Adobe announces HTML5 animation tool

The intuitive UI will be familiar to users of Adobe creative products

The intuitive UI will be familiar to users of Adobe creative products

Adobe is today announcing Edge, a product for PC and Mac that enables designers to build animations using web standards.

In a briefing last week, creative solutions architect John Cole outlined Adobe's plan for Flash and HTML5: "We see Flash and HTML5 coexisting - for the long term. Flash is the best way to build games, and the latest Molehill releases from the Flash platform provide game developers with 3D capabilities. We see media builders continuing to use it, and also continued usage for third-party data-driven applications - enterprise applications that require backend data integration.

Cole told .net that Edge was designed to complement and work alongside Flash. It's made to be lightweight and quick (it loads in under a second) and the UI will be familiar to those who've used other Adobe creative products. Animations can be created from scratch, and it's also possible to take existing HTML and add motion to it. SVG, JPG and PNGs can be imported and incorporated into animations.

"The underlying technology Edge is based on is the open source jQuery framework, and JSON is used very heavily: when you save out animated content it's in a JSON format. WebKit is used in the Edge composition stage, so when you're creating and debugging content there's a stage area where you can view the content as it would be rendered in any modern browser."

Animations created in Edge create four lines of code that point to JavaScript libraries, which we're told are "relatively lightweight". An API to Edge libraries will be made available.

The wraps have been taken off Edge at a relatively early stage in the development process so that Adobe can get feedback from users, with the aim of pushing out a 1.0 version in 2012. You can download the first preview at Adobe Labs for free.

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