How do I even make proper Animations?

  • Is it good for beginners/kids? Because I'm a kid for Christ's sake.

    Just tried it. Nope.

    This is a program aimed at beginners. Why have they not mentioned anywhere an easy way to make animations? Spriter doesn't work because the image ends up being invisible and why isn't there a button to centre the image into the middle?

  • There is no animation package made just for beginners.

    Grab a copy of Blender and start following the video tutorials. You will be animating in less than 3 hours.

    To get a good walk cycle is like anything. it takes a little practice.

    You will never get good at anything if you do not at least try. At first no matter what way to learn is going to be slightly difficult.

    The most difficult way to animate possible is to sit there and try drawing things out frame by frame. For a walk cycle you are only really making 3 key poses, and the IK does the rest for you. You only need to go into the between frames and clean things up.

    I have done professional work for both games and television. If you need any advice feel free to PM me.

    What ever you do, do not try doing anything Frame by frame. If you insist on sticking with a 2D application, then get an animation package like Ktoon that supports Key-frame animation and spline deformations.

    No one does it frame by frame anymore. Professionals have gotten away from that since the late 1960's.

    People who do Roto-scoping even will use an IK rig to help speed things up.

    I Highly stress that you pre-render your animations. Packages like Spriter, and trying to animate in real time is just really silly. You really should save all the CPU power for the game play and physics. Not to mention that it looks horrible. You will never get a natural look, it will look like a bunch of photos rotating around each other.

    I can think of some great uses for Spriter. Making natural walk cycles are not amongst them.

  • Thanks for the great reply. I'll look at some other programs and turorials, but what exactly mean by not doing it frame by frame? Do you mean that I shouldn't be just rotating a leg or hand to animate it?

    Also what do you mean by pre-rendering the animations? How can I pre-render a stick man?

    Meanwhile I'll download Blender and watch some tutorials.

  • Pre rendering means that you render out your animations before the game runs. Real time animations happen in-game, which takes up precious CPU resources. If you are planning to make a mobile application then Real time rendering is pretty muchg out of the question..

    Frame by frame means that you are sitting there with Inkscape, Gimp or any other non-animation