Introduction

There are three ways to add text to your Animate project:

  • Use the text tool.
    In the Tools palette, click the big T (or use the shortcut key T), and then in your document, click and drag to create a text box. Initially, you don’t have to worry too much about positioning or sizing the text box. You can manage those details later. Just go ahead and start typing. Try the phrase “ON the EDGE.” The text you enter appears on the stage, as shown in Figure 1. If you want to create multiple paragraphs, just press Enter (Return) as you would in your word processor. When you’re done, you can close the text window by pressing Esc or clicking the X button in the upper-right corner.
  • Copy and paste.
    If you’re working with large blocks of text, you may have already worked up a draft in a word processor or some other source. In that case, you can copy the text in your word processor, and then in Animate create a text box and press Ctrl+V (Command-V) to paste it into your project. It won’t be formatted exactly as it was originally, but the text will be there. This process maintains some of the major formatting, such as paragraph breaks.
  • Open HTML with text.
    Perhaps you have a web page already created in an HTML editor or some other web-building tool. You’d like to add some animation excitement to the static page. You can open that page in Animate using FileOpen and then use Animate to make the elements move. You’re limited in what you can do with text imported in this way. You can’t edit it or change its formatting. In essence, it’s just another graphic element you can use in an animation. One significant advantage to this method is that links within the text are maintained.

Changing Text-Specific Properties

Once you have text in your Animate project, there are several text-specific properties that you can use to change its appearance, as shown in Figure 2. These properties appear in the Text subpanel. Initially, some of the less-used options may be hidden. Click the button in the lower-left corner of the subpanel to show and hide additional properties. The names for each of these tools follow CSS (cascading style sheet) naming conventions, so they are lowercase with hyphens between words.

  • font-family. You can choose from several different typefaces. You might not find all the same fonts that you have on your computer. In web design, you’re limited to fonts that are available to your audience unless you have a way of providing the font with your project. For more details on fonts and typefaces, see the next section.
  • color. Click the swatch, and the standard color picker appears where you can set the color for your text.
  • font-size. Dial in font size by number. Next to font-size you see a button called Text Property Unit. Click this to change the method for specifying font-size.
  • font-unit. Animate uses three different units for specifying font size: pixels (px) ems (em) and percentage (%). Pixels are equivalent to a single dot on a monitor. An em is roughly the size of the letter M. Most web browsers give users the ability to adjust the size of text, so an em is a unit that changes according to the browser setting. Percentage is a useful option when designing web content that may be viewed on mobile devices as well as desktop computers.
  • font-style. Slants the text so it looks like italics.
  • font-weight. Gives you several options such as Thin, Extra Light, Normal, and Extra Bold. The order of options and their accompanying numbers give you hints for comparing the different weights.
  • font-decoration. Use this button to underline text.
  • text-align. Just like your word processor, Animate lets you align text right, center, or left. Alignment affects all the text in the text box. So if you want to create one paragraph aligned right and one paragraph centered, they must be in separate text boxes.
  • text-indent. Indents the first line within a text box. You can change the value in pixels. It doesn't accept negative numbers to create hanging indents.
  • line-height. Use to set the space between lines of text.
  • letter-spacing. As the name implies, you can adjust the space between letters. Often used to create distinctive headlines or company logos, this effect should be used sparingly for normal body text.
  • word-spacing. Varies the distance between words. Use carefully or you may end up with awkward, hard-to-read text.

Using Web Fonts

There’s another way to increase the number of typefaces you use in your Animate animations. For years, web designers have been using web fonts. For programs, including web browsers, to display a specific font, they need to have access to the font description. Usually, that description resides on the same computer as the program—sometimes called the client. Web fonts work a little differently. For example, with Google’s web fonts (www.google.com/webfonts), the definitions for the fonts are stored on Google’s servers. As a web designer, you can use these fonts by adding code to your pages that tell browsers where to find the font descriptions.

First, find the web font you want to use. Google web fonts are free and surprisingly easy to use, so they’re a great candidate for your first attempt. Here are the steps to selecting a Google web font and grabbing the code you need to identify it in your project:

  1. In your web browser, go to: www.google.com/webfonts. You see a page displaying font samples. There are hundreds, so the widgets on the left help you filter the fonts. The buttons at the bottom of the page direct you to the three steps for a successful web font hunt: Choose, Review, and Use.

  2. On the left, below the word Filters, click the drop-down menu. Choose from Serif, Sans-Serif, Display, and Hand Writing. The menu uses checkboxes, so you can choose a combination of characteristics. For example, you could use Sans-Serif and Display.

  3. If necessary, use the Thickness, Slant, and Width sliders to narrow your font search. With so many choices, it helps to thin the crowd of fonts displayed on the screen.

  4. Use the tabs at the top of the font window to change the display to Word,
    Sentence, or Paragraph.

    If you’re looking for a font for headings, the Word or Sentence tab is the best
    choice. If you’re choosing a font for body text, make sure you check its appearance
    with the Paragraph option.

  5. Click the blue “Add to Collection” button. You can have more than one font in a collection, but for page-rendering speed and good design, you’ll want to limit the number of fonts you use.

  6. Click Review. This step may not always be necessary, but as the name implies, on this page you can take a closer look at your font in use as a headline or paragraph.

  7. Click Use. A new page loads with instructions for using the fonts on your web site. Part way down the page is a blue box with the heading “Add this code to your website”; see Figure 3.

  8. Click the Standard tab and then select and copy the code displayed. With the code stored on your clipboard, you’re ready and loaded for the second part of the process: adding the location for the font description to your Animate project.

Adding Web Fonts to Your Composition

Once you’ve chosen a Google or other brand web font and copied the code that identifies it, adding to your project easy in Animate. Here are the steps:

  1. In the Library panel, on the bar that says Fonts, click the + button, as shown in Figure 4.

    The Add Web Fonts dialog box appears.

  2. Paste the code that identifies the location of your font in the lower “embed code” text box.

    This code is provided by the same organization that hosts the web font. If you followed the previous steps, the code is stored on your clipboard.

  3. Type the name of web font in the upper Font Fallback List along with the fonts that should be used if the web font isn’t available. If the client computer isn’t connected to the Internet, then the web font won’t be available.

