FutureWave Software Inc. of San Diego Monday shipped FutureSplash Animator, a 2-D animation product for the World Wide Web based on the award-winning SmartSketch drawing technology.
FutureSplash Animator allows users to create vector-based drawings and buttons and then animate them. Both the drawings and the animations can be placed on HTML Web pages. FutureSplash Animator is now available on Macintosh, Power Macintosh, Windows 95 and Windows NT platforms for a street price of approximately $250.
FutureSplash Animator provides Web page designers and developers a method for creating moving graphics for their Web pages. It also provides the consumer ``nonprofessional'' the benefit of using predesigned interactive buttons, and animated clipart to ``liven-up'' his or her personal Web pages.
To assist users, interactive lessons covering topics such as drawing, animation, motion interpolation, creating buttons and working with HTML are included.
The vector format is so efficient that a 500K Windows AVI animation at a 320 x 200 pixel resolution can be stored in FutureWave's new vector format as a 30K animation. Animation sequences are also streamed onto the Web page which means they play as they are downloaded. Sequences using this new vector-based format can be played at any color depth and are scalable to any size.
Animation sequences created in FutureSplash Animator can be exported to Apple's QuickTime and Windows AVI formats. FutureSplash Animator enables users to import existing vector graphics from programs such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia Freehand.
``The new vector file format generated by FutureSplash Animator will make graphics on the Web much faster,'' said Jonathan Gay, vice president of Engineering.
``Vector-based drawings will take less time to download than GIF and JPEG line-art images, and support for streaming means that instead of waiting 10 minutes to download a movie before viewing it, an animation will start playing as soon as the first frame arrives.''
Vector-based drawings and animations can be embedded in Web pages using FutureSplash Player. This new player technology allows consumers to view drawings and animations even over a conventional modem line.
In order to support all major browser platforms and provide flexibility to Web page designers, FutureWave Software has made the FutureSplash Player available as a Netscape Navigator plug-in and a control for Microsoft's InternetExplorer 3.0 ActiveX. Unix and Java versions of the Player are planned.
``With FutureSplash Animator, content developers won't have to be dependent on sluggish, low-resolution JPEGS and GIFs,'' said Walter Costinak of 2Design & Communication ``This can possibly be the best animation tool on the Web.''
The company's premier product is SmartSketch, an award winning vector-based drawing package designed to capture the fun of a paint product, the precision of a draw program, and the freedom of sketching on paper. SmartSketch is available on Macintosh, Windows 95, Windows 3.1, and Windows NT platforms.
This natural drawing technology allows users to complete a drawing in a fraction of the time without the complexity of more traditional drawing programs. This $69.95 (MSRP) package is the first precision drawing program that lets you work on your vector drawings using tools typically found in paint programs.
The FutureSplash Player PPC version is available free for download here.
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