Create beautiful animations without being an expert
£79.99 Developer Polished Play, coreanimator.com
Requires OS X 10.10 or higher, 64-bit processor, Xcode
Core Animator is an application designed to simplify the process of integrating animations into iOS and Mac apps. Apple has created a number of frameworks that developers can use to add functionality to their apps, among them Core Audio, Core Video and, in this case, Core Animation. These provide standardised tools to make app development easier, though it still requires some skill.
Since animators aren’t necessarily coders and vice versa, this app provides an approachable set of tools for building animations, then translates them into complex Objective-C or Swift code that can be imported directly into Xcode for an app. Adobe’s Flash and Edge Animate are able to export animations to other formats, but they’re much more focused on HTML5 and browsers.
Starting with a blank canvas, you import your graphical assets, which need to have been created beforehand. You then arrange and layer them and set their properties, with different parts of objects made up of separate items. If a character has to run, for example, they’ll need feet, legs, a head and so on. The control section on the right lets you translate, scale and rotate an object and change its opacity, and a timeline lets you manage how quickly changes happen. Keyframes are added to record changes in movement, scaling and so on, and you can choose different kinds of ‘easing’. Rather than a uniform movement, you might want to have an object speed up or slow down as it moves, for a more natural effect.
The process of keyframing is very easy to get to grips with and you can set up loops and move and edit keyframes easily. It’s similar to keyframing in Flash or After Effects, but with fewer parameters to deal with it’s somewhat simpler. The technique of animation is of course a skill in itself, so to create more complex stuff you’ll need a bit of creative flair. At the simpler end, even beginners can make basic animated graphics like rubbish bins emptying or progress wheels.
Once your animation is complete you can export it easily to Objective-C or Swift code, where it’s output as a code file and a folder of source images. This can be imported into Xcode, though coding entire apps is a quite different process to building animations.
The beauty of Core Animator is it lets animators create great-looking sequences they can then give to the people building the apps, and also lets coders with perhaps less knowledge of animation build their own sequences.
If you plan on using animation in your apps, this is an elegant and efficient way to do it. Hollin Jones
It’s similar to keyframing in Flash or After Effects, but with fewer parameters to deal with it’s somewhat simpler
Import graphical elements and use keyframes to animate them, then export to native code. A powerful, effective way to incorporate animated elements into apps with minimal fuss.
Straightforward animation tools
Helps animators and coders
Export for Mac and iOS apps
No presets or library of content
Choose different types of easing to create more natural looking animations.