  4. Click the Add Font button. The font now appears in the Font Name drop-down menu when you’re working with text.

Changing Other Text Properties

Like any other element in Animate, you probably don’t expect your text to be static all the time. Fortunately for you, the designer, you don’t have to learn new tools to make your text dance around the screen. The X/Y Position properties determine where your text appears, and the W/H Size properties determine the dimensions of the text box. Keep in mind that the Size properties change the size of the text box, but they don’t change the size of the letters. To change the size of the letters, you can use the font-size properties or the Scale properties. Sometimes you'll want the size of your text to change depending on the size of the browser window. If that's the case, use % (percentage) for the Text Properties Unit. As with drawings and photos, you can create property keyframes in the timeline to make text properties change over time.

Remember those fold, spindle, and mutilate tools? You can use the Transform properties on text, too. Go ahead and rotate or skew blocks of text for special effects as you add or remove them from the web page. Use the Scale properties to make the text box and the text inside bigger or smaller. Scale works on text the same way it works on a JPEG image: Dial in a percentage, and everything grows or shrinks. Keep in mind that text gets a bit blurry when it is enlarged using the Scale property.

Clipping Text Around the Edges

As with other graphic elements on the stage, you can use Clip properties to hide the edges of a text box. It’s a lot like cropping the edges of photograph. Suppose you want animate a text box so that at first only a pinpoint in the middle is visible, then it grows to display an entire block of text. Select your text and then look near the bottom of the Properties panel. Click the triangle button to expand the Clip subpanel. In the upper-right corner of the subpanel, click the button to turn on clipping. Edge Animate provides four controls that represent the top, bottom, left, and right edges of the element (Figure 7). Type or scrub in values in pixels (px).

As you make changes, you see the effect they have on your text box. Want to remove clip properties after you’ve applied them? Just right-click (Control-click) the clipped element and choose Remove Clip from the shortcut menu.

Making That Headline Drop In

In most cases, the purpose of text is to communicate a message, so it’s counterproductive to subject your audience to constantly moving and changing text. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun. For instance, you may want to have the heading on your web page drop down or bounce into place when the page first loads. In this project, you create a banner at the top of the stage. When the web page loads, three words—“ON the EDGE”—drop into place. In this case, you’re animating the phrase “ON the EDGE.” You break the words into three separate text boxes, so that you can move each word independently. In other cases, you may want to animate all the individual letters in a word or phrase. The toughest part of the trick is to get the letter or words to line up properly once they’re in place. You want letter spacing to look natural, and you want the text to sit evenly on a horizontal line. Often, when you’re animating words or letters like this, it helps to create a positioning template, and that’s exactly what you do in this project. The positioning template (Figure 8) is visible at design time to help you align those moving words and letters. When you’re done building the animation, you can remove the template.

Here are the steps to create a drop-in heading:

  1. Create and save a new 550 x 400 document with a white background color. As usual, create a new folder to hold the HTML and JavaScript files for your project.

  2. With the Rectangle tool (M), create a rectangle 550px x 100px and place it at X=0, Y=0. Set the background color to R=200, G=210, B=250 and A=100%. Set border color to none. Give the rectangle the ID BannerBG. The quickest way to make a rectangle to spec is to drag out a quick box that’s any old shape and then type in the values in Properties. Make sure you click the link next to the W/H Size properties so you can enter nonproportional values.

  3. In the Elements panel, click the Lock Element button next to BannerBG. A padlock appears next to BannerBG. Now, you can’t accidentally select or move the blue box on the stage.

  4. Select the text tool and drag out a text box. Then type ON the EDGE. Set the font to Arial Black; the size to 72 px; and the alignment to Centered. This text will serve as a positioning template for the animated text.

  5. In Properties, give the text box the name OnEdgeTemplate. As with your graphics, you want to be able to identify different blocks of text in the timeline and the Elements panel. At this point, the properties for the text look like Figure 9.

  6. Set the text box’s size and location to match the colored rectangle, with the size to 550px x 100px and the location to X=0, Y=0. When you’re done, the top of the Animate stage should look like Figure 10. If for some reason the text is behind the blue box, you can change the Z-order in the Elements panel. Just drag OnEdgeTemplate so that it’s above BannerBG.

  7. Select OnEdgeTemplate and then press Ctrl+D (c-D). This duplicates the text, though you might not notice right away because it is placed right on top of the previous text. However, you can see OnEdgeTemplateCopy in the Elements panel.

  8. Drag OnEdgeTemplateCopy down to the middle of the stage. In the next steps, you’ll use this to create individual text boxes with separate words: “ON,” “the,” and “EDGE.” Before that, it’s a good idea to finish setting up the positioning template.

  9. Select the original OnEdgeTemplate and then set the Text Color to red (#ff0000). As advertised, this text is being used for a positioning template. Later, the bright red color will make it easier to see if the text is correctly positioned.

  10. In Elements, click the Lock Element button next to OnEdgeTemplate. This locks your positioning template in place so you can’t accidentally select or move it.

  11. Select OnEdgeTemplateCopy and press Ctrl+D (c-D) twice. This creates two more copies of the entire banner text.

  12. Double-click the first OnEdgeTemplateCopy. In the text edit box, delete everything except the word “ON.” Then in Properties, rename the text ON. It’s best to eliminate extra spaces when you’re animating single words or letters and you should reduce the width the text box to fit the edited text.

  13. Repeat step 12 to make text elements for the and EDGE. You now have three properly labeled words that you can identify and animate independently. You may want to resize the text boxes’ width to match the words, as shown in Figure 11.

  14. Drag the word “ON” up so that it is above and slightly to the left of the stage. Drag the word “EDGE” so that it is above and slightly to the right of the stage. Drag the word the straight up so that it is above the stage. These are the starting positions for each of the words. They should be completely offstage.

  15. Select “ON” and change the Rotate property to -30. Select “EDGE” and set the rotation to 30 degrees. These two words will appear to drop in at an angle from their respective sides.

  16. Select all three words and click the Location and Rotate Add Keyframe buttons. The starting positions for each word are duly recorded in keyframes.

  17. Drag the playhead to the half-second mark: 0:00.500. The entire animation will take a second, which is plenty of time for a simple animation like this. You don’t want to bore your audience. Each word will take a half-second to complete its move. Each word will start at a different moment.

  18. Select “ON” and set the Rotate property back to 0, and move “ON” over the same word in the positioning template. If you want to review the motion, drag the playhead back and forth. If necessary, you can readjust the start or end point. Just move the playhead into position and tweak the word’s position.

  19. Move the playhead to 0:00.250. Then select the word “the” and click the Location Add Keyframe button. The plan here is to start the word “the” moving before “ON” has finished its movement. However, you want the word “the” to remain motionless for the first quarter-second, so you must create two location keyframes with identical values at 0:00.000 and 0:00.250.

