Pro+ can now accept and display a variety of animation file types. These include:
- Animated GIFs
- Iota ‘Complete Animator’ files
- Euclid ‘ACE Film’ files
- Sprite files
The ‘Complete Animator’ and ‘ACE Film’ formats are loaded and stored in the original form. Animated GIFs are translated to Sprites upon loading into Pro+.
When a page containing an animation is exported as HTML the animation is converted into an animated GIF since this is the standard form of animations for webpages.
As well as making handling animations for webpages relatively easy, this also mans Pro+ is useful for helping with the creation of animations. You can now build an animation by creating a series of sprites in a single spritefile. All the sprites in the file should have the same size (width, height and colour depth). They will then be displayed in sequence by Pro+ when the spritefile is dropped onto the page and ‘animation’ is selected.
You can control the pause between frames by putting a number at the end of each individual ‘frame’ sprite’s name. This specifies how long, in centiseconds, each image is shown before the next is used to replace it. If you wish to control the frame rate of the animation the required sprite names of the images inside the spritefile have to follow a specific format. The name of each sprite includes the frame number, the word, ‘delay’ to indicate the required time before the next frame is to be displayed, and the delay time value in centiseconds. So, for example, a spritefile containing four images called something like ‘000delay50’, ’001delay50’, ‘002delay50’, ‘003delay50’ will cause the images to be shown, in sequence, with each being visible for 50 centiseconds. (Users of !InterGIF will recognise this naming convention.) If you just want frames to be shown in succession as quickly as possible the names don’t matter. The spritefile will be displayed by Pro+ if animation is switched on via the ‘view -> animation’ menu item.
If exported as html, the sprites will be converted into an animated GIF on the webpage. Note that Pro+ uses InterGIF for GIF conversions since this gives good results and can handle animations. As a general rule, if you have !ImageFS, make sure that it is not attempting to intercept GIF conversions, otherwise it may prevent the required output from being produced. For GIFs, InterGIF is more flexible than !ImageFS.
To save you having to find a copy of the !InterGIF application, Pro+ now contains a copy of the InterGIF (version 6.08) code. Currently (June 1999) this is the most up-to-date version of InterGIF. This will be used automatically unless you have a copy of !InterGIF that has been !booted or ‘seen’ by the filer before Pro+ is run. As a result, the user does not need to to do anything for GIF conversions to take place.
The above said, it may be ‘good practice’ to adopt the habit of having a copy of !InterGIF on your machine and ensure it is ‘seen’ by the filer or !booted. This means that when new versions appear you can get the advantage of any improvements. However, as explained above, you don’t need to do this for satisfactory results. So this is just for perfectionists who don’t want to miss out on any future improvements.
As a result of Pro+’s ability to animate series of sprites you now do not need specific animation software to create animation files. Pro+ will provide the animation for you! Thus you can now easily have animated results on Pro+ pages, and export the results as webpages as you wish.
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