What is Adobe Edge Animate CC? - dummies

By Michael Rohde

Take a look at the Adobe Creative Cloud and all the tools, services, apps, and software titles available; this includes Adobe Edge Animate CC. Adobe has fully embraced the cloud; now you can get the latest updates and features without having to wait for the next full version. A subscription to the Creative Cloud means access to all the latest developments.

What’s even better is that Edge Animate is fully compatible with many of the titles in the Creative Cloud — with more features added regularly.

Edge Animate uses HTML5, which (even now) not all browsers support. Fortunately, Adobe provides features that help you when your audience isn’t using modern browsers. Most likely you’ll find there’s more support for HTML5 these days than for Flash; the jury is still out on what this means for the future of Flash.

Your tools are in the cloud

All these tools and services are available through Adobe’s Creative Cloud — a one-stop shop for the majority of Adobe’s creative software (including Photoshop, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Fireworks, Muse, and Dreamweaver). Most tools for most of these software products are compatible with Edge Animate.

You can get started with the Creative Cloud with a free membership for 30 days that includes 2GB of cloud storage and limited access to services. You can find more about the Creative Cloud online.

Creating animated web content

Adobe Edge Animate CC is a brand new software tool that allows everyone from beginners to expert web designers to create animated web content. What separates Edge Animate from other animation tools is that it uses the most advanced standards and methodology in its code. This rampant modernity includes the use of HTML5 and JavaScript — in particular, jQuery.

Adobe is providing the best of both worlds to accommodate all types of animators:

  • If working with jQuery sounds scary, even if that’s a good kind of scary, it shouldn’t. Edge Animate does all the coding for you. All you have to do is conjure up the creative aspects of your design.

  • On the other hand, if you do know how to code with jQuery and you like to dive in to the brackets, then Edge Animate provides a very functional code panel from which you can work.

Collaborating with other publishing tools

While Edge Animate is a terrific tool for creating online content, it doesn’t actually publish your animation online. Fortunately, Edge Animate is compatible with several publishing tools, applications, and platforms. Here’s a quick look at each tool and application.

iBook Files

If you weren’t already aware, iBooks is one of the most popular and most downloaded apps for Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads.

By using Edge Animate to create your compositions, you can feel confident that your audience will see your animation play flawlessly on some of the most popular phones and tablets around. Even better, you can export your Edge Animate composition in formats that are compatible for use with Apple’s iBook Author.

Adobe InDesign

InDesign is desktop publishing software that is also made by Adobe. It allows you to create pages for print, tablets, and other platforms and devices. InDesign is also part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud and works well with Edge Animate. Exporting files from Edge Animate is a matter of clicking a few menu items and then it’s only a matter of placing the files into InDesign.

InDesign outputs ePUB documents that work on the Apple iPad. The iBook app for the iPad uses the ePUB format. Through these tools, you are provided another way to incorporate your animation compositions into iBooks.

Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe Dreamweaver has been helping budding web developers create websites since 2005, which is when Adobe acquired Dreamweaver from Macromedia. Using Dreamweaver, a web designer can whip up HTML websites and mobile apps with cross-platform compatibility, loads of features, and multiscreen previews. Now, with the release of Edge Animate 1.0, Adobe has updated Dreamweaver to include support for your animation projects: You can continue building websites in Dreamweaver and import your projects from Edge Animate.

Adobe Fireworks

Adobe Fireworks is another former Macromedia software product that you can use to create bitmap and vector graphics. Web designers use it in combination with Dreamweaver, and now Edge Animate, to create interfaces, onscreen designs, and interactive content for tablets and phones.

Adobe Muse

Adobe Muse is another tool for the website builder, aimed directly at design artists with little or no coding skill. Muse is brand new; a preview was released in 2012.

If you’re a designer who’s comfortable with creating print layouts, then working with Muse should come naturally. Plus, if you want your design site to feature a composition made in Edge Animate, such projects are easy to add to your Muse site.

Adobe Inspect

Adobe Shadow was renamed Inspect in late 2012.

Presently, Flash won’t work on several types of devices — but Edge Animate will — and you’ll want to preview your work on as many different screen sizes as you can. That’s where Inspect comes into play. This tool allows you to view updates that you make to your animation on a variety of devices instantly.