  20. Drag the playhead to 0:00.750, and then move “the” over the same word in the positioning template. Use the Timeline Zoom slider to get a better view of the timeline. The units of measure at the top of the timeline change depending on the zoom level. (Figure 11)

    No rotation is used for “the”, so this word will appear to drop straight down.

  21. Move the playhead to 0:00.500. Select “EDGE” and click the Location and Rotate Add Keyframe buttons.

    This keeps “EDGE” in place for the first half-second of the animation.

  22. Move the playhead to 0:01, and then drag “EDGE” into place over the positioning template.

    At the 1-second mark on the timeline, the words have finished their journey, and the first version of the animation is complete, except for removing the positioning template.

    Before you remove the red positioning template, you probably want to preview the animation. Press Home and then the space bar to get a look. If necessary, you can continue to tweak the starting and ending points for the animated words. For example, you might prefer it if “ON” and “EDGE” drop in first and the word “the” is added last.

Dealing with the Template

The red positioning template isn’t meant to be a permanent part of the animation. So if you’re happy with everything, you can remove it. First turn off the Lock Element button to make the Template selectable. Then you can select the template in either the Elements panel or on the stage and press Delete. As an alternative, you could turn the template into a drop shadow (Figure 13) or glow effect for the text.

  • For a drop shadow, set the text to a mid-gray tone and then adjust the opacity to taste. Something around 30 percent usually works well. You might want to keep the drop shadow hidden until the three words have finished moving. If that’s the case, set the opacity to zero until that point in the animation, and then bring it up.
  • For a glow effect, choose a yellow or orange color. Use the Scale control to make the text slightly larger than the text that drops in place. Again, you’ll probably want to use opacity to control the timing and appearance of the glow text. You might want the glow effect to fade in and then fade out, adding momentary emphasis on the heading.

Adding Some Bounce

If the previous example, where text drops into place, is too sedate for your web page, you might want to consider adding a little bounce to the action. Bounce makes it seem like your web page adheres to the laws of physics. Like a basketball, your text can start with a big bounce and then one or two smaller bounces until it settles into place. You can create your own bounce by adding position keyframes, or you can create a bounce using the Easing properties that are part of the transition in the timeline.

Creating a Bounce Manually

Open the file and examine the Elements panel—you’ll see the stage with three other elements. “BOUNCE” is the word that you’ll animate. “BounceTemplate” (red text) is the positioning template. As in the previous example, this marks the final position for the animated text. The ground element is a gray rectangle that’s positioned at the bottom of the stage. You can think of this as the ground on which the text will bounce.

A bouncing motion is created in the timeline by adding keyframes with alternating up and down locations (Figure 14). With the playhead still at 0:00, select BOUNCE and click the “Add Keyframe for Y” button in Properties. This sets the starting point. For the next leg of the journey, drag the playhead to 1:00 and move BOUNCE so that it covers BounceTemplate.

Click “Add Keyframe for Y” to add new location keyframes. Drag the playhead to 1.75 and then move BOUNCE up near the middle of the stage. Move the playhead to 2.25 and then move BOUNCE back over the template. You can create a few more bounces using a shorter period for the motion—half a second, then a quarter second. With each bounce up, shorten the distance.

When you get tired of a straight up-and-down bounce, you can always add a little rotation to the movement, making it look like the word is bouncing back and forth off of the lower corners. If you reduce the vertical scale property when the text hits the ground, you can create a cartoon-like smooshing action, as if the text were compressing on impact with the ground.

Using Animate’s Prebuilt Bounce

First, a little background about transitions and the concept of easing. When you animate an element on the stage, by changing properties and creating keyframe properties in the timeline, you create transitions. Those transitions are shown visually as bars in the timeline. Like the elements on the stage, transitions have properties, too. One of the properties is called Easing. In the real world, when objects move, they accelerate and decelerate. You never see a car begin to move at full speed or come to a stop instantly. The Easing properties help you create more realistic movement by automatically controlling an element’s transition. It just so happens that one of the easing options helps you to create a bouncing motion.

Here are some steps to explore transition properties:

  1. Drag the playhead to 0:01, and then drag BOUNCE down so that it covers BounceTemplate. Animate creates a transition in the timeline.

  2. In the timeline, click the transition lane next to BOUNCE. The transition in the timeline is highlighted.

  3. At the top of the timeline, click the Easing button. The easing panel appears above the timeline. Initially, the tooltip for this button says Easing: Linear, because that is the easing method that’s applied. With linear easing, the transition is applied at a steady rate from beginning to end.

  4. On left side of the Easing panel, click Ease Out. Then, on the right, click Bounce, as shown in Figure 15. When you click Ease out, the panel displays a number of Ease Out methods. The graph gives you a visual representation of the easing method.

  5. Click outside of the Easing panel. The panel closes and your easing method is applied to the selected transition.

  6. Press Home and then the space bar.

    When the animation plays, you’ll notice some nice bouncy action at the end of the motion. If you’d applied EaseInBounce, the bouncing motion would have occurred at the beginning of the transition.

    The easing properties for transitions can be a real timesaver. Animate includes a number of different transitions, but sometimes the names are a little cryptic. The best way to learn the different easing characteristics is to create a practice animation and apply different eases to identical elements and transitions.

Building Your First Animation

  1. Start Animate and go to FileNew to create a new document. When you create a new document, you start off with an empty stage. You see “Stage” as the only element listed in the Elements and Properties windows. As you see in the Properties panel, the stage has dimension, color, and other properties. You’ll learn more about each of these properties later.

  2. Create a folder for your project and then choose FileSave As to save your file with a name like Hello_World or First_Try.

    You can create a folder outside of Animate using Windows Explorer or Finder, or you can create a new folder as part of a FileSave As command. It’s a good practice to save your Animate project immediately with a helpful name. That way you won’t end up with a bunch of “untitled” projects that you don’t remember. Also, it makes it easy to save your work early and often with a quick Ctrl+S or Command-S. It’s best to save each Animate project in its own folder because Animate creates several files and an edge_includes folder when you first save a project.

  3. In the Properties window, click the white Background Color swatch. A panel appears where you can choose a color (Figure 16). If you prefer a strictly visual approach, click the spectrum bar at the left for a basic hue and then click inside the square to fine-tune your selection. In some cases, you may have a specific color specification in RGB (red-green-blue) format or as a hexadecimal number.

