish' And that's even Swish 2, not max yet ;)

Only problem for me, never used scripting, don't know anything about it yet, so will have to start and cram as hell to get SWISHmax to do everything I want :) (but, yes, I am one of those 'crazy people' that take the time to learn everything)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

for me, it comes down to opinion and preference. I prefer to do my work
in flash, and feel that swish is the easy way out, regardless of it's new
and improved versions. IMO, there's a 'right way' to do things, and I
personally feel that flash is the 'right way.'

I've played with swish -- a lot. and I HATE it. There isn't anything about
it I do like. Friends of mine who know nothing, jack-squat about design
dropped me for a project because they found swish and created the site
themselves. It's TERRIBLE. :shock:

You can say a bad designer made it, and you may be right. But without
swish making things so easy and "canned" there would be far more
good designs out there.

I guarantee a huge % of the people who use swish now, and that buy
the newer advanced version will never ever learn what they need to
learn to be even close to a flash design. It's an easy cop-out. "why learn
flash when i can just do it in swish like this? so easy."

But what they never seem to realize, in most cases, is that it looks horrid.

I'm glad there's another program out there trying it's best to rival
macromedia's product but...

my point is this --

people like chevy. people like ford. they are the best car makers in those
people's opinions. Then KIA comes along, gives a far cheaper product,
offers the same sort of features and a killer warranty in comparison.

Now, call me superficial, but I'm choosing a Ford over a KIA any day.

A standard has been set, and the bar has been raised with MX. I don't
think swish is on a professional level that flash is.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

UNFLUX wrote:
A standard has been set, and the bar has been raised with MX. I don't
think swish is on a professional level that flash is.


That bar was raised with MX, the bar was raised way higher with MX 2004. Sure the version is quite buggy, but despite the program bugs the capabilities they added to Flash itself are amazing.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have Flash MX 2004 Pro and I never messed with Flash before I got it and well, I don't know how to even make a second frame.. lol.. Oh well, I got it because I want to learn it and I am going to take some classes.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

UNFLUX wrote:
I guarantee a huge % of the people who use swish now, and that buy
the newer advanced version will never ever learn what they need to
learn to be even close to a flash design. It's an easy cop-out. "why learn
flash when i can just do it in swish like this? so easy."


Excellent point, however, I would put it just a little different, why learn scripting when there are all these built in preset things (and Flash has them as well now ;) )

But, yep, have to agree, it is all a matter of personal preference and effort. Only thing I really want to say is, a flash design can now be just as well made in SWISHmax as in Flash. That's all. And now it isn't an easy cop-out anymore. One really has to get into scripting and all to use the full potential of the program (just like Flash for that matter).

In fact, I think every Flash user should be happy about this stiff competition. This will undoubtebly make MM think about their programs more and, more important, about their price policies which will, in the end, benefit every customer I believe.

Well, guess we agree to disagree :)
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the_real_tisse wrote:
In fact, I think every Flash user should be happy about this stiff competition. This will undoubtebly make MM think about their programs more and, more important, about their price policies which will, in the end, benefit every customer I believe.

Well, guess we agree to disagree :)



I agree, it will have to be an "agree to disagree" situation, but I do have to say one thing about that price policy thing...

Macromedias products are expensive for a good reason, warez. Too many people use hacked/cracked/illegal versions of Macromedia software, Macromedia has to make up for their losses via their consumers that actually pay for the software.... unfortunately.

But I don't wanna get into a tiff about that, just bringing up a different perspective for why they charge so much other than "greed" and "because they can" which many other people tend to think (i'm not saying you do, just people in general).
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Point well said and taken :)

And that goes for all programs if I may say, so this max thing might just have an influence on it anyways. I mean, I have seen lots of people getting banned from ST because of cracked software, and I mean a huge lot (even banned some myself :twisted: ), but still they can offer it at a low price.

