Drinking Our Own Champagne

Every few months, all of us here at Animatron set aside some time to work with the Editor, creating a project and keeping careful notes of our thoughts and interactions with the product along the way. We think it’s really important to actually interact with the tool that we’re building! This exercise, which we call “Drinking Your Own Champagne*” is extremely useful in helping us decide what new features and functionalities should be prioritized in development, as well as finding bugs and usability issues.

This summer’s Champagne projects were loosely themed around computer science and tech. Take a look at the fruits of our labors below, plus a few thoughts from some team members about what they liked best and missed most about Animatron.

- Catherine Arizan, Marketing Manager

* This tradition actually used to be known as “Eat Your Own Dog Food,” a phrase that I personally had never heard before but that Dmitry Skavish, Animatron’s CEO, assured me was a common phrase in software development. I guess it is, but when I expressed the opinion that dog food was not a particularly appetizing description of our product, he changed it to “Drinking Your Own Champagne” to lend an air of elegance to the exercise.

“I liked the ability to select multiple keyframes select keyframes with Ctrl+drag and delete individual tweens from the layers panel, as well as the addition of “Snap to Path” to the layers panel’s Context Menu.” - Natalie

“I missed bone kinematics and/or shape morphing, and I wish that editing bezier curves was easier. I liked that I had the ability to draw something, add different tweens, then arrange things and share them.” - Anton

“I was able to create most of the things I had in mind fairly smoothly, but I realized that working with a long timeline becomes quite difficult, and I think some additional features would be helpful to improve the user experience.” - Olga

“Looking forward to the ability to paste multiple keyframes.” - Volodymyr K.

“I was really impressed with the new color chooser, but I really missed snapping (to grid / to object) very much.” - Catherine

“I missed color tweens - the ability to change the fill color of an object at different points in time without creating a copy of the shape.” - Ivan

“I missed embedded fonts and liked easings.” - Dmitry

“I wish that two different objects connected by a line could stay connected even if I moved one of the objects - so the line would be ‘glued’ to the objects.” - Eugene

“It would be very cool to have some green light to demonstrate that sync is ok and all work has been saved - not only that red label that tells you if the sync has failed.” - Mike

“I missed some kind of ‘snap to grid’ or ruler feature when aligning individual letters, and I wish it were easier to create a ‘typing’ effect, with one letter appearing at a time.” - Yuri

- Peter