  4. When the color picker appears, choose a dark blue color to represent deep space. If in doubt, try R=30 G=45 B=90 A=100 for this project. Animate uses Adobe’s standard method for choosing numbers. When you see a highlighted number, that means you can either click and then type in a number, or you can click and drag to “scrub” in a number. Drag right to increase the number, left to decrease.

  5. Still in the Stage properties panel, change the Overflow to hidden. The Overflow property controls the visibility of items when they are viewed in a web browser. On a web page, the stage may represent just a portion of the entire web page. You can control the visibility of elements outside of the stage's rectangle. Change this property to hidden when you don't want to see elements that are offstage.

  6. Choose FileImport. Using the Import window that appears, find and select an image, like a planet earth, for example. Click Open to import the image into your project.

    After you import a file to your Animate project, it is listed in the Elements window and is displayed on the stage. It’s automatically selected, so you see the properties for the newly imported element in the Properties window. The “planet_earth” has visibility properties at the top of the panel. Right below are Position and Size properties. Below those, you see the Transform properties that let you rotate, skew, and scale elements. Below that, the source file is listed—a handy point to keep in mind when you’re trying to remember, “What the heck was the name of that file anyway?”

  7. In the Properties panel, click the ID box at the very top and change planet_earth to World.

    As Animate imports graphics, it names them using the file name. In some cases, that may be fine, but often you’ll want to rename the element inside of Animate. Keep in mind this doesn’t change the filename of your graphic. The ID World is used when you’re working in Animate. IDs serve an important function in HTML code, as you’ll learn later in this book. Notice that in the Elements panel your World appears with its new name. Because it’s on the stage, World also appears in the timeline.

  8. In the timeline, make sure the playhead is at 0:00. If you haven’t made any timeline changes since you created this project, the playhead is at 0:00, marking the first moment or frame of the animation, as shown in Figure 17. If you need to move the playhead, drag the gold-colored, bottom part of the playhead. The top part is called the pin. It should follow automatically.

    You’ll learn more about the two-part playhead in the following steps.

  9. Drag the World past the bottom of the stage. As mentioned in step 5, you can control whether offstage items are displayed on the web page. With Overflow set to hidden, when you're in the Animate workspace, offstage elements appear a little darker than usual. When the final project is viewed in a browser, these elements will be hidden.

  10. In the timeline, make sure that the Auto-Keyframe Mode button is pressed. When the Auto-Keyframe Mode button (Figure 17) is pressed, keyframes are automatically created in the timeline as you make changes to element properties. Keyframe markers look like diamonds.

  11. In the timeline, make sure that the Auto-Transition Mode button is pressed. When this button is pressed, Animate creates smooth transitions instead of abrupt changes. In this case, the World graphic will smoothly move from one position to another.

  12. Drag playhead to 0:01 on the timeline. In the timeline, 0:01 marks 1 second into the animation. A red line extends downward from the playhead, providing a marker for all the element and property layers.

  13. With the World still selected, in the Properties panel, go to Position and Size and click the diamond shaped buttons next to X and Y. Two diamond-shaped keyframes appear in the timeline marking the position for the Left and Top edge of the World graphic. The X and Y properties set the position of elements on the stage. By clicking the diamond next to Location in the Properties panel, you manually recorded the World’s location on the stage. As a result, the World stays in the same X/Y position for the first second of the animation.

  14. Click the Toggle Pin button, then drag the bottom, gold part of the playhead to 0:03. To animate an element, you change its properties over a specific period of time. The playhead and the pin let you mark two points in time, as shown in Figure 18.

  15. Drag the World graphic so that Earth is visible on the stage. You can center the image on the stage, or you can choose some other eyepleasing layout.

  16. Click the Toggle Pin button, then press the Home key and then press the space bar. When you press Home, the playhead returns to 0:00. Pressing the space bar plays your animation so you can preview the action on the stage.

  17. Move the playhead back to 0:00, and then in the toolbar, click the letter T. The text tool is selected, and the cursor changes to a cross.

  18. Click on the stage and type Hello World. When you're done, close the text window by pressing ESC or clicking the X button in the upper-right corner. The words “Hello World” appear on the stage, but they’re probably not positioned or formatted as you want.

  19. In the Properties window, set the ID for the text box to HelloWorld. Naming your text makes it easier to identify in the timeline and the Elements panel. Animate doesn’t permit space in names, so you need to use HelloWorld or Hello_World.

  20. Using the Properties panel, format the text. Change the text color to white or a very light blue. Choose Arial Black or another bold font. Adjust the size so it nearly fills the screen (72 px works well with Arial Black). Animate notes each change to the text in the timeline, adding property layers and creating keyframes.

  21. Position the text. If you’re not sure about the placement, try it centered horizontally and about a third of the way down the stage.

  22. With the playhead still at 0:00, set the opacity to 0. The Opacity slider is at the top of the Properties panel. This means the text will not be visible at the beginning of the animation. Only the selection box shows and that will disappear as soon as you click something else. Don’t worry, though—you can select any element, whether it’s visible or not, by clicking its name in the Elements panel.

  23. Make sure Toggle Pin is turned off. When Toggle Pin is off, the button doesn’t appear pushed in and the pin moves with the playhead.

  24. Drag the playhead to 0:02. With the text selected, click the diamond next to Opacity in the Properties panel. As you drag the playhead, you see the World move on the stage. Filmmakers and animators refer to dragging the playhead as scrubbing, a quick and easy way to review a segment of your animation. Clicking the Opacity diamond creates a keyframe at the 2-second mark where the text is still invisible.

  25. Turn Toggle Pin back on, then drag the playhead to the 0:03 mark. With the pin at 0:02 and the playhead at 0:03, you’re ready to create another transition.

  26. With the HelloWorld text box selected, set its opacity to 100. Animate creates a transition so that the text gradually changes from 0 to 100 percent opacity between 0:02 and 0:03 in your animation.

  27. Drag the pin to the 0:03 mark, then drag the playhead to 0:04. Set the opacity back to 0. The text disappears again.

  28. Press Ctrl+S (Command-S) to save your work.

    As explained earlier, Animate saves your animation as a collection of HTML and JavaScript files. The main HTML file uses the name you provided in step 2, when you first saved your project. So, for example, you may see Hello_World .html in the project folder. When you imported the planet_earth.png image, Animate created an images folder and placed a copy of the graphic in the folder. Your simple animation is complete. You can preview it in Animate by pressing Home and then the space bar. The earth rises into view, and your message fades in and then fades out (Figure 19). The entire animation takes 4 seconds.

