The viewBox and viewPort of an svg are always rectangular, but if you have several elements that are odd-shaped, why not put them into the same svg file? They can then sit next to each other without overlapping. You can also easily add interactivity with them if you make use of the excellent Edge Commons extension library: Edge Commons - Extension Library for Edge Animate and Edge Reflow | EdgeDocks.com
Just include the EdgeCommons.Core.js and EdgeCommons.SVG.js to keep the size down, unless you need any of the extra features.
Did you try to "copy" object from Illustrator and "paste" in Animate. Animate will be paste it as svg.And the background of these kind of svg's are transparent,
To export SVG files from Illustrator, you need to choose File > Save As. An SVG file
Here The recommended SVG Options settings to export SVG for the web:
more info go here: Exporting SVG for the web with Adobe Illustrator CC | Adobe Inspire Magazine
Thanks, I was was looking for a non-rectangular "artboard", but it might not be an issue. My worry was that the artboards would interfere with each other in closely-nested groups, but working with the SVGs further, I have found that the rectangular containers don't interfere with each-other.
This is interesting. It seems to be a really easy way to import svg's without having to save as SVG first. It also seems to import without an artboard as if you made the object natively in Edge.