Initial impressions of Adobe’s “CreateJS Toolkit”

posted in: Flash, HTML5 | 0

I spent several hours today looking at Adobe’s new Flash -> HTML5 converter called “CreateJS Toolkit” (see )

The premise is that Flash content, (graphics, animation and sound) can be exported for use with the CreateJS suite of open-source frameworks ( ).

The “Toolkit” its self is a Flash extension. Its only compatible with Flash CS6, however I suspect this is purely a marketing limitation, as Flash CS5 can save to XFL so I doubt that the plugin uses any new functionality in CS6.

I have attempted to “Publish” several of existing FLA files  to HTML using the tool and they have all failed.

On the Mac, I get a bunch of Error and warning messages in the output window e.g.

Empty symbol. [correct2WAV]
Empty symbol. [wrong2WAV]

Feature not supported: Embedded fonts.
Text support is limited. It is generally recommended to include text as HTML elements (see DOMElement). (12)
Buttons are published as MovieClip symbols without interactivity. (6)
Feature not supported: Color effects. (176)
Modifying the transform point in a tween can produce unexpected results.
Frame numbers in EaselJS start at 0 instead of 1. For example, this affects gotoAndStop and gotoAndPlay calls. (110)
Input and static text fields are published as dynamic text fields. (8)
Feature not supported: Compiled clips. (2)

Trying the same file FLA files on the PC is even worse, the Flash extension totally fails and doesn’t generate any output at all.

I spent some time investigating what aspects of my FLA’s were causing the crash, but it was impossible to tell.
In a multi-layer multi MC of a avatar character having their hand and shaking their head, one of the “arm” layers caused the plugin to crash, however the layer didn’t appear to do anything that other layers weren’t doing.

On the Mac, I looked at the sound effect files that had given errors, and both were WAV files which played fine inside Flash, however the exported MP3’s that the “Toolkit” generated, had been totally mangled and just made buzzing sounds.

So my first impressions are far from positive with this latest initiative from Adobe. I can see that the Toolkit does some clever processing to convert vector art into code that the CreateJS framework can render as an animation, but as I couldn’t get any of my FLA’s to export cleanly – and even pulling them apart down to individual MC’s failed to generate anything, I’m struggling to see how this will help Flash Profession to become the tool of choice for HTML5 development, or even be useful at porting existing content to HTML5.

Also, Adobe’s choice of the CreateJS framework for HTML5 seems strange. The main part of the framework, EasleJS had 30 unaddressed issues in GitHub at the time of writing, which from a professional standpoint rings alarm bells in terms of it being a framework that’s well supported.

Cocos2d-HTML5 seem to be much more active and has less bugs, and the new kid on the block “GameClosure” may also be one to watch in the HTML5 game framework sphere, but only time will tell.

As a caveat, I have not tried “Zoe” which is an Air Application that is part of CreateJS that claims to export SWF to SpriteSheets, so is possible that this is the most useful part of the suit, and I’ll update this entry when I’ve had time to evaluate it.