Exploring Adobe Edge for iPad-Friendly Animation.

Adobe Edge HTML5 AnimationAt the time of this writing, Adobe currently offers 2 solutions aimed at designers for creating iPad-friendly (i.e., HTML5) animation: Wallaby, an experimental technology that converts native Flash files to HTML5; and, Adobe Edge Preview— a pre-release, standalone application for Mac and Windows that includes an interface similar to Adobe’s After Effects.

This weekend I put Adobe Edge Preview to good use for part of my new “Flash-less” website, that includes a map and compass I illustrated. Granted, this wasn’t a very complex animation project, but I figured it would be a great way to begin making the transition from Flash to HTML5 animation and evaluate the product to see if it would be worth my time. You can see the animation in action (as long as you are using a browser that supports HTML5), on my home page.

Oddo Design Compass and Map Art

If you haven’t already done so, the first thing I recommend is viewing Adobe’s “Edge Getting Started” 7-minute video by Mark Anders for a quick tour of the interface. And of course, you can download and use the app free of charge for a limited time from the Edge landing page. The discussion forum is also helpful (since there is very little documentation at this time).

One of the things I particularly like about Edge is that I can focus on the animation via a familiar, streamlined, intuitive user interface, while the app magically generates and updates all of the HTML, Javascript, and CSS files to make the animation work. And of course, editing these Edge-generated files was fairly easy once I understood which files I needed to edit, especially for my WordPress installation (more on that in a future post).

Yes, the app is missing quite a few Flash-like features that I’ve become accustomed to (e.g. the ability to “swap symbols”), and quite frankly, I’m not too crazy about supporting Adobe’s monopoly. However, they DO make great products that we design professionals cannot afford to be without, and I believe Adobe Edge will be one of these soon. So, give it a try and let me know what you think about it!

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