Back in October last year, a paragraph in the release notes of Construct 3 r219 caught a few people by surprise.
Mesh distortion is one of the bigger new features recently added to Construct 3 and we thought, now that it's been out in the stable channel of C3 for a while, it was a good time to talk about it!
It took a few beta cycles to ensure the feature was fully formed but Construct 3 now includes the ability to use meshes with Sprites, Tiled Background and 9-Patch objects. You can now distort your objects either at runtime or using the new mesh editor in the layout view. Plus, with the new 3D features, you can create 3D meshes, but we'll talk about that in another blog post.
How does it work?
A good demonstration of the basics of meshes can be found in the Mesh Distortion example on the Construct 3 Start Page. This project sets a mesh on the start of the layout and then spawns sprites on each of the mesh points which you can drag around to distort the image.
If you'd rather set your meshes up ahead of time, you can use the mesh editor in the Layout View. Right-click on the object you want to distort to open the menu and select Create Mesh under the Mesh submenu.
You can then specify the number of rows and columns in your mesh, and voila you have a grid of points you can use to distort your object as you need to! This is a great way of creating more variation in your levels for a platform game for example. Don't forget that the mesh distortion will alter the collisions too! You can see this sort of platform distortion in action with a tiled background object in the Mesh Platforms example.
If you want to learn more about the Mesh Editor, take a look at the Layout View manual page - details are included there. And you can find all of our Mesh related example files by searching the term mesh on the Construct 3 Start Page.
What can I do with it?
Plenty! Meshes aren't just for platforms. The guys at Viridino Studios have put together an example file to showcase using meshes for a few different objects in a castle setting. Flickering torches and fluttering banners are both handled using meshes:
Construct superuser Skymen has worked on several cool projects utilising meshes in different ways. From an assortment of visual effects like confetti:
Trails and particles:
And this loading screen using his radial progress behavior addon (which utilises meshes):
To more technical uses like creating non-rectangular camera triggers within a game:
These are just a handful of ideas for how you can use the meshes feature. Also, be sure to give Skymen a follow on Twitter to see more of his work! Plus he chats about various Construct experiments in his Construct Time set of tutorials.
As for the meshes, if you've been creating some interesting things using the feature, show us on Twitter - we'd love to see what you're up to!