What do the experts think of "swishit" as an alternative to the more expensive Macromedia Flash?

I would like to purchase a Flash Animation program, but Macromedia is too pricey for me. I came across the other software on http://swishit.com/

Comparisons, pros, cons, opinions most welcome.
sheana11Asked:
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Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
Yes. You can try  also with Swish, Flex, Swishmax, Swift3D.. etc. But nothing is like Flash. You can do some animations with upto some limit, using those software. But you can have a look with trial versoins of those and if you can achieve your requirements with thosee and if your happy with those. Then decision is up to. And please if you can describe what kind of things in your requirements, then I can discuss more..

Cheers!
Dushan
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SlynkyCommented:
Hi, sheana11,

I can speak a bit about SwishMax as I own it (and the version before it).  I like it a lot.  For some reason, I find Flash (by Macromedia) not as intuitive or easy-to-use.  One thing is certain, Swish can NOT do tweening and Flash can, so if you need that ability, you will be out of luck with Swish.  

I don't know anything about the others or how widespread their useage is.  I can add one to the pot though (smile), "Motion Artist":

http://www.e-frontier.com/article/articleview/1550/1/650

Regards,
Slynky
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Ben McNellyCommented:
Dushan is right. I think what it boils down to is what do "you" need from flash. I started out my first flash movie was in freehand. I drew it frame by frame. It was prety cool, but I knew I would need more. From there I went to flash 5, and that was that. I have found that there are several big differences between Macromedia's Flash and any other program that can output to swf, and those are price, quality, support and extendability. Flash is the winner on all those but price ;-)

If you do go with flash you have a whole lot of help at your fingertips on the internet and places like EE who have whole areas devoted to flash. What is bad is trying to use one of the cheap programs and getting stuck, and theres nobody who can help you, or it just plain wont be able to do what you want, and you will have to move on to flash. Then your looking at leaing another program....

You may be interested in Flash basic. Its basicaly I stripped down version thats a good "animation" package, but without the advanced stuff and supprt for video and stuff. Not 100% on what is does and doesent offer, but you can bet on it being prety full featured.

 http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/basic/

2cents,
- ben
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sheana11Author Commented:
Actually, Dushan and benmcnelly,  what I like about Flash type software is the seeming focus on "cartoon-ish" type artwork. I don't really need the animation features(yet).  I own Adobe CS, but the learning curve is so steep and the applications so vast that I think there may be more online support/tutorials for drawing cartoon type illustrations (mostly of animals...dogs, squirrels, etc.) for a project I'm working on.

Slynky, Motion Artist is even a lower-cost version, which is great, but am I wrong in my choice of software?
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Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
Hi sheana11,
For the cartoon animations I can suggest you Moho.

http://www.lostmarble.com/


BR Dushan
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SlynkyCommented:
sheana11,

"Slynky, Motion Artist is even a lower-cost version, which is great, but am I wrong in my choice of software?"

I'm not sure.  At first,  I thought you needed animation.  But if you don't, then you might take a look at a relatively new product (that I've thought about getting just for the fun of it) here:

http://www.e-frontier.com/article/articleview/1765/1/704?sbss=704

Maybe if we knew more about the final disposition/destination of what you create, we could better offer assistance.

Cheers!
Slynky
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sheana11Author Commented:
I'm trying to do the illustrations for a children's book I've written, in order to self-publish.  I want to use pictures of mymy real-life Lab/Border Collie mix puppy real-life dog, and make a "cartoon"  (Disney style)  version of him.  Sort of like the tutorial at the following link:  

http://www.ndesign-studio.com/resources/tutorials/tracing_people.htm

I know this tutorial was done in Illustrator, which I have, but I also have to include background, such as a forest setting, etc., so it gets complicated quickly.


 It's probably more important to know what features to emphasize than what software I use, but for some reason, Flash doesn't seem as intimidating as Illustrator.

Whatever, I haven't seen or been able to locate any tutorials on using the same technique on dogs.   THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is that I get the project done as the manuscript has been on the shelf for over almost 2 years.
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