Stykz for Mac Beta 2 is Now Available!
January 26th, 2009
After four long weeks of bug fixes and enhancements, the second Public Beta for Mac is available for download at http://www.stykz.net.
This version of Stykz builds on the popularity of Beta 1 by adding several new features:
- Ability to import Pivot 2 .stk files, which means that Stykz will be able to use thousands of already created .stk files so that animators won’t have to recreate work that is easy to download and import.
- You can export the currently displayed frame as a PNG, JPG, or GIF image
- You can export all the frames in an animation to a sequence of PNG or GIF images.
- We added an indicator in the title bar of a document window and in the Window menu to indicate a document that needs to be saved.
- A new StykzPlayer window was added for playback that shows up automatically that lets Stykz get better performance in playback.
- You can now move any selected figures to the center of the current stage by choosing “Move to Center Stage” from the Arrange menu.
- We added shortcut keys to most menus items to make things easier to access.
- A “Revert to Saved” menu item was added to the File menu to allow for discarding all changes made to a document.
- You can now create a circle by just choosing “Circle” from the Figure menu.
- We have made it a lot easier to move Stykz figures (.styk files) into and out of the Library: at the bottom of the Library palette are buttons to add/rename/delete items in the Library, to open the actual Library folder on your hard drive, and to refresh the list if you choose to add files to the Library folder while Stykz is open. You can also drag .styk files from the desktop directly to the Library palette to quickly add .styk files into your Library.
- You can now specify that any figure, including those in your Library, can be used for new documents in the Preferences window
In addition to the features listed above, fixed a whole bunch of bugs so as we approach the 1.0 release Stykz will be as bug-free as possible. To see a list of everything we’ve done, see the Release Notes.
Note that this version has been re-engineered for better performance and that required a file format change; so when you open any .stykz files you created in Beta 1, you will be prompted to convert to the new format (a backup of the original is made just in case).
The next targets on the horizon are the first Windows Public Beta on February 21, and the official Mac 1.0 release on February 28. You can always see the current timeline at the Stykz forums by going to http://tinyurl.com/stykzdevtimeline, and the features we’ll be adding to future versions of Stykz by going to http://tinyurl.com/stykzdevroadmap.
As always, if you run into any issues, or have any comments or suggestions, please use the “Send Feedback” menu item in the Help menu, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stykz Development Team
Sneak Peak on Upcoming Windows Public Beta
January 19th, 2009
We’re working hard on getting ready to release the Mac Beta 2 of Stykz, but at the same time we’ve been getting the first Public Beta of the Windows version of Stykz ready as well. Here are some screenshots of Stykz for Windows:
Of course we have some interface refinements and other adjustments including testing to do, but we wanted to keep you posted on our progress. Just FYI, Public Beta 2 for Mac is due out this week, and Public Beta 1 for Windows is due next month (2/21/2009). Enjoy!
Sneak Peak on Upcoming Beta 2 Features
January 12th, 2009
In addition to streamlining playback and fixing bugs, several features have been added to Stykz that will be available in Beta 2 in addition to Pivot .stk import:
- Most menus have new shortcut keys added to make it easier to access those menu items
- A new “Export Frame” menu item gives you the ability to export the current frame to a PNG, JPEG, or GIF image (in either Edit or Preview modes)
- A new “Revert to Saved” menu item allows you to ditch all changes made since the last save
- New buttons on the Library palette let you get quick access to the folder where .styk files are stored so you can move them in and out and refresh the list
- The display of static and hidden segments (and their nodes) was modified depending on whether a figure is currently selected or not, and with which tool.
These changes should allow for easier animating and more flexibility while working with Stykz. And there’s more to come!
Beta 2 to Include .stk Importer – Here’s a Sample
January 2nd, 2009
After the basic importation code was in place, I looked for a reasonably complex stick file to import, and found one on the Droidz.org forum called “advisor” created by Nazareno. To give you an idea of how this looks, the images below show the comparison between Pivot and Stykz Beta 2 (pre-release).
(Click on the thumbnails below to see the comparisons at full size.)
Here they both are in the Figure Editor (Pivot) and selected (Stykz):
And here they are in the animation (Pivot) and deselected (Stykz):
These are not 100% exact, but they are very close and we’ll be working to make sure we get as close as we can to the original .stk.