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Author Topic: 2d bone-based animation tools/plugins  (Read 12840 times)

visionmind

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2d bone-based animation tools/plugins
« on: 19 Apr 2012, 06:35 »
I think it would be awesome if AGS had either a system like this or a plugin for this:

It's called Spriter:
http://www.brashmonkey.com/
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/539087245/spriter

In Spriter's case I believe you use the program to animate your character and then you use their plugin for your game engine to use in your game.  I think the Kickstarter page nicely introduces/explains it.

The idea is to make a character, or animation, with parts that can be linked and hinged together that can be rotated, scaled and deformed, instead of making sprite frames for every animation.  Examples of this sort of animation would be in Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. (according to the Kickstarter video)

While I'm not necessarily specifically suggesting a plugin from Spriter, I think something like this would be great for AGS for certain projects, since it would allow a lot of animation (even procedural animations) without a lot separate sprite frames, both for characters and for background elements.  It could really bring the game to life.

I don't know exactly what's being planned with AGS, but I just thought I'd pass it along because I really do think AGS could benefit from something like this to both save space and memory, but also to allow more FG and BG animations without extraneously taxing the system.

:)

PS Thanks to Freidenker01 who posted about a similar tool called Spine.
http://esotericsoftware.com/
« Last Edit: 22 Apr 2013, 08:49 by visionmind »

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #1 on: 23 Apr 2012, 17:15 »
I've been looking on this project for a while now and it looks like a very remarkable sprite editor, and when released, a good choice for animators and gamemakers of all kinds.

If the resolution limitations of ags becomes a matter of the past and this software becomes compatible with ags, life would be just awesome!

So, all of the AGS engine and editor programmers and gurus, please have a look to the kickstarter site of the project. It looks just soooo nice.

Keep up the good work, mates.

A hug for all, and thanks visionmind for spotting the project.  ;)
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Ali

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #2 on: 23 Apr 2012, 23:41 »
Reading their list of the advantages of modular animation, I feel like that system is more suited to platform and rpg games, where there are a lot of characters engaged in a lot of action.

In adventure games where only one or two characters tend to walk anywhere, and most of the animations are about expressing attitudes or emotions, I don't think it would offer as much.

visionmind

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #3 on: 24 Apr 2012, 05:00 »
I think you're right, Ali, on where this sort of animation has typically been used, but I think it could also open the door for a more animated world in adventure games.  The amount of animation required for a lot of background characters would be daunting using normal sprites, but with this sort of animation you could give life to, not only, characters but wind blowing flags or grass, or whatever, with relative ease and not a lot of memory.

I think this could be especially nice for adventure games where it is typically one background at a time, instead of a moving background like a side-scroller, and where some more animated life could really be nice.  Not to mention better interaction animations with the main character.  I think the possibilities are endless.

Even if it's not this plugin I think an animation system like this could be really nice in AGS and adventure games in general.

SSH

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #4 on: 24 Apr 2012, 05:27 »
I had some ideas to turn the walkcycle generator in to something vaguely like this: the idea being that you could easily animate the limbs to do any action by manipulating the skeleton, and that would make animation of any limb-based action with a character easier, but I never got there...

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #5 on: 24 Apr 2012, 15:09 »
Reading their list of the advantages of modular animation, I feel like that system is more suited to platform and rpg games, where there are a lot of characters engaged in a lot of action.

In adventure games where only one or two characters tend to walk anywhere, and most of the animations are about expressing attitudes or emotions, I don't think it would offer as much.

I disagree, Ali! Think of how powerful this would be if you used it as a super walkcycle generator++.
 

Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #6 on: 24 Apr 2012, 23:44 »
I had some ideas to turn the walkcycle generator in to something vaguely like this: the idea being that you could easily animate the limbs to do any action by manipulating the skeleton, and that would make animation of any limb-based action with a character easier, but I never got there...

Did you mean something like this: http://files43.com/en/download/file/17346/skeleton/
?
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Scavenger

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #7 on: 25 Apr 2012, 13:38 »
Reading their list of the advantages of modular animation, I feel like that system is more suited to platform and rpg games, where there are a lot of characters engaged in a lot of action.

In adventure games where only one or two characters tend to walk anywhere, and most of the animations are about expressing attitudes or emotions, I don't think it would offer as much.

