The Swiss Army Knife of Digital Publishing

Jul 18, 2019


Article ImageAfter working for over six years at Apple, Jonathan Deutsch struck out on his own. Interested in creating next-generation design applications, he created Hype – the first product of his new company, Tumult – and in doing so, created an important new addition to the digital publishing landscape, albeit one available exclusively for Mac. Companies as wide-ranging as Autodesk, The Wall Street Journal, SoundCloud, Reuters, Mozilla, and PBS have used the software.

With Google not recognizing Flash within its search capability, and major companies like Apple moving away from Flash, a vacuum was created on the web for all sorts of animations. It was here that Hype began to gain in popularity, especially in 2015 after Adobe announced it would no longer actively develop Adobe Edge Animate, a competitor.

Hype is an HTML5-based design tool which uses keyframe animation to allow users to create a wide variety of output. Our paths first crossed back in 2015, when my company ran a conference for users of Apple's iBooks Author publishing software. As it turned out, Deutsch had positioned Hype as a complement to iBooks Author, whereby digital publishers using publishing within Apple's ecosystem could use Hype to animate their books using HTML5.

iBooks Author launched in early 2012, shortly after the death of Steve Jobs. Tumult Hype lived through the rise of iBooks Author, the fall of iBooks Author (and its eventual folding into Pages), and now continues to thrive even as Apple itself falls short of growth expectations, especially with its publishing efforts. Tumult just recently rolled out version 4.0 of Hype, and the software's passionate community of users has continued to grow. Many publishers now use Hype, from end to end, to create entire digital books.

But Hype can do more than just produce digital books.

Hype is able to do so many things well that I've nicknamed the software "the Swiss Army Knife of digital publishing." I want to share three main use cases, beyond ebooks, where Tumult's software would likely add tremendous value to content creators, and where it is well worth checking out:

1) Web Animation – All manner of web animation is possible through Hype. Everything from entire standalone, animated web stories to intro graphics to websites all are all possible using Tumult's software.

2) Game Development – Video game studios, both indie as well as AAA, have used Tumult Hype for animating assets that are then deployed within their games. Darren Pearson, an instructor at Saint Paul College in Minnesota, teaches Hype to his college students. After using Hype to recreate a variety of retro video games, from Pitfall to Pac-Man, Person was convinced that the tool was helpful, and added it to his curriculum..

3) Animated Infographics – As a sign of how easy the software is to use, a newer use case for Tumult Hype is to create animated infographics that are deployable either within presentation slide decks or on the web. Why have just a static infographic, when Hype can allow you to deliver an animated infographic with the same amount of work?

Once you’ve created you content in Hype, a separate app, called Hype Reflect, allows users to preview and test designs on a multitude of mobile devices.

In the world of software, when a product lasts as long as Tumult Hype has – roughly eight years at this point – it usually indicates the developer cares about the community of users enough to integrate user feedback into the development process. It also means the product is really useful, or else something else would've come along to take its place. Hype checks both boxes.

If you're any kind of content creator, whether creating videos on YouTube, publishing digital books, or creating content on the web, you owe it to yourself to check out Hype.


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