Radi 0.8.1 and EPS import musings

I finally managed to complete another update to Radi, my HTML5 content creation app. This new version 0.8.1 is all about fixing bugs and lots of workflow annoyances. Even though the version number increase is tiny, I feel that the improvements are substantial especially if you’re doing vector graphics animation. You can read more about it on the Radi news page, or go straight to the v0.8.1 release notes. (Radi remains a free download, of course.)

I’ve also started writing a real guide book for Radi. The title is Learn HTML5 Multimedia With Radi, and it’s still a work in progress. Only the first chapter is mostly done. I’m hoping to get it finished within the next months.

Well, I claimed that 0.8.1 doesn’t add new features, but actually I did sneak in one new feature that’s fairly major, at least in terms of programming complexity. You can now import vector graphics in the EPS format. This feature is “experimental” — that is to say, not working very well much of the time… Therefore it’s a bit buried away. (You can find the use instructions in the release notes.)

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is a complex format that’s designed more for printers rather than transferring graphics between applications. But EPS has been around for so long and is so widely supported by all the important vector graphics apps, so I felt that it’s the only practical choice if I have to pick one vector format right now… There are plenty of EPS graphic files around for things like company logos and icons, and now you can bring them into Radi as real vector shapes that remain scalable and editable.

Simple graphics like logos and outline drawings are mostly what the importer is suitable for. Complex fill styles, clipping masks and texts won’t be imported at all. (To import text, you should vectorize it first… But it’s generally better to recreate the text within Radi if possible.)

By the way, if you’re more interested in the second part of my Cocotron tutorial than Radi, fret not, it’s coming this month. (Edit in June: sorry, I was overly optimistic — the rest of the tutorial is still unfinished… Apologies for keeping you waiting.)

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