Ah, but think of the opportunities for making more complex animation from smaller sprites! Giving someone a different stance (held frame) while their head still talks, talking while walking (Bud Tucker style - he even chewed gum while walking, something that not many adventure game heroes are able to do!), or putting different facial expressions on the characters themselves while not bloating out your game with thousands of redundant pixels.

Close up shots could still benefit from this limited animation, and be done ten times more elegantly than the current method.

You could change the character's clothes independantly of their mood, they could dance and still be able to talk.

The advantages of this system isn't just for Rayman-style animation, but a whole spectrum of animation-saving processes. Who needs to add in seperate "blink" frames and mess around with custom talk animations and unwieldy views for Sierra portrait  talking, when you can just composite all you need in Spriter, and do, say
Code: [Select]
vGraham.Mood (MOOD_ANGRY);
cGraham.Say ("I am very angry!");
And you add new #defines and moods directly on the artist's side, and not on the programmer's side where they have to use up new Views to change something as insignificant as an eyebrow. Heck, if the lip sync tech in AGS was improved, you could leave it to the lip sync dude to note which lines are which mood, and change it appropriately (coincidentally, a lip sync editor in AGS would be badass as hell). Done totally procedurally, no changes or custom Say command with complex animation code required.

I'm just blue-sky thinking at the moment, but the possibilities are endless! Most of these could probably be done in a few hundred lines of code and several sprite slots, but Spriter may prove to be much more elegant in practice. The prospect of easy-to-do reusable limited animation intrigues me!

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #8 on: 25 Apr 2012, 14:05 »
By the way, how does it work?
I mean, in their presentation video, they explain that this system is saving up a lot of resources by not rendering all the frames entirely, but instead keeping the elements separated and rendering them dynamically.

But should we want to combine this with AGS, the benefit of that would be lost.

Anyway we'd still end up with a quite powerful skeletal animation tool (similar to Flash except it's free and much more lightweight to install)


=====

PS: I was dying to try this but it won't run on windows 7 professional, even with compatibility mode :(

Did you mean something like this: http://files43.com/en/download/file/17346/skeleton/
« Last Edit: 25 Apr 2012, 14:09 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Ali

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #9 on: 25 Apr 2012, 14:53 »
Now that you guys mention it, what you describe is pretty much how I did the animation for Nelly Cootalot. So I guess my point doesn't really hold up...

Eric

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #10 on: 26 Apr 2012, 00:03 »

Did you mean something like this: http://files43.com/en/download/file/17346/skeleton/
?

I downloaded this out of curiosity, and can't get it to run on any computer.

Just noticed Monsieur had the same trouble. I'm also running Win 7.
« Last Edit: 26 Apr 2012, 00:09 by Eric »

Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #11 on: 26 Apr 2012, 20:38 »
Just checked, works pretty well on my XP.
Mind you, it's very basic tool, I belive you can find the looks of the interface somewhere on youtube.
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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #12 on: 28 Apr 2012, 18:19 »
Hi everyone,
Edgar/Lucid here from the Spriter team.
One of the forum members told me about this thread.  I'm here to say hello, and answer any questions.

also, regarding the following (and skeletal animation):
Reading their list of the advantages of modular animation, I feel like that system is more suited to platform and rpg games, where there are a lot of characters engaged in a lot of action.

In adventure games where only one or two characters tend to walk anywhere, and most of the animations are about expressing attitudes or emotions, I don't think it would offer as much.
There are some advanced features we'll be developing, most of them after 1.0, that can be used to create extremely dynamic characters.  It's a bit lengthy, but anyone interested can read more about it here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1013446/Spriter%20Releases/wordpress/Procedural.pdf
It deals with the planned procedural animation features. 

Thanks for the interest everyone.

Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #13 on: 28 Apr 2012, 19:10 »
Hi lucid, thanks a lot for stopping by at AGS community,
I just want to say good luck for Spriter. and welcome to AGS  :grin:

Really looking forward for the development of your spriter tool.
I believe this could be a great addition and benefit for adventure point and click game development.
Cheers

visionmind

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #14 on: 28 Apr 2012, 19:17 »
I really think this could be the start of a wonderful thing. :)

Thanks Lucid, and your team.

Grim

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #15 on: 29 Apr 2012, 04:13 »
I'm absolutely in favour of the idea of combining AGS with this wonderful program!:) The possibilities would be just insane! Just reading about the sub-animations and I'm falling in love... If only there was a way to use it for AGS....

