View Full Version : How to embed animation in epub

01-02-2011, 10:40 AM
Hi there

I searched for the phrase "embed animation" in the search box above, but could not find a single match, hence this post.

I am a children's book author with several illustrated hardcover books. I am getting them animated and will put the animation after my ebook. The reader of my ebook will be offered a choice of reading the ebook or watching the animation (which is based on the print version of the book) or doing both.

I need to embed animation in the epub file. I have converted the animation into m4v and mov formats so that it can play on ipads and iphones. I can convert the printed books into epubs using sigil, callibre and epub Maker software. But I can't seem to find a way of embedding animation into my epub, that will work.

Does anyone know a resource for a non-techie that will explain how to embed an animation in an epub file? I can do basic html editing but am not familiar with java script or scripting in any form. I also have no knowledge of css. Does this mean I am totally handicapped and need to hire an epub composer? I am struggling and would like to do it myself, if I can.

Many thanks for your help and suggestions.
Happy New Year to all of you.

mr ploppy
01-02-2011, 12:37 PM
I would be surprised if it was possible, but even if it is there wouldn't be many devices that could cope with the framerate. For something like that you would be better off creating it as an Apple App, someone showed me something similar to what you describe on an iphone a while ago. But you would be drastically cutting down on your potential readership if you went down that route.

01-02-2011, 02:08 PM
Animations are out of the scope of the ePUB specification. They can only be included as non-standard content, and ePUB readers are not required (nor expected) to support them.

01-02-2011, 08:33 PM
Animations are out of the scope of the ePUB specification. They can only be included as non-standard content, and ePUB readers are not required (nor expected) to support them.

Having said that the ADE implementation does support SWF images in the PC desktop version and probably on a mac. These can be animated. It may be supported on portable versions that are LCD based but not on devices that are E-paper based. Check our wiki on ePUB

Try this link for details:


01-02-2011, 09:45 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies. I am not a techie so I am not sure if it is doable or not. I have seen several posts on freelancer where requests to do the ebook conversion (with animation) are listed. Those services are way too expensive for me. In addition, I would rather do the conversion myself, if I am given the know-how.

01-03-2011, 04:15 AM
It may be supported on portable versions that are LCD based but not on devices that are E-paper based.

and not on the iPad either, since it does not use ADE, and it does not support Flash (or so I've heard).

01-03-2011, 09:59 AM
I too am interested in knowing how to do the animation in epub.

01-03-2011, 10:37 AM
Dear Jellby and Dalede

Thank you for your comments. I am aware that ipad does not play flash. I am assuming ADE stands for Adobe Digital Editions? Given all that, can i put an external link in my epub file which will take the reader to another site where animation (in mov or m4v format) is located? Can the reader or his child watch the animation that way?
I think the animation is worth watching and it would be a shame to not let that happen.
Thanks once again.

01-03-2011, 11:49 AM
everything I know about video linking in ePUB is in the blog I referenced earlier. I would suggest you read it. External links are even worse than internal ones as they require an Internet connection to be useful. Not all ePUB readers can integrate WiFi into the reader application even if the device supports WiFi for other usage.


01-03-2011, 01:45 PM
If the system has an internet connection, it might be that the reading software launches a browser program for external links, and then you are in web-page dominions. I don't know if this is the case with ADE (yes, Adobe Digital Editions) or the iPad. If it has no connection (like my Cybook), it can never work.

But you can alway write the URL of the animation, so that the interested reader can visit it with an appropriate system.

02-18-2011, 01:57 PM
you can use m4v format for animation and add it to the epub

02-18-2011, 07:09 PM
The 3.0 specs will allow for audio and video embedding but it seems it's just targeting Tablest with this. And to be honest, when ebooks start looking and acting like regular websites... well.

Anyway the first public draft of ePUB 3.0 is presented, and noo, they chose a closed video codec support for this open format. (H.264). That's a real shame as now only publishers who pay a fee will be able to use video it seems.

Oh well, for now adding video might be a bad thing unless you want your content exclusive be targeting iPAD and similar devices and not the REAL eReading devices...

02-21-2011, 05:44 AM
This isn't about video, but animated gif. I can get it to work in epub viewable in Sigil, Calibre, but not on Nook Color.
SO gif is playing in the epub file, just not showing up on NC. has anyone been able to get a gif play on NC? I even treid as a seperate gif file i ported over, but just shows 1st image and thats all.

02-21-2011, 09:38 AM
If Sigil or Calibre is showing it, it will not say that it will play. Both uses QT Webkit to display the xhtml files. The webkit does not follow the epub specs. A reader system should follow the specs more. Afak an animated gif is not supported according to the specs.

02-21-2011, 10:20 AM
only png and jpg format that support common devices..

03-17-2011, 03:57 PM
I was trying to add animations to ePub but after reviewing the options it looks like it's not supported. And there is no generally good way to add it. I also want to make eBook animations interactive. So I decided to make apps, based on the books. I have two in progress now and I'm learning more about what interactions and animations are required. I'm working on the app now (iPad, Android) to make animated books and will try to make it generic enough, so it can be easily customized for any ebook. I have development background and I'm looking for authors to explore the interactive books opportunities. If you are interested - just send me a message - alex [at] diagramic [.com]

04-30-2012, 03:23 PM
It seems you can embed m4v-videos if you use the rather well integrated iBooks Author for Mac. The format is not very exciting and the files seem to be closed for distribution other places in the iTunes-store :(

But have a look:

05-01-2012, 11:41 AM
Give this a try:

edit: assumes your target is the iPad