Setting the Stage

As the Bard said a few hundred years ago, “All the world’s a stage.” That’s certainly true in Edge Animate. As explained in Chapter 1, when you place an element on the stage, it’s visible to your audience. There are a couple of ways to hide or remove elements from the stage. If you have the stage Overflow properties set to hidden, then you can exit stage right, left, top, or bottom by moving the element off stage.

At least, it’s not visible when viewed in a browser. The stage that you work with in Edge Animate represents a portion of a web page when it’s viewed in a browser. The stage has a limited number of properties. The most obvious are its dimensions and background color, but you’ll want to understand them all. Here’s the rundown starting from the top of the Properties panel:

  • The ID, as you might guess, is the name of your animation. When you save a project, Animate creates a web page, also known as an HTML document. Most browsers show the ID of the web page in a tab or the window’s title bar.
  • Initially, stage dimensions are shown as W (width) and H (height) properties in pixels. No big surprises here. You can type in or scrub in the width and height of the stage. The stage doesn’t have to appear in the upper-left corner of a web page. For example, if your Animate composition is a banner ad, you might create a tall, narrow stage and then position it on the left side of the page. Use the link next to the W and H properties to lock and unlock your stage’s aspect ratio. When Link Width and Height are unbroken, changing one dimension automatically changes the other so that the stage stays proportionate; when the link is broken, you can change W and H independently. You can change the measurement from pixels (px) to a percentage (%). For example, if you set the stage width to 80%, the stage will be 80 percent the size of the web browser window that it’s viewed in. This feature is great if you’re developing a page for computers, tablets, and phones. What’s more, if the browser window is resized, the stage automatically adjusts to the new size.
  • The background color is set using a color picker. In the Properties panel, click the color swatch and a color picker appears, as shown in Figure 20. Click the bar (also called the spectrum) on the left to choose a hue, and then click in the larger square to fine-tune the shade. The circle is positioned over the selected color, and the swatch in the lower-right corner displays it. The three swatches at top right make it easy to quickly choose a white, black, or transparent background. If you work with a team, you may be given a color spec in RGB or hexadecimal formats. On the other hand, if you’re calling the shots, you may want to specify a color for other designers.
  • Use Min W and Max W to set the minimum and maximum width for the stage. Web pages aren’t a fixed size. Your page may be viewed on a smartphone or a big screen TV. On top of that, your audience may resize the browser window. You can gain some control over how your project looks by setting a minimum and maximum width. You can use pixels to set an absolute value or you can use a percentage for responsive designs. Initially, Max W is set to none. To turn it on, click the label and deselect none. At that point the value appears in the panel and you can make adjustments.
  • The Overflow menu controls the way elements appear when they’re offstage. Often, you’ll want to set this menu to hidden, which makes elements outside the stage’s rectangle invisible. The hidden option works well when you want to have elements enter and exit the stage. If you set the menu to visible, elements that move beyond the boundary of the stage remain visible as long as there’s room on the web page. The scroll option places scroll bars at the right and bottom of the stage, making it possible to view elements that move outside the specified dimensions of the stage. The auto option automatically adds scroll bars if content exists beyond the confines of the stage.
  • Use the Autoplay checkbox to tell your animation to automatically run when its web page is loaded in a browser. If the box is turned off, you must use a JavaScript trigger to run the animation.
  • The Composition ID is used to identify this particular stage and its accompanying timeline. This becomes important when you have more than one Animate composition on a single web page. You’ll learn more about this in the JavaScript chapters.
  • The Down-level Stage and Poster properties create alternative elements for web browsers that aren’t HTML5 savvy.
  • The Preloader is responsible for loading all the resources needed to display your composition on a web page. Those resources include JavaScript libraries and graphics.

Creating Art in Animate

The next section describes in detail the properties of the rectangle. However, many of these properties are used by other objects, such as blocks of text and artwork that you import into Animate. So when you’re learning all about rotating, skewing, and scaling rectangles, keep in mind that you can rotate, skew, and scale text and photos, too.

Rectangles: Building a Basic Box

Using the Rectangle tool (M), you can add blocks of color to the stage. These blocks are great if you want to differentiate portions of the web page. For example, perhaps you want to make a sidebar. Add a rectangle, and then you can place text or graphics over the rectangle, setting it off from the rest of the page. Chances are you know the basic drill for creating a rectangle. Click the Rectangle tool on the Tools palette, and then click and drag on the stage to mark its shape. To create a square, hold the Shift key while you drag. The new element appears on the stage, and it’s automatically selected, so you see eight white squares around the border that represent handles (Figure 21). You can continue to change the size and shape of the rectangle after it’s drawn by dragging the handles. Here are the basic properties that describe your rectangles:

  • ID. As soon as you draw a rectangle on the stage, it’s listed in the Elements panel. When the rectangle is selected, its properties appear in the Properties panel. As with all your Animate elements, you probably want to give your rectangle a meaningful ID, such as LeftSidebar or Header. Otherwise, you’ll be searching through Rectangle1, Rectangle2, and Rectangle3 trying to find the one you want. To rename your rectangle, select it and change the ID at the top of the Properties panel. As an alternative, you can double-click the name in the Elements panel.
  • Tag. Check out Rectangle in the Elements panel and see <div> after the name. Your rectangle is automatically assigned an HTML <div> tag. Animate uses these tags to identify, position, and transform elements. With other Elements, Edge Animate lets you choose different tags. For example, when you add a photo to your animation, there are good reasons to use a <img> tag instead of <div>.
  • Position. Underneath the name in the Properties panel, you see the Position and Size properties. The upper-left corner of the stage is referenced as X=0, Y=0. Moving from left to right increases the X value. Moving from top to bottom increases the Y value. Initially, your rectangle’s position is referenced by the upper-left corner. You can change that reference point, using the “Relative to” tool. It looks like a box with a square at each corner. Suppose you need to position an element a certain distance from the lower-right corner of the stage: you may want to use the lower-right corner of your element as a reference point. In that case, just click the lower-right square in the “Relative to” box.
  • Size. Next to the Location properties are the Size properties: W (width) and H (height). These change automatically when you drag a rectangle’s handles. You can also type in or scrub in a specific number. Initially for rectangles, the size properties use pixels as the unit of measure. However, you can change from pixels to percentage. So a rectangle with a width of 20% would be 20 percent of the width of the stage. Use the link next to the W and H properties to lock and unlock the aspect ratio for your rectangle. When the Link Scale is unbroken, changing one dimension automatically changes the other so that the rectangle stays proportionate. When the link is broken, you can change W and H independently.
  • Display. Some elements are always on stage while others may come and go. The Display menu gives you a way to easily hide an element until it is needed. Your three choices include: Always On, On, and Off.
  • Overflow. The overflow control for your rectangle works like the one for your stage, except it explicitly applies to the rectangle.
  • Opacity. Use the slider near the top of the Properties panel when want to control the Opacity of the entire rectangle. When you want to adjust the opacity of the border or background independently, click their color swatches (explained under Color) and change the A (alpha property).
  • Color. Rectangles have two basic parts: border color and background color. Border color marks the outer edge of the rectangle, while background color is the color inside the box. (Other programs sometimes call these properties stroke and fill.) You can assign separate colors to the border and background, or you can make them transparent by setting the Alpha channel to zero. There are two additional properties for the stroke. You can set the size in pixels (px) and you can choose among a solid stroke, a dashed stroke, a dotted stroke, or none—no stroke at all. The toolbar at the top of the workspace gives you another way to quickly change the background and border color of a selected element. It works just like the color picker in the properties panel.

