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Introducing Flare

Flare is our brand new vector animation tool. Coming soon as a free beta to all 2Dimensions users.

2Dimensions started as a place to build, learn, and share everything related to 2D game design. We always knew that our game development tools had plenty of applications outside of the gaming world as well, but it wasn’t until we started working with Flutter (Google’s mobile app SDK for crafting high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android) that we realized how powerful it could be to use our animation tools to create interactive graphics for apps.

While working with Google on the Hot Reload game and our 2Dimensions Showcase app for I/O 2018, we found ourselves wanting a tool that allowed us to animate UI elements closer to how screen design tools like Sketch and Illustrator work. Nima is powerful for rigging characters and animating scenes, but it’s not ideal for UI animation due to its current lack of vector shape support (which the majority of game engines do not natively support).

So we took the challenge to build a new tool that fits with the 2Dimensions vision, borrowing some of the advanced animation and rigging tools that make Nima so compelling, while adding vector tools application designers are more accustomed to (e.g. clipping masks, fills, strokes, custom shapes, rounded rectangles that preserve proportional corners while animating width and height, etc).

The result is Flare, a vector-based animation tool for apps and games.

As a specific example of how this would be useful to an app developer, check out the house animation below. Rather than showing just a simple slider with the number of rooms, we’ve hooked up the slider to a Flare animation. This creates a much more compelling, visually rich, and playful interaction.

As another example, we recreated the Google dots animation below in Flare. This is all dynamic and running in real-time, meaning that we can easily manipulate all of it with code.

Flare will soon be released as a free beta to all 2Dimensions users. The beta will end this summer, at which point Flare will become available as part of the same membership as Nima.

Development will continue full time on both Nima and Flare. Nima will remain our game-development focused tool for rigging and animating raster-based characters, props, and scenes.

Originally published at 2Dimensions.com on May 6, 2018.

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