Animatron

Innovative cloud animation start-up

Animatron received contribution from Redwerk

AnimatronAnimatronBoston, MA, United States

Animatron is a simple and powerful online tool that allows you to create stunning HTML5 animations and interactive content.

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Project-based

Fixed project quotes were provided to Animatron by Redwerk for this software development assignment. It was possible because Animatron delivered a full-scale scope document including UI mockups and detailed business logic specifications.

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Startups & Innovation

Besides Animatron, we helped many other IT startups develop their technology.

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Challenge

The client’s main product is a web application called the Editor. It is built to enable the creation of animated content within a browser. The best description of the concept is “Flash in a browser, but without Flash”. This revolutionary web app allows users to create cartoons, 2D games, presentations, vector graphics and all kinds of other animations very easily. Users can export the content created in the app in different formats, and publish their creations to social networks and/or share them with friends.

Redwerk was asked to develop a website to manage the content created by users in the Editor and to add some additional meta functions. Some of the main functions of the app were:

  • Sign-in
  • Sign-up
  • Content creation
  • Explore option

The idea was for the communication between our application and the client-side backend to be carried out via the backend’s REST API. However, this API was not fully described and we had to create a descriptive document with an exact analysis of the REST methods required for the individual development steps.

The client intended to split the software development process into several milestones.

Solution

Initially, on the client’s request the development process was divided into 3 milestones.

In the first phase, the HTML/CSS code and service aspects of the project were developed. This was chosen as the first step because this work did not depend on the API. We used mock storage solutions in order to give the client the chance to judge the look and feel of our interactive designs.

After the first milestone was reached, we had gathered enough information to compose a document on the required REST API. It was important to do so in a precise and transparent way, because the backend is developed by the client, and the REST methods had to be implemented on their side.

The second milestone was primarily concerned with API-related issues. After the REST specifications were confirmed, we implemented a prototype model that was later used for the communication between the REST API and the web part. SSL Certificates were implemented. This made it easier to build the live deployment solution later on.

The third milestone was to design the user interface for users logged in to the system, which in turn brought about changes in the general design. In addition, a couple of new functions had to be implemented. The software solution developed by Redwerk supports a great number of web browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer 9 and 10, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari (for iPad). The design was prepared to be adaptable for Retina displays in the future. A number of UI elements were created as jQuery plug-ins, which means that they can be re-used easily.

As far as the authentication method is concerned, Redwerk’s team built a simple solution based on the classic email and password combination as well as social network authentication via Twitter and Facebook. We even made it possible to display a user’s Gravatar. For this purpose, Java components were used and re-coded as a service in Scala.

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3

developers worked on the project

1

QA engineer

6

months to complete

4,402

lines of code

100%

deadlines met

Results

Despite its relative technical complexity and the need to adapt our code to communicate with the API provided by the client, it was not a problem to finish all the milestones within schedule. We managed to create an easy to use solution that enables users to manage their content in the Editor. The application was developed in an efficient manner and professional testing was carried out using a “fake” database.

One or the trickier aspect of the project was that the code was reviewed externally by our client every step of the way. Based on the comments made by the external reviewers, we created a perfectly valid code that behaved as intended. Communication between the two teams was especially efficient thanks to Bugtracker, so that both parties were able to inform each other on their findings and developments in a smooth manner.

A happy client is of course the most important result we achieved with this project. However, let us not forget that during the development phase, we also contributed to the Open Source community, by improving plug-ins and pushing them to github. We like to use Open Source solutions just as much as anyone else in the industry, so it was time to give something back!

Animatron exlorer option development
We hired Redwerk to design and develop a backend for our website. We asked them to do it in Scala using Play framework and although they did not have lots of expertise in exactly these technologies the work they delivered was top notch and on time with virtually no involvement from us. I highly recommend Redwerk for all kinds of software development! I am sure we will be working with them again.
Dmitry Skavish Animatron partner

Dmitry Skavish, Co-founder and CEO at Animatron

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Redwerk developer's comment
Pavel

Pavel
Software Developer

This was one of the first projects we developed in Scala using Play framework. All data exchange went through the REST service hosted elsewhere and developed by Animatron’s own team. Swift communication between our teams facilitated smooth delivery and deployment.

Animated content creator
Editor web application
REST API implementation
Animatron exlorer option development
Log into Animatron
HTML/CSS code development
HTML code development
CSS code development
REST methods implementation
Animatron animation

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