Saturday, January 5, 2013

Animate SVG with the help of Inkscape

Sources: wiki.inkscape.org
upload.wikimedia.org
 I feel guilty. I know, I shouldn't be writing about animations. But now again, knowing the available tools it is an integral part of making good presentations. After all, I know people who still draw their diagrams on PowerPoint. I'm going to pass that and assume you have opened Inkscape and know what SVG means. If you don't, google those two words "SVG" and "Inkscape". It will blow your mind, that is, if you're still using PowerPoint or alike to do your diagrams.

Do you wish you could animate the diagrams you have made using SVG? I have news for you. You can, but it is painstaking. The keyword is SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language), and with the help of Inkscape, some inspiration and patience you can get nifty results.

A couple comments. Some browsers, like Firefox, can display SVG. This is important because slideware will necessarily support this format. So you have at least two options. You can link an slide's object to the browser. Note the URL will start with "file://" instead of with "http://" This is cumbersome, and not that professional. The other way is make a screencast of the animation, and include the resulting video in your presentation stack.

Now, obviously this whole animation process is time consuming, and it will yield at the most one minute of the presentation time. But knowing that the tools are available and are free is worth knowing about.

 

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