Aligning, Distributing, and Arranging Elements

The maxim that “everything has its place” is certainly true when it comes to animation. With more than one element on the stage, their relationship to each other is critical. Designers often have a specific grid in mind when they’re creating printed pages or web pages. It’s best when boxes of text or graphics are aligned with this invisible grid. When several elements are aligned, it usually looks best when there’s an equal distance between them. You can spend a lot of time eyeballing the stage to try to get everything just right, but fortunately, you don’t have to.

To experiment with Animate’s Arrange, Align, and Distribute tools, you may want to create three or four simple objects from the Rectangle and Rounded Rectangle tools like the ones shown in Figure 22. As you drag elements around the stage, you’ll notice magenta-colored lines sprouting from the edges and midpoints. These are Smart Guides, and they can help you to quickly align one or more objects while you’re mid-move. In many cases, that may be all the help you need.

For more formal alignment needs, turn to the ModifyAlign menu. For align to work, you need to select at least two elements. One of those elements may be the stage. You can select the elements on the stage or you can use the Elements panel. To use these commands, select all the elements that you want to align and then choose one of the options:

  • ModifyAlignLeft
  • ModifyAlignHorizontal Center
  • ModifyAlignRight
  • ModifyAlignTop
  • ModifyAlignVertical Center
  • ModifyAlignBottom You use the ModifyDistribute commands to put equal distance between three or more elements on the stage. You can choose which part of your elements the distribute command uses for the process and whether the action takes place along the horizontal or vertical axis. The specific commands are:
  • ModifyDistributeLeft
  • ModifyDistributeHorizontal Center ModifyDistributeRight
  • ModifyDistributeTop
  • ModifyDistributeVertical Center
  • ModifyDistributeBottom

Rulers and Manual Guides

The stage includes rulers that help you place elements with precision. You can show and hide the rulers using the View menu (ViewRulers) or with the shortcut key: Ctrl+R (Command-R). The rulers extend beyond the edges of the stage, but there are markers that indicate the stage’s current size. For help with alignment chores, create guides by clicking on either the horizontal or vertical ruler and dragging toward the stage. Your guide follows and stays in place when you release the mouse button. If that’s not the perfect spot, you can drag your guide to a new location. When you no longer want a guide, you can remove it by dragging it back to the ruler. To avoid inadvertently selecting and moving a guide, use the ViewLock Guides command.

This locks them in place until you use ViewUnlock Guides to free them again. For quick help with alignment work, turn on Snap to Guides (ViewSnap to Guides).

You can drag multiple guides onto the stage for various alignment duties and you can show and hide all the guides at once using the ViewGuides command (Ctrl+; or Command-;).

Arranging Elements: Z-Order

In addition to horizontal and vertical position, there’s another way you can arrange objects on your stage. As you create elements, you may notice that new elements appear to be in front of the older elements, and if you drag a new element to the same X/Y position on the stage, it hides an older one. If you’re familiar with Photoshop, you might think of this positioning as “layers.” In geek-speak, it’s often referred to as the Z-layer or the Z-order, because this third dimension is known as the Z axis.

You can examine the Z-order of the elements on the stage by simply looking at the Elements panel. Elements at the top of the list are closer to the front. If you want to change the order, just drag an element to a new position in the panel. Animate also gives you menu commands and shortcut keys to rearrange elements:

  • ModifyArrangeBring to Front (Ctrl+Shift+] or Shift-Command-])
  • ModifyArrangeBring Forward (Ctrl+] or Command -])
  • ModifyArrangeSend Backward (Ctrl+[ or Command -[)
  • ModifyArrangeSend to Back (Ctrl+Shift+[ or Shift- Command -[)

A Rectangular Animation

Roll up your sleeves. Enough theory, it’s time for some animation. In this exercise, you create four rectangles. You give them names, apply color, and skew them.

Then you position them on the stage and make them move, change shape, and then appear to dissolve. It’s the sort of effect that might be part of a banner ad or the introduction to a more complex animation.

This exercise is divided into two parts. In the first set of steps, you create and position the color bars:

  1. Open and save a new Animate project with the name Color_Bars. Don’t forget to create a new folder for your project.

  2. Set the stage color to white and the dimensions to W=550 px and H=400 px. Animate remembers the last stage settings you used. So if you followed previous exercises or experimented on your own, you may need to make these changes.

  3. In the timeline (Figure 23) make sure that the Auto Keyframe Mode and Auto Transition Mode buttons are pressed. If you move your cursor over the buttons, tooltips show their names. For example, at the top of the timeline you see: Auto-Keyframe Mode, Auto-Transition Mode, Toggle Pin, and Easing.

  4. Draw a rectangle and in the PropertiesID, type Red. The ID box appears at the top of the Properties panel when the rectangle is selected.

  5. In Properties, click the background color and set it to pure red, and set the to none. When you’re done, the hex color number should be #ff0000.

  6. Set the rectangle’s size to W=550px and H=100px. The quickest way to accomplish this is to type the dimensions in the Properties panel, but if you’re a mouse master, you can drag the rectangle’s handles. You may need to click the “link” button next to W and H to change the width and height independently.

  7. Set the Skew (x) to 50 deg (degrees). The horizontal skew is the top setting. A positive number slides the top edge to the left and the bottom edge to the right.

  8. Position your red, skewed rectangle in the top-left corner of the stage so that only its point tip is visible. The Location properties should be X=-550px, Y=0px. Ideally, just a red triangle shows in the top-left corner of the stage.

