CSS Animations Vs JavaScript Animations

Today web pages and applications are evolving. Animations are taking place of static images. Generally the animations on web can be created by two approaches: CSS and JavaScript. Both approaches have their own strengths and limitations. The approach you opt mainly depends on what kind of animation effect you need to do and also on some other considerations of your project.

Animate with CSS

Other then to create animation there is one more popular conversion i.e PSD to CSS in which we convert Photoshop PSD file into CSS /HTML. But when we talk about animations then that Animations which are developed using CSS are great for applications where you have small and self contained user interface elements. You can use them to show a tool-tip or to bring a navigation menu from the side. They usually only work with the browsers which are web-kit based. Most of the desktop and mobile browsers are web-kit based now a days. Hence it is most convenient way to bring movement to your designs and allows you to control what you want to let it happen and how many times you would like it to happen.

CSS animations use transitions or keyframes.

Transitions :

Using CSS transitions you can easily alter the appearance and behavior of an element whenever a state change occurs. The change occurs over a specific period of time and is started by an event such as when hovered over, focused on, active or targeted.

For a transition to happen an element must

  • Have a change in state.
  • Different styles must be identified for each state.

Transitions do a good job of making visual changes from one state to another hence they are best when you need a single state change. Sometimes you want more control or you need multiple states. In this case it is time to switch to animation with keyframes.

Keyframes :

Keyframes are very fast transitions. Keyframes are the foundation of CSS animation and enable you to create smooth and maintainable animations which perform well and don’t require lots of scripting. You can use them to change properties from one value to another. Keyframes can also be used to define how the animation appears at each state of the timeline. You can identity the keyframes which form your animation and give them a name. Hence then you can invoke the keyframes by using the name of the set. Each of the keyframes include the following:-

  • Name of the animation
    - Detailed name of the animation.
  • Stages of the animation
    - Each stage of the animation is written as a percentage. The beginning state of the animation is represented by 0% and 100% represents the ending state and you can add multiple in between states.
  • CSS Properties
    - The CSS properties defined for each stage of the animation timeline. After your keyframes are defined you can simply add animation properties to the CSS elements you want to animate. Animation properties normally do these two things:-

    - Assign the keyframe to an element
    - Define how it will be animated

Using CSS animations you can define the animation dependent of the target element.

JavaScript Animations

Creating animations with JavaScript is little more difficult then coding CSS transitions or animations. But with the more complexity, it comes great power.

JavaScript animations are written in-line as part of your code. You can use them to get advanced effects like stop, pause, bounce, rewind or slow down. These advanced effects are based on the idea that you can animate by moving DOM elements around the page according to a pattern which is determined by a logical function or equation.

There are many frameworks available which can handle the JavaScript animation like:-

  • jQuery
  • Velocity
  • WebGL
  • GreenSock

These all are good libraries. Among these Greensock is the best. This JavaScript animation framework is better in terms of performance then anything else.

Due to these benefits of Greensock, we like it:-

  • Created to make animating simple and intuitive
  • Completely independent
  • Powerful
  • Packed with lots of features for professionals
  • Works and plays with others also like jQuery, HTML5 etc.

Greensock gives you accurate control over the complex and nested timelines. Even if you don’t go for the paid membership there is still lots of free content and a great support network in the online forums.

Animations make lots of difference between a project that works and a project that is fun to use. You can use animations to take your designs from normal to amazing levels.

How to Transform Flash based E-Learning Courses with HTML5?

Mobile devices have become quite popular and it looks like their popularity is going to increase even further. The thing is that the most tablets and smartphones don’t support Flash, which is making Flash-based e-Learning content almost obsolete. Good thing is that, HTML5 offers a versatile multi-platform alternative. In this article we will discuss about how you can convert your e-Learning courses from Flash into HTML5 so that the mobile audience can also enjoy your e-Learning courses.

There is also a similar process from PSD to HTML5 in which we convert the Photoshop psd design file into HTML5 but here we will talk about converting Flash into HTML5. Turning your amazing Flash based e-Learning course into HMTL5 is not an easy task. If your e-Learning course is lengthy or has lots of interactive elements then it is even more difficult. You must have spent lots of time fine tuning every aspect of your e-Learning course hence it is not easy to even thing of converting every e-Learning video, e-Learning game and online scenario. You can follow the below tips which will help you to make the transformation without putting lots of time and money in the process.

Gather your Assets

You should collect and gather all of your e-Learning contents which includes e-Learning activities, videos and audio elements, so that all of your resources are ready. Make a detailed list of all e-Learning courses that you want to convert to HTML5. Prioritize which e-Learning course you will focus on first and create a schedule to streamline the work.

Keep it short and simple

This is one of the most difficult part of converting your e-Learning content into HTML5 and it involves major cuts and revisions. E-Learning content for HTML5 courses should contain very less number of bytes so that it can be downloaded quickly. As a large number of online learners will use their mobile device to access the e-Learning course hence you should keep the data to minimum while still including all the essential content.

Use the Right Tools

Before you start converting your e-Learning content into HTML5 you should finalize which authoring tools you will be using. If you don’t use the right authoring tools then the process can be very time consuming and complicated, especially if you have a lots of interactive and multimedia elements in your video design. We are giving here two most popular authoring tools which may help you:-

- Swify
- Adobe Canvas

Know your Limits

Depending upon the authoring tools which you are using, you should be aware of its limitations as well. For e.g. With some authoring tools, you may not be able to convert all of your interactive multimedia content into HTML5. To solve this issue you have to revise your online content material in order to make them mobile friendly and HTML5 ready. There are some authoring tools which may cost more but they can reduce the development time considerably and eliminate the issues.

Test the layout

You should do periodic checks while converting from Flash to HTML5. You must test the layout as you go along to ensure that all of the components are properly translated. Create checkpoints. By doing so you can reduce the risk of lengthy revisions later on.

Planning and organization

The key to successful Flash to HTML5 conversions is planning and organization. Hence you should prepare for this process well in advance. This also involve preparing the GUI for the e-Learning project. You may also have need to customize the GUI to meet your requirements.

Conclusion

HTML5 is quickly becoming the solution for e-Learning video courses. It makes your e-Learning experience more accessible and helps you create scalable, robust and versatile e-Learning content. So, make your e-Learning experience mobile friendly and get ready for the future.