Given the burgeoning popularity of comic books, graphic novels, and interactive storytelling, it was only a matter of time before animation and HTML5 converged to enhance the storyline even further.
Smith Micro has released MotionArtist, its new comic creation software program, following a public beta period. The program lets you add motion to comics, and create interactive HTML5 presentations and animated photo shows. Designed for all skill levels, MotionArtist is targeted to a range of creative folk including graphic novelists, comic creators, and even Web developers and photographers who seek to create rich visual and aural experiences.
While the beta offered a solid set of functions, the new launch version expands on those features and makes it easier to use. This new version promises improved HTML5 output—including pause points, go to frame, and go to scene—as well as image and audio optimization for reliable playback. It also sets out to make the program easier to use with interface and usability improvements in the timeline. A new Motion Assist feature helps beginners learn animation and it is accompanied by animated panels, a variable width panel cutting tool, and snap to grid creation and resize. The new version has optimized file format support, improved GPU performance, and improved support for the company's Anime Studio animation package.
The program feaures 3D layering for a parallax effect, supports vector-based word balloons and dynamic text in thought bubbles or dialogue boxes, and motion can be added to comics and photo slideshows via automated object placement and camera movement. When your project is finished, you can export to HTML5 to display them on your own web page or save as a standard movie format to share your comics and presentations directly to Facebook or YouTube.
MotionArtist is available for $60. It works with Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 and Windows 7 and 8, and IE 9.