But, enough about that, got some scripting to learn :p
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Post 3+ Months Ago

aight.. I'm a serious flash developer... I encode flash products for content mangement systems, I design sites for many companies/organizations, and I have my own collection of personal flash sites...

Currently I have both the latest copies of SWiSHmax and FlashMX...

From a Developer Point of View:
NEVER USE SWiSH FOR INTENSE ACTIONSCRIPT!!! Mainly b/c SWiSHmax only supports 50% of the MX added functions... and since most of my work consists of interaction with ColdFusion/ASP.NET, I use the remoting componets very frequently... guess what... they aren't supported in SWiSHmax, and the same goes w/ numerous other funtions...

From a Design Point of View:
If I'm developing a site that needs to be completed w/ in a week, and is low budget, then SWiSH is the answer... simply b/c alomost all AS functions required for a simple site are built into SWiSHmax... animation is simple... one click... and the interface is quick to learn...

The truth is I use SWiSH all the time, but you have to understand that it's not good enough to accomplish EVERYTHING, and that it will NEVER EVER replace flash... (it's more likely that a program like Anark [http://www.anark.com] will accomplish that)

Some things that just need a fixin' in max:
ALL AS2 functions supported... none thus far
A Script reference... it's in MX, but not in Max
Better Stability... I have a brand new DELL P4 & swish crashes sometimes
A better name than SWiSH...
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Quote:
I don't think swish is on a professional level that flash is.
very well said massfrequency. looks like we have the same opinion.

welcome to ozzu. :)

mind if I ask for some samples of your work? I'm always up for new
inspirations.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ok, I'll show my design work:
http://www.zchaos.com
http://www.zchaos.com/cuba.html
http://www.blackwaterrock.com

I do behind the scenes work for:
http://www.virtualsprockets.com
- i made a graphical analysis program for them, but I can't show it to you
- i also published my first attempt at Content Mangement w/ Flash MX... once again, can't show it to you... cause of programs like ActionScript Viewer... DAMN them!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Have to admit, you got a point with the remoting.

Some guys (incredibly talented scripters) are looking into that and trying to make it work.

As for 50% of the AS doesn't work in Swish, correct, that is because Swishmax uses Swishscript, not AS, so some function are called differently.

And, ofcourse, if I'm really honest, Swish will always come one step behind Flash because MM makes and develops the flashplayer.

Massfrequency, just out of curiosity, those examples, which are Swish and which are Flash?

kind regards
Tisse
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Post 3+ Months Ago

nice samples ;)
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blackwaterrock - SWiSH2 - like that wasn't obvious

zchaos.com/cuba - 100% SWiSH, actually i started to do it in Flash, but it was a project for school (and i always procasinate) so I ended up spending an alll nighter developing it into SWiSH

zchaos.com - flash/swish(it loads a flash movie on top of the swish movie, text and some animation is in swish) - at the time you couldnt do dynamic text boxes in SWiSH...

zchaos.net - swishmax still in works... I'll post it when im done

ZchaosCMS - flashmx (indefinitely)... maybe the frontend sites will be swishmax... but that's if i can figure out a way to get HTML boxes to work, has ne one else tried with SWiSHmax.
----> And wtf is with not supporting HTML formated textboxes... I started developing some applications w/ swish when i figured this out the hard way :oops:

ALL of my coldfusion componets are MX (not 2004, as it's not widely supported, in fact I still havent downloaded 04)... you may see some of my charts on aclu.org, or paralysis.org... that is if they decide to post their backend charts :), which they may never do :(
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You said:

wtf is with not supporting html formatted textboxes.

If you mean Swishmax, well it does support it. You have to use the option < > (in the text section, under formatting < > "render text as html").

The result is very crisp text and you can use things like a href... and all in the notepad file.

