Breaking new ground in the Web design space – that’s the message from Adobe at the launch of LiveMotion – it’s long-rumoured “Flash-killer” tool for creating interaction
animation on the Web.
Billed as the answer for authoring high-impact, interactive elements and engaging
animation on the Web, Adobe says that LiveMotion will let designers create everything from dynamic Web graphics to pages that mix in motion, audio and interactivity.
Adobe LiveMotion – slated to ship in the
second quarter 2000 – is an object-oriented,
vector-based design tool that draws on familar Adobe user interface schemes. More seriously, it will export Macromedia Flash files – a move that pitches LiveMotion aggressively against Flash.
Key to LiveMotion is an animation timeline. Because it is object-based, Adobe says that nearly every attribute – position, opacity, shape, rotation, scale, colour and special effects – can be individually animated in a non-destructive way.
Auto keyframing and auto tweening feature, letting designers insert a start keyframe for
the attributes they want to animate, specify
the time for the effect, then move the object. LiveMotion can import all major sound formats, says Adobe, including MP3. Designers can create background tracks, event-triggered audio, and multiple audio tracks.
Adobe is quick to promote LiveMotion as more than a composition tool for imported content. A full set of content creation tools feature, as well as tight links to products such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Vector-based tools include ellipse, rectangle and polygon tools, and behave in the same way as they do in Illustrator or Photoshop.
Effects include Pathfinder operations (such as unite, intersect and exclude), 3D effects, such as bevel, emboss and shadows, plus opacity, textures, object masks, Photoshop filter effects and image adjustment tools. Distortions include displace, twirl, spherize, magnify and pixelate.
Animation tools have motion paths that can be edited at any time, plus the ability to use transparency features for overlaying vector objects on bitmaps and other effects. Output to multiple formats – including Flash files – lets designers save work in GIF, JPEG, PNG or SVG files, or as an animated GIF. Unlike Flash, LiveMotion lets designers control bitmap image-quality on a per object basis. Pricing has yet to be set, but it will ship for Windows and Mac OS.