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Build an Animation Generator

How can you create a path animation using a Web interface? DHTML gives you pixel-level control over the placement of each element on the page. You can even build a simple tool that lets you draw an animation path using the mouse.


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ave you ever seen those Web pages where elements animate along a path, moving across a background like sprites? It's fairly easy to imagine how that's done—using the window.setTimeout function to move one or more elements along a path defined with X and Y pixel values stored in an array. But it's difficult and time-consuming to create the path. The problem is: How can you create a path animation using a Web interface?

You could use Flash, but DHTML gives you pixel-level control over the placement of each element on the page—and you aren't bound by the rectangle of a Flash movie. You can even build a simple tool that lets you draw an animation path using the mouse. The animations themselves will work in all three major browsers—Internet Explorer 4+ (IE4+), Netscape Navigator 4.x (NN4), and Netscape 6 (NN6)—without any plug-in support, although currently, the tool runs only in IE4+ and NN4+.



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