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Using TweenLite / TimelineLite server-side with node.js

Clemorphy test
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Warning: Please note

This thread was started before GSAP 3 was released. Some information, especially the syntax, may be out of date for GSAP 3. Please see the GSAP 3 migration guide and release notes for more information about how to update the code to GSAP 3's syntax. 

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I'm not personally familiar with Node.js (although I've heard great things) but I can't imagine why it wouldn't work as long as there's at least a setTimeout() method and a "window" object defined (you could probably even just define window as an empty object like window = {} before loading TweenLite). 


I'm curious what you'd use TweenLite or TimelineLite for in Node.js. 

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Actually I want to handle the mechanics of an online game directly on the server.

And in order to change enemies positions, I need to tween some values server-side.

Enemies have a path (chaining tweens), and they can slow down or accelerate on this path. So TimelineLite would be really appropriate for this.


But for now I don't know how to deal with TweenMax.js file.

In node.js you can't simply include a JS file.

There is a "require" method but it only works with modules, which are built in a specific way, with some exported functions and vars (http://nodejs.org/api/modules.html)


There are some modules related to tweening (https://nodejsmodules.org/tags/tween), but none of them seem to include the same functionalities as TimelineLite.

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  • 4 months later...

I was searching for this too, i m making a game and i need to synch tweens between clients and server, so it d be the best if both use the same library.


I found a way thanks to jack's reply, it s easy:

just take a tweenmax or tweenlite (min or uncom) file and put a 


       var window = {};


at begging and then


       module.exports = window.TweenLite; // or TweenMax


at the end of the file.


then load the file in the main app 


       var TweenLite = require('TweenLite.min.js'); //or whatever your file name is in the "node_modules" folder


you're good to go.

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  • 1 month later...

Unfortunately I cannot get this working. I get the following error using this technique for TweenMax

ReferenceError: document is not defined

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If you don't need a TweenMax-specific feature (like repeat, repeatDelay, or yoyo), you could just use TweenLite instead. If you do need TweenMax, I assume you don't need CSSPlugin if you're running this headless/browserless, so you can just delete that portion of the TweenMax file (it's pretty clearly marked). CSSPlugin needs the document and document.createElement() stuff for obvious reasons, but again, if you're not using it in a browser I can't imagine you'd need CSSPlugin anyway. Right? 

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You're right, I've just got in the habit of just always using TweenMax, I'll switch to TweenLite.

Yeh Node is just a container running a javascript runtime I'm just tweening object properties on entities for my game serverside.


Thanks for your help, and for developing one of a greatest libraries ;)

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  • 11 months later...

Hey guys, I'm not sure if this still is an issue but this topic was the first that appeared on google for me.

I got TimelineMax working on node.js.

// shim for all the methods gsap is testing for css prefixes, etc 
var window = {}
  , navigator = { userAgent: "" }
  , dummyElement = { style: {}, getElementsByTagName: function() { return [] } }
  , document = { createElement: function() { return dummyElement } };

/* insert tweenmax here */

// export timeline max
module.exports = TimelineMax;

That's all. You simply just need to provide the few window and document methods that TweenMax is testing.

Maybe this helps other people who also find this topic through google.


(ofcourse removing the css portion from tweenmax is still the cleanest way)

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  • 9 months later...
So I followed, Sebastian Nette's example for getting this to run on the server.  I wasn't able to solve the dependencies missing issue; this doesn't seem to effect anything so far (tested TweenlineMax,TweenMax,Easing,etc.).  The detailed steps for getting this to work are below; note, all these modifications are done on the same file, /node_modules/gsap/src/uncompressed/TweenMax.js
1 - add the following to the beginning of your file (* shimmed to work in browser as well):
var window = window || this
, navigator = window.navigator || { userAgent: "" }
, dummyElement = { style: {}, getElementsByTagName: function() { return [] } }
, document = document || { createElement: function() { return dummyElement } };

2 - Add the following "if" statement to the following loop, found on / near 6526. 

for (p in _tweenLookup) {

    a = _tweenLookup[p].tweens;

    if(a && a.length) { // *** this is what I added; somehow a ends up undefined

       i = a.length;

       	while (--i > -1) {
         if (a[i]._gc) {
               a.splice(i, 1);
    if (a.length === 0) {

        delete _tweenLookup[p]; // ** I'm thinking this is the culprit; should be spliced;

3 - At the end of the file, before the main closure, add the following:

module.exports = _gsScope;

4 - How to use:

var gsap = require('gsap');

var TimelineLite = gsap.TimelineLite;

var TweenMax = gsap.TweenMax;

var Easing = gsap.Easing;
Here is a link to my github repo where I put my working TweenMax.js script:   HERE
I am still getting these errors: 
GSAP encountered missing dependency: com.greensock.size
GSAP encountered missing dependency: com.greensock.clean
GSAP encountered missing dependency: com.greensock.byIndex
... Anyone know where these reside || how to fix it?

Also, why don't these fixed already exist?
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