  9. With the Red rectangle selected, press Ctrl+D (Command-D). Change the ID of RedCopy to Green. Then, change the color to match. The hex value for solid green is #00ff00. You can change the background color of a selected element in the PropertiesColor subpanel or you can use the color swatches in the toolbar above the stage.

  10. Line up the top of the green rectangle with the bottom of the red rectangle (Y=100px). Then, hold the Shift key down and slide Green to the right until only the tip shows (X=430px).

    Holding the Shift key down while you move an element helps to lock it to the horizontal or vertical axis as you drag it. You can still drag it off axis, but it’s a little “sticky.”

  11. Create two more skewed rectangles, naming and coloring them Blue and Yellow. Position the rectangles on alternating sides of the stage. The blue color is #0000ff, and yellow color is #ffff00. When you’re done positioning the rectangles, the stage should look like Figure 23.

Animating by Adding Property Keyframes

Now that you’ve successfully created and positioned the color bars, it’s time to make them move. Chapter 1 showed how the position of elements on the stage is controlled by property keyframes in the timeline. When the Auto-Keyframe Mode button is pressed, as shown in Figure 23, new property keyframes are created whenever you set or change a property. You can also create property keyframes manually by clicking the diamond-shaped buttons in the Properties panel. You want to lock in the Position, Size, and Opacity properties at the beginning of your animation by creating property keyframes. Then you’ll move down the timeline and create different property keyframes. The result will be animation magic.

  1. Make sure the timeline’s playhead is at 0:00. Select the parallelogram named Red; then in the Properties panel, click the diamond-shaped buttons next to X, Y, W, H, and Opacity.

    The X and Y properties are in the Position and Size subpanel. They control the position. The W and H buttons create keyframes for width and height. The Opacity slider is near the top of the Properties panel. The diamond buttons add property keyframes and individual property layers in the timeline as you can see in Figure 24. Property keyframes anchor a specific property value at a specific point in time. In the timeline, you should see property keyframes and property layers for:

    • Left
    • Top
    • Width
    • Height
    • Opacity

    If you don’t see all those keyframes and property timelines under Red, you should create them manually by clicking the diamond button next to the missing property.

  2. Repeat step 1 for the Green, Blue, and Yellow color bars to create the property keyframes and property layers for each. To speed things up, you can select all three bars first and then click the keyframe buttons.

  3. Make sure the Auto-Keyframe Mode and Auto-Transition Mode are on (pressed in) and the other buttons are not. When Auto-Keyframe is on, Animate automatically creates property keyframes as you change elements on the stage. It’s a two-step process. Move the playhead to a point in time and then change your element’s properties. You can make changes in the Properties panel or you can make changes on the stage with the Selection and Transform tools.

  4. In the timeline, drag the playhead to the 0:02 position. For this step, the pin should be toggled off (not pressed in).

  5. Drag each of the rectangles across the stage until the tail end of the skewed rectangle is visible.

    At this point, most of the stage is covered by the color bars, with white triangles of the stage showing through at the edges. Remember to press the Shift key as you drag if you want to steady the bars’ vertical position.

  6. With all the rectangles selected, in Properties click the Add Key Keyframe for Opacity button. Drag the playhead back and forth to preview the animation. The opacity for each color bar is set to 100 percent at the 2 second point. Scrubbing the playhead gives you a quick look at the action.

  7. Drag the playhead to the 0:03 marker. This position represents the point 3 seconds into your animation.

  8. Select each rectangle and then change the height (H property) to 300 px and the opacity to 50 percent. This has the effect of making the rectangles grow, slicing vertically into one another, and at the same time start to blur. See Figure 25. Keep in mind, you may need to delink the W and H properties to change them independently.

  9. Drag the playhead to the 0:04 marker. Then change each rectangle’s height to 500 px and the opacity to 0 percent. The effect is that the rectangles keep growing and blur out of view.

Rounded Rectangles: More than Meets the Eye

OK, Animate pulls a fast one when it comes to the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, and Ellipse tools. The dirty little secret is that you can create all these shapes using the Rectangle tool and tweaking the properties. The reasons for this quirk have to do with the fact that JavaScript code is defining these shapes. You can check this by creating a shape with each tool and examining their properties. You can turn a rectangle into a rounded rectangle simply by adjusting the CornersRadius properties, as shown in Figure 26. Likewise, you can square off a rounded rectangle using the same tools. So here’s a look at how they work.

In a new Animate project, create a rectangle and leave it selected. Choose the Transform Tool (Q), then with the mouse, hover over the keyframe diamond in the rounded rectangle properties, and the tooltip explains that it will “Add Keyframe for Border Radii.” The three buttons at the top of the panel are labeled 1, 4, and 8. Below, you see a square made up of buttons where you can individually select the four corners of a rectangle. There’s a number next to the corner buttons that’s initially set to 0. A corner radius of zero means your rectangle has nice, sharp-edged corners. Click on the number and drag to the right to round off the corners. The number box accepts only positive numbers, so you can’t drag left. Notice that as you drag, the black diamonds at the corners of your rectangle move to the center. These diamonds are control points for the corner radii. You can manually drag the diamonds on any rectangle to create and adjust rounded corners.

Reset your rectangle so that it’s square, and then click the upper-right corner in the Properties panel. Change the radius setting and this time, you notice that the upper-right corner remains square while the others take on the rounded style. When a corner button is pressed in, that deselects the corner from the rounded settings.

Reset the rectangle once more and click the upper-right corner so it pops back out. Then click the 4 button at the top of the corner properties. Four new number boxes appear next to each corner. Now you can set each corner independently with different radius values. This gives you the ability to create irregular shapes even though, technically, they still have four corners. Combine this with the skewing and scaling properties, and you can create some really interesting amoeba effects. Click the 8 button, and each corner has two control numbers. This gives you the ability to move the control point off center, making a corner that is flatter on one side compared to the other. Notice that when you adjust the settings, the black diamond control point moves, too. You can always adjust your corners using either the number boxes or the control points in the rectangle.

A Circle Is a Very Rounded Rectangle

You can experiment with the CornersRadius properties by turning Rectangles into ovals and circles. For example, here are the steps to turn a square into a circle:

 

  1. Click the Rectangle tool and, while holding the Shift key, drag out a box. Holding the Shift key down constrains the rectangle so that all sides are equal.

