Core Animator Beta

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Heber Sheffield

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Dec 8, 2014, 7:13:16 PM12/8/14
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Hi guys,

I've been working on a project for quite a while, and we’re (finally!) ready to move into beta testing. We’re at the stage of trying to track down developers who could potentially give us feedback.

The project is called Core Animator. It’s essentially a visual editor for the Core Animation framework. Think PaintCode for Core Animation. (Not sure that anyone will remember, but about a year ago I asked this group if anything like this existed.. I couldn't find anything.. so here it is :)

I’d love it if you could take two minutes to watch an overview video here: http://www.coreanimator.com/video/  

At this point, I honestly believe that every iOS developer would benefit from this tool… but obviously, I’m biased because it’s my brainchild :). We’re trying to refine our message by sharing it with friendly developers and getting feedback.

Would you be kind enough to respond after watching the overview? (either via personal email or this post) 
I’d love to hear any initial thoughts, perhaps including:
Do you understand what this app does?
Do you think you would have a use for this app? If so, what would you use it for? If not, why not?
Any additional comments, questions, concerns

If you would like me to send you a copy of the app, just fill in your name and email address at the link above. You can start using it immediately.

Thanks so much!

Heber Sheffield

Ontario Britton

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Dec 8, 2014, 7:20:20 PM12/8/14
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Your video is polished!

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 5:13 PM, Heber Sheffield <he...@polishedplay.com> wrote:
overview v



Thanks,
Tari

Bryce Redd

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Dec 8, 2014, 7:21:02 PM12/8/14
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This looks great, signed up for the beta!

Sent from my iPhone
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John Webster

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Dec 8, 2014, 8:04:16 PM12/8/14
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Oh my goodness, Heber! You just blew my mind in a big way!

This is the stuff of my dreams!

Do you understand what this app does?
Absolutely

Do you think you would have a use for this app? If so, what would you use it for? If not, why not?
Yes, I believe I would start by using it to make animations for simple UI elements in my apps, such as the example in the video of the trash can opening. Typically this kind of thing is not worth the time, but with your app, a lot more animation can be added without all the work. I have also worked on a few apps that had lots of hand coded Core Animation for more complicated UI animations (like the carousel view in the iFit for iPad app) and where was your app back then?? It could have save me a lot of headache. :) I’d certainly use it for stuff like that in the future. For instance, we have graphs in the app we are working on now. Maybe we would use your app to add fun animations to the graphs and have them “bounce” in or something.

Any additional comments, questions, concerns
This is extremely huge. You just filled a major hole. Nice work!

Mark Suman

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Dec 8, 2014, 10:49:16 PM12/8/14
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This rocks. I have a small kids game that my daughter and I have been working on, and I have been procrastinating the animations because I didn’t want to dive into that world yet. Core Animator would be awesome. Definitely would love to try it out. Signed up!

I couldn’t help but noticed the featured apps on your website that were built using the tool. Did you guys by chance build those apps for Disney?

Mark

Mark Suman

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Dec 8, 2014, 10:50:04 PM12/8/14
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Also, is this something that we can share on the social media or would you like us to hold off?

Heber Sheffield

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Dec 8, 2014, 11:33:44 PM12/8/14
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Mark,

Fantastic! I'd love to see what you come up with for animations in your game. If it's a native iOS app, Core Animator should help you a lot :)  In fact, one of the tutorials we've put together shows us using Core Animator to create a full game by combining a few different Core Animator projects. You can actually download source code for the whole game to check out how we did it (not necessarily applicable to your situation, but could be helpful to see the approach we used). Go to http://www.coreanimator.com/tutorials/ and scroll to the bottom. The last tutorial "Plane Full Game Implementation" is one I would suggest you check out.

The tutorials, by the way, are still in beta too. They haven't been edited, etc..

As for the Disney projects, yes, we created the Sofia the First The floating Palace and Sheriff Callie's Tales of the Wild West apps (both Disney Junior properties). Obviously there were a lot of animations, so that was a great proving grounds for Core Animator. We learned a lot of things about animation while making these apps, so feel free to ask if you're looking for the best way to incorporate Core Animator output into your app or if you run into trouble.

As for sharing on social media, I'd say lets hold off for just a bit.. frankly, I think I'd feel more comfortable after we've let a few people other than us kick the tires for a few days. I don't think there are huge bugs, but you never know :) When we're a bit closer to release, obviously we'd love any publicity we can get :)

Thanks for your enthusiastic reply. Can't wait to see what you (and others) create!