Hope that answers your wtf there ;)

kind regards
Peter
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oh
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the_real_tisse wrote:
You have to use the option < > (in the text section, under formatting < > "render text as html").

amazingly similar to flash, eh? ;)
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well in flash you can create it all w/ AS... so i rarely use much of the buttons...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if there are other things, shoot, could be I got an answer for it (not very sure though, still learning the program ;) )
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Hi All,

Great to see an intelligent discussion about the relative merits of SWiSH and Flash, instead of the usual "SWiSH is a toy" and "SWiSH is responsible for all bad Flash design ever" that I usually read.

UNFLUX, I am interested in your comment:
"I've played with swish -- a lot. and I HATE it"
What do you hate? We are always trying to make the product better. Is there anything we could do to SWiSHmax to make it something you would consider using?

As for the future of SWiSH, we are open to suggestions. It is not our intention to replace Flash, we are concentrating on delivering an easy-to-use and affordable Flash authoring tool that does what our customers ask for.

Being a small company you have the opportunity to talk directly to the developers here:
http://www.swishzone.com/forums/index.php?act=SF&f=20
We are scrambling to fix the bugs in SWiSHmax just like Macromedia are scrambling to fix the bugs in MX 2004, but I think you'll find our process is much more open and responsive. Almost too honest :)

Cheers, David
Founder, SWiSHzone.com
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Welcome, and it's nice to have you posting on ozzu. :)

What I want to be clear about, is that I am not bashing Swish, but rather
prefer Flash. This stems from very early on in my development years, so
to be fair it was in your earlier versions that I worked. I was told by a
friend that although I had just learned flash, this new product called
Swish was so much easier to use. And to be honest, I was skeptical then,
even before trying it out. I downloaded a trial version and dove right in
with an open mind.

I wasn't all that great at flash (still aren't IMO) but I found it inflexible and
didn't fit well with my workspace or flow. These reasons alone turned me
off to it. I created a few things, played with features and tools, but
really didn't think it was easy to use, nor did I find it easy to control.

What I mean by that is, I found that I didn't have as much control of
what was happening in my movies as I did with Flash. It was this final
conclusion that married me to flash.

Now also realize, that this was before I knew anything about
ActionScript either, so that wasn't even a factor at the time. It definitely
is now, as I've learned a ton of it, and frankly love it.

If SwishMax is that much improved and more flexible and powerful, then
I'm all for trying it out again to give it another chance. As of my writing
that opinion on here, my experience with it was just simply less than
favorable.

Good luck with your product, it's clearly a popular one, and seems to be
growing in a positive direction in all ways. I only wish you luck with it
because as we said before in this thread, your direct competition puts
extra pressure on macromedia to develop a better flash product.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi UNFLUX,

I think you'll find SWiSH has changed completely since the SWiSH 1.x days when it was little more than a text effects wizard.

Today SWiSHmax supports most of ActionScript, albeit in a slightly modified form we call "SWiSHscript". We changed the language so that an ActionScript-like syntax could be compiled to SWF4 bytecodes, meaning virtually all SWiSH movies will play on Flash Player 4. (you still have the option of exporting to SWF6+ however)

An undocumented feature of SWiSHmax is that virtually all Flash MX classes and methods will work when the SWF is played in Flash Player 6+, but errors are reported in SWiSHmax's internal player. This is because the compiler is producing the correct bytecodes but our internal player doesn't support all FP6+ classes and methods (yet)

I think you'll find that SWiSHmax gives you all the control that you have in Flash. There are still plenty of things we need to add; components, streaming sound and video, shape tweening ... but they are all on our to do list because our customers keep asking for them.

Also, please realise SWiSHzone is not responsible for the designs created with our products. The fact that SWiSH is much cheaper and (we think) easier to use means it naturally attracts amatuer users who make bad designs. To suggest that it is the fault of the product is just absurd.

Cheers, David.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SWiSHmax wrote:

Also, please realise SWiSHzone is not responsible for the designs created with our products. The fact that SWiSH is much cheaper and (we think) easier to use means it naturally attracts amatuer users who make bad designs. To suggest that it is the fault of the product is just absurd.

Cheers, David.


THAT ABOUT SUMS IT UP!!!
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