  2. In the Corners properties, click the 1 button. With this setting, all the corners share the same corner radius value.

  3. Click and drag the border radius number box until the square turns into a circle, as shown in Figure 27.

    It’s possible to drag the number so that the corner radii pass one another at the center, but that’s not necessary to create a circle. You can change and adjust your circle properties just as you would any other object that you create in Animate. By skewing your object, you can create ellipses. By scaling it, you can create ovals. And, of course, you can create anything in between a square and an ellipse with the right settings.

Adding Drop Shadows to Graphics

Drop shadows not only look cool, they give you a way to visually separate different elements. Apply a drop shadow to a graphic, and you make it look like it’s floating above the stage. Add a shadow to the interior of an element, and you give it a more three-dimensional appearance. Shadows are often used with buttons to create a different appearance for over, clicked, and selected states. Animate gives you an easy way to create drop shadows and modify them to your needs and taste.

For a subtle shadow that sets an element off from the background, try the following steps:

  1. Draw three elements on the stage.

  2. Select one and then in the Properties panel, scroll down to the Drop Shadow controls shown in Figure 28.

  3. Click the color swatch and choose Black.

  4. Click the horizontal offset and type 4.

  5. Click the vertical offset and type 4.

  6. Click the Blur radius and type 14.

  7. Click Spread and type 2.

    If you want one of the elements to look three dimensional, you can use the same settings but click the Inset button. Instead of appearing outside of the element, the shadow is created inside the element. As the name implies, the Spread property controls the size of the shadow making it spread in all directions. As with any other property, you can make the drop shadow change over time. With a little creativity, you can create the impression of the sun changing position in the sky, with shadows moving and changing shape. Shadows are an important tool for text, too: text is more readable over a busy background when separated by a shadow.

Importing Art

It’s easy enough to create basic shapes and text in Animate, but when it comes to complex artwork, you’ll probably turn to your favorite art creation tools. For elaborate drawings and line art, that may be Adobe Illustrator. For photographs, you may use Photoshop, Lightroom, or iPhoto. Adobe Fireworks may be the ideal companion tool for Animate because both tools were designed to create Web content. No matter how you create JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs, or SVGs, you can import them into Animate and then animate them by changing their position on the stage and their appearance.

Regardless of the file format, the process for importing artwork is the same. Go to File➝Import and then find the file you want to bring into your project. The Missing CD folder 02-2_Sliding_Show has three photos in JPEG format. You can practice by creating a new project complete with a new folder named 02-2_Sliding_Show and import each of the photos. After you choose FileImport, a standard file/folder window opens for your PC or Mac. If you want to import all three files at once, just Shift-click to select them. As usual, Animate imports the files and, as a handy timesaver, names them based on the filenames. In this case, you’ll find squirrel, farmhouse, and bike in your Elements panel. Each image is also automatically placed at the 0,0 position on the stage. You’ll only see one of the images though, because they’re covering one another.

Choosing between GIF, JPG, PNG and SVG

The world of 2D computer graphics offers two systems for storing and displaying images: bitmaps (technically called raster graphics) and vector graphics.

Computer programs store bitmaps as a bunch of pixels, identified by color and position. The term Bitmap graphics doesn’t refer to just files with the Windows bitmap (.bmp) extension; it refers to all images stored in bitmap format, including .gif, .jpg, .tiff, and .png.

The good thing about bitmap graphics is that they let you create super-realistic detail with complex colors, gradients, and subtle shadings. On the downside, uncompressed bitmaps typically take up a whopping amount of disk space, and they’re not particularly scalable. For example, suppose you have a bitmap image of a car, and you tell a program to increase the size by 500 percent.

The program has to create new pixels for the bigger image, so it duplicates the pixels (colored dots) already in the image. The results aren’t always pretty. The entire image is likely to appear blurry. The curved edges may become blocky or pixelated.

Computers store vector graphics as a bunch of formulas. Compared to raster graphics, vector graphics are relatively modest in size, and they’re scalable. In other words, if you draw a tiny car and decide to scale it 500 percent, your scaled drawing will still have nice, crisp details.

The strengths and weaknesses of each format are important when you’re working with images. Bitmaps are better for photorealistic images with lots of colors and shades. Vector graphics are better for line art, charts, diagrams, and images that you’re going to scale to different sizes. Animate can import four types of graphics files—JPG, GIF, PNG, and SVG—however, there are a couple of gotchas that might surprise you.

JPG files, also known as JPEGS, are the familiar bitmap format used on the web and in many cameras. The format was developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, hence the acronym. JPEGs use what is known as a lossy compression technique to create smaller file sizes. Image editors that work with JPEGs usually let you choose the degree of compression. If your image will only be viewed on a screen, you can crank up the compression. If it’s headed to a photo printer and you want it poster size, you’re going to need all those pixels.

GIF files were developed by CompuServe, one of the early online services. The acronym comes from Graphic Interchange Format. GIFs’ popularity seems to be fading compared to JPEGs and PNGs, but you’ll still find them on many websites. GIFs are bitmaps stored with a lossless compression technique, but use a limited color palette. The result is that an image with big swaths of solid colors, like a company logo or a bar graph, might result in a very small file. On the other hand, a photographic image won’t compress as well and may not look as good in GIF as, say, in JPEG because of the limited number of colors. GIFs provide a couple of neat tricks. You can create animated GIFs using simple frame-by-frame animation. Programs like Adobe Fireworks and

Flash make the process fairly easy. GIFs also let you designate parts of the image as transparent. That’s great if you’re placing an irregular shape, like an animated character, over an already developed background, like a room’s interior.

PNG files were developed at a time when there were patent issues regarding GIF. Pronounced “ping,” this abbreviation stands for Portable Network Graphics. The PNG format was designed to be used on the Web (as opposed to print graphics) and to improve upon features already popular in GIFs. PNGs use a lossless compression technique, provide a bigger color palette, can display animated sequences and can include transparency within the image. PNGs are well supported among modern web browsers, but there are probably still some older browsers out there that don’t handle the format. The PNG format works well with Animate, in part because both were developed with the Web in mind. SVG files are vector-based. The name stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. That means rather than recording a pixel-by-pixel map of an image, SVG files contain formulas that describe the lines, curves, shapes, and other details of an image. All modern web browsers support the SVG format, but older browsers’ support for SVG is inconsistent.

If you resize an SVG image when you're working in Animate, it's likely to start looking pixelated—that jagged stair-step appearance that graphics get when they're enlarged. When this modified image is viewed in a browser, the pixelation shows. It's interesting to note that if you don't change the image within Animate, it resizes gracefully in a browser window, when it gets larger and smaller.

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