Heber

Mark Suman

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Dec 8, 2014, 11:37:47 PM12/8/14
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I will check out the tutorials. Thanks. And let us know when we can socialize it!

Scott Barlow

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Dec 8, 2014, 11:58:13 PM12/8/14
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I was hesitant to respond because I'm a newbie with iOS development and I didn't know there were tutorials (until now). The video and program look awesome. It reminds me of the Macromedia (Adobe) Flash UI, and appears intuitive and quote the time-saver.

>> Do you understand what this app does? The video is polished and clear except for the part where in the beginning you show Keynote and talk about Core Animation. I'm more focused on Keynote than understanding that you are demonstrating that Core Animation drives portions the UI animations behind the scenes and didn't connect it together right off the bat. I like the talk track, just didn't connect that and the Keynote animations.

>> Do you think you would have a use for this app? If so, what would you use it for? If not, why not? Eventually I hope to. I'm not there yet, but would like to be.

>> Any additional comments, questions, concerns? I'd love to download and give it a try.

Scott




Alex Esplin

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Dec 9, 2014, 12:24:44 AM12/9/14
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Very nice video. I think the frameworks teams are hiring...

--
Alex Esplin

Aaron London

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Dec 9, 2014, 10:52:07 AM12/9/14
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This looks amazing!

Do you understand what this app does?
Yes

Do you think you would have a use for this app? If so, what would you use it for? If not, why not?
Yes. Game development. UI prototyping and development for our designers.

Any additional comments, questions, concerns
Will you be adding support for SpriteKit?

Signed up for the beta and encouraged my team to do so as well.

Thanks,
A

On Dec 8, 2014, at 5:13 PM, Heber Sheffield <he...@polishedplay.com> wrote:

Heber Sheffield

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Dec 9, 2014, 1:29:02 PM12/9/14
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Aaron,

Unless something changes, it's looking like SpriteKit support will not make it into version 1.0 (just AppKit and UIKit). However, I'm very interested in adding SpriteKit support. It's on our list, and we'll be looking at that in the future. Thanks!

Heber

Bryan Bryce

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Dec 9, 2014, 6:31:12 PM12/9/14
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Did you ever find out how you were going to handle Auto layout limitations at the layer level?

Heber Sheffield

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Dec 9, 2014, 7:12:06 PM12/9/14
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Yes, we did decide on a strategy for letting Core-Animated views participate in auto layout. 

When we generate code for the animated view (hierarchy), we implicitly add a view that actually contains the canvas from your project. This outer view has no function other than to contain the views that are actually animated. This outer view can have auto-layout constraints and can be positioned in Interface builder. Because having auto-layout constraints will not necessarily keep the original aspect ratio (the aspect ratio of the canvas in your Core Animator project), we allow it to respect the contentMode property of UIView. That is, when you add a core animated view to an interface builder document, you can select from the contentMode dropdown. We respect aspectFit, aspectFill, and scaleToFill. 

Another cool thing is that the generated classes are marked as IBDesignable. This means that you will be able to preview your Core Animated views along side everything else in your IB document, thereby instantly seeing the results of any auto-layout constraints you add. 

Pretty slick. Gotta love IBDesignable.

You can see this in action a bit at the 1:15 mark of the overview video (http://www.coreanimator.com/video/)

Bryan Bryce

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Dec 9, 2014, 10:58:45 PM12/9/14
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Very cool.

Heber Sheffield

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Feb 13, 2015, 3:50:14 PM2/13/15
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Quick update on this: Core Animator is now live on the app store! (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/core-animator/id934434650?mt=12)

I'm super excited, but just wanted to take a moment to thank this group for the enthusiastic feedback and response. I really appreciate it!

We've got video tutorials up here http://www.coreanimator.com/tutorials/

If you do try it out, I'd love to hear any feedback, feature requests, critiques, etc..  You can email me directly at he...@polishedplay.com

Thanks again!

Heber

ps. It's 20% off during the launch sale to coincide with our feature :)

Quinn Taylor

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Feb 13, 2015, 4:32:58 PM2/13/15
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Congrats, Heber! I sent it around the Xcode/clang/Swift teams in my department.

Quote from Bill Dudney:

Beautiful piece of work!

Please tell your friend that this is awesome :)

Best of luck, hope you get great reviews!

 - Quinn


Dan Reese

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Feb 14, 2015, 11:34:24 AM2/14/15
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Congrats Heber! On shipping and the feature by Apple (first at the top!). The app looks wonderful.
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