Ten minutes of Hype.

So I downloaded Hype from the Apple App store last week. I only just got around to playing with it this weekend and I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts. If you’re running Safari or Chrome, take a minute to check out the home page. I made the little slideshow there in about ten minutes Sunday night playing around with it. I didn’t browse any of the video tutorials, not because I was trying to avoid them, but because when I opened the program for the first time, I wasn’t really trying to do anything with it. I just wanted to see what the interface was like, how it worked, what the palettes looked like, etc. However, it was only a minute or two into it before I said, “hmmm… lemme go about looking for how to set the stage size…” then, “hey, that was easy enough… now let’s import an image or two…”. I had already read a review that mentioned setting up a slideshow was as simple as transitioning between “scenes”, so I began by looking for a way to import images into different scenes, which turned out to be pretty easy. By then I was about 3 or 4 minutes into it and had all my images imported, all my scenes created and named. All that was left was to start playing around with transitions and trying to figure out how to move between scenes to get the effect I was looking for, which was just a simple cross dissolve between images. This actually took the most amount of time, only because I didn’t quite know how things were set up. However, once I got the hang of the Identity Inspector after a few minutes of tinkering, all I needed to do was “Export as HTML5”, choosing the “folder” option (remind me to play with the “Dropbox” option because that sounded intriguing!) and it packaged everything up nicely, providing me with a couple of <DIV> tags that I copied and pasted. Upload the folder containing the javascript (more about that later), and you’re done.

All in all a pretty fun little experience. I didn’t play with the capture/record feature, but reading about others experience with it makes me wanna fire it up. I definitely think it’s a cool tool with a LOT of potential, and an especially polished “version 1.02”. I suspect it’s exactly what Adobe’s going to release as “Project Edge” though, so it won’t be long before some heavyweight competition moves into that same visual design/development territory. Just between you and me, my money’s on Adobe. Speaking of… I did notice that there’s a nifty little “Dreamweaver Preview” button in Hype. Combined with Dreamweaver’s live view, it makes for a nice little round trip workflow. Props to the Hype guys and gals for that little nugget.

The downside? The animations are javascript. No CSS animations, and it doesn’t even use canvas elements. Just wraps it in <DIV> tags. I know weird, right? A quick browser compatibility test confirmed my fears. It works great in Chrome and Safari… but, well… if you’re not using those browsers, you’ll see what I mean. Or, rather, you WON’T see.

So it’s like I said. It’s a great start. Fun little program for a nice opportunity to do some visual design without writing code. I’ll play with it more and maybe dump some examples here. I’m not exactly sure I’d use it for production work just yet… well, maybe for something quick and dirty…

And again, let’s not forget that Project Edge is coming…

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