Interactivity and animation are vital components of today’s Web.
Immersive interaction in digital delivery has been evolving over the years; it is to the point that most people expect the application to respond to them to some degree, to show some signs of life. Additionally, video and moving image have emerged as the gold standard for content with their quick and multilayered conceptual delivery.
Due to the great advances in both our hardware and our software, we are more capable than ever to view high-fidelity video and complex interactivity and animation on all devices. For example, we have super-powerful laptops, desktops and now even smartphone processors that rival the speed and power of their larger digital brethren. On the software side, browsers are consistently evolving to meet the needs of motion on the Web—Microsoft even did away with the Internet Explorer line in favor of the sleeker and more modern Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla (Firefox) and Google (Chrome) are always pushing the limit on what technologies can be used.
There are many similarities between what a developer could do with Flash and what a developer can accomplish with GSAP.
Let’s start with a few differences first.
1. GreenSock takes advantage of the powerful and popular HTML5, as it is just another member of the family.
2. Web utilities, such as CDNs and browser caching, know GSAP; they’re friends.
Load times and performance optimization being very important checkpoints of a good website, the fact that GSAP can integrate with optimization tactics is very valuable to site owners who want to show great, complex animations and not give up performance.
3. Flash had fleas.
Man, does it stink when a pet has fleas! Everyone starts getting all itchy, and the whole house has to get gassed out to solve the problem. Well, when one of Flash’s many security problems was exposed, the same sort of thing had to be done to your website or the end user’s device. GSAP doesn’t have that problem—it comes with a collar.
4. Open source for everyone!
Flash has its ActionScript and all, but once you export from Flash, the only way to make edits is to go back into Flash, make your changes and then re-export the whole thing and try again. With GSAP, you just jump on the server and edit the code and voila!
5. Why do I have to keep recharging my phone battery?
Differences aside, here’s how GSAP spells Flash.
Well, those are some of the differences that show GSAP is stronger, faster and more secure than its predecessor; now for some similarities. Any animator will tell you there is nothing like having a timeline to set tweens on. Well, GSAP has that too!
1. A developer can create a timeline and set events to occur along it via tweens or tweening.
Tweening or inbetweening is the process of generating frames between two images to create the appearance that the two images are moving smoothly from one position to another.
Tweening at certain frame rates, with a minimum of 12 frames per second, creates an effect known as the persistence of vision. This is the term for the optical illusion wherein still images are chained together to form the illusion of motion. Disney animators masterfully employed this technique to create their cartoons, using principles they called The Illusion of Life.
2. Motion and shape tweens can also be achieved by animating SVG with GSAP.
The time for HTML5 animations has come.
All the pieces have come together for GSAP to shine:
2. The relative departure of Flash from the Web, and
GSAP stands as the de facto solution for creating interesting and immersive animations on the web.
With its variable deployment sizes, plugin extensions, extreme compatibility and very powerful interface, GSAP is the multitool to make every front-end Web developer tool belt complete.
Animations and immersive experience are two of the keys to the modern Web and the interfaces we are capable of developing. GSAP is an extremely robust and optimized tool for creating these experiences online. The rich interfaces that are possible are definitely something to consider integrating into your website in order to establish a more interactive and welcoming user interface.