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #16 on: 29 Apr 2012, 14:28 »
+1 to that- as soon as you CAN do cool animations, people will want to do them.

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #17 on: 30 Apr 2012, 15:11 »
I'm here to say hello, and answer any questions.

So, I'll be quoting myself :

Quote from: monsieur_ouxx
By the way, how does it work?
I mean, in their presentation video, they explain that this system is saving up a lot of resources by not rendering all the frames entirely, but instead keeping the elements separated and rendering them dynamically.

But should we want to combine this with AGS, the benefit of that would be lost. All the sprites would need to be, well... sprites.
Anyway we'd still end up with a quite powerful skeletal animation tool (similar to Flash except it's free and much more lightweight to install)
 

Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #18 on: 14 Jan 2013, 12:42 »
I pledged for this project! I'll get the Pro-Version, when it comes out. Would it be hard to develop a Plugin for AGS? It would be perfect!!!

Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #19 on: 15 Apr 2013, 22:30 »
I was looking for such a plugin as well.

There's another tool like spriter called spine (you can find it here: http://esotericsoftware.com/)
I backed both projects - spriter and spine and if there would be a plugin to use that kind of animation it would be great.

I think it can be very time-saving when creating characteranimations for an adventure. Of course frame animations do have their very own charme and if you wand to make a retro look-game frame animation is the only way.
But I'm an artist in the first place and I love the easy way to use of AGS (because lacking of programming-skills :-P) and I wouldn't want to do just games with a retro look.
So why not granting the possibility? ;-)

EDIT:
BTW I thing this thred shouldn`t be namend "high detail 2d character animation tool" - actually it`s not about the details within those tools - it`s about bone animation ;-) - could be confusing for people roaming the formums
« Last Edit: 15 Apr 2013, 22:32 by Freidenker01 »

Eric

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #20 on: 15 Apr 2013, 23:28 »
Do either Spriter or Spine allow easy importing other image programs, or the exporting of frame-by-frame images? I like doing this sort of bone-based animation, but I prefer doing my drawing work in Illustrator and Photoshop. This has turned me off from using ToonBoom, to which I had some trouble importing eps or png files.

Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #21 on: 16 Apr 2013, 10:32 »
Yep. Both programms have the option to export your animation as PNG frames  :wink:

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Re: high detail 2d character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #22 on: 16 Apr 2013, 11:18 »
Quote
Spine

And at just $60 special offer it's got to be a steal 



visionmind

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Re: 2d bone-based character animation tool/plugin
« Reply #23 on: 22 Apr 2013, 08:46 »
Thanks Freidenker01.  I've made the subject change.

Also thanks for posting about Spine too.

visionmind

Re: 2d bone-based animation tools/plugins
« Reply #24 on: 13 Dec 2015, 13:03 »
Man, this thread is somewhat old.

I wonder if anybody thought about a plugin since then?

Wich might be also interesting for those considering the use of these tools anyway:

Spine has also an option to export png frames from the animations - this combined with the option to have skins for your characters (or what ever you might want to create with this tools)can still save you some time in creating several characters. For example you might just add a skin without the need of creating all the animations you have already done for another character. (stuff like walk, use, etc.) As I have been using mainly spine I can just be sure about that tool. But I assume spriter also offers this opportunity.

visionmind

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Re: 2d bone-based animation tools/plugins
« Reply #25 on: 23 Feb 2016, 19:44 »
I apologize for being a bit late, but I thought I'd mention there's work in Blender to make a sprite animator, which is notable because it's free and open-source.

and

While this system wouldn't directly interface with AGS (which was the original dream), Blender could obviously export to PNG or something. The project isn't currently done yet (February of 2016) but I thought I'd mention it as a potential free alternative.

The game engine, Godot (which is also free and open-source), also has an exceptional sprite animator, but there is currently no way (that I know of) to export the animations out of the engine (like in PNG format). The same video creator, Andreas Esau, has a great Godot video tutorial series, which is how I learned about the Godot engine and sprite animator.

visionmind

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Re: 2d bone-based animation tools/plugins
« Reply #26 on: 23 Feb 2016, 20:33 »
Very cool! :)
If I had that when I first started, I probably would have gone with hand drawn characters for my projects. (nod)
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