Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hype: painless HTML5 authoring

Think for a moment. How would your workflow be like if, in order to draw a simple square in  Photoshop, instead of simply moving the cursor inside the graphic interface of the application, you had to write, cut and paste a bunch of lines of code, never being sure of how the final product would look like?
For some reason this is basically the current picture in the scene of interactive content authoring.
Without even getting on how Adobe's Flash has increasingly become a coding nightmare as well as a cultural divide in most graphic departments, until now, there hasn't been any compelling and user friendly HTML5 developing tool for artists that approaches the creation of interactive graphics in the same way Photoshop or Illustrator does with vector and bitmap art.
Until now. Hype is the brainchild of  Jonathan Deutsch and Ryan Nielsen, a couple of software engineers that used worked for Apple and founded their own company, Tumult Inc. According to its creators, "Hype is primarily targeted at designers wanting to add effects to their sites, Flash developers who need the capability to make content for iOS devices, and HTML5 coders looking for more effective ways to improve interactivity".
For me, this application means the freedom of creating HTML5 content without the burden of tedious hand-coding and hopefully, the first of a new generation of software that will level the interactive field for information artists.
I've had little time to test drive Hype after downloading it yesterday, but it seems to work as advertised. 
In a question of minutes I was able to create a couple of simple interactive graphics with ease. The interface is extremely intuitive and easy to navigate and the conversion of the final product to HTML5 compatible with Safari, Chrome and Firefox was flawless.
The app also has its limitations: no sound, vector drawing or MovieClips, but keep in mind this is just version 1.0. All those and more tools will probably be implemented in the future. 
Hype needs Snow Leopard to run and sells exclusively on the MacApp store for and introductory price of $29.99
The developer's site has a some tutorials here, and a gallery of websites created with the application.

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