With the Flash name now a liability in the tech world, Adobe announced today that it will kill the Flash name, in deference to the emergence of HTML5 as an online video standard, and reintroduce the software as Adobe Animate CC in January.

Adobe says that the rebrand is “much more than just a name change” and unveiled a new video today in which Michael Chaize, principal Creative Cloud evangelist, explains some of the new features in Animate CC:

At first glance, Animate CC seems to be more animator-friendly with Illustrator-level vector art brushes and less focus on website banners and buttons. The Capture CC app also looks promising as a way of quickly translating line art to vector, though it lags behind animation software like Toon Boom Harmony, which has those capabilities built into the program.

Adobe, for once, is even pushing the fact that its software can be used by broadcast animators, citing in today’s announcement that Flash is “widely used in the cartoon industry by powerhouse studios like Nickelodeon and Titmouse Inc.” While the claim is not untrue, it should be noted that most Nick shows today are currently made in Toon Boom.

Here’s the feature list for Animate CC:

  • Drawing, illustration and authoring
    • Vector art brushes – Modify the path of a stroke after it’s been drawn, and scale them to any resolution without losing quality. You can also make custom brushes and import brushes created with Adobe Capture CC.
    • 360° rotatable canvas – Rotate the canvas on any pivot point as you draw to get the perfect angle and strokes. You can even use this feature with a Wacom Cintiq!
    • Improved pencils and brushes – Draw smooth, precise vector outlines along a curve and get faster live previews.
    • Easier audio syncing – Control audio looping directly on the timeline, without having to code.
    • Faster color changing – Naming tagged colors lets you change one color and have it automatically update your entire project.
    • Colored onion skinning – Easily orchestrate complex animations now that adjacent frames can have different color and alpha values.
  • CreativeSync integration
    • Adobe Stock – Browse and license millions of high-quality photos, illustrations and vector graphics directly in Animate CC. You can even add life to static content by adding animations to them.
    • Creative Cloud Libraries – Access colors, vector graphics and brushes directly as you work.
  • Output capabilities
    • Multiplatform support: HTML5 Canvas, WebGL, Flash (SWF), AIR, video, and custom platforms (such as SVG) via extensions.
    • 4K+ video export – Export videos with custom resolutions for the latest Ultra HD and Hi-DPI displays.
    • Custom resolution export – Revitalize older content by resizing and optimizing them for any resolution, such as Ultra HD and Hi-DPI displays.
    • .OAM support – Export your project as an .OAM file for easy importing to Adobe Muse, InDesign, DPS and Dreamweaver.

Animation community, what’s your take? Will you be giving Animate CC a try when it’s released in January or are Flash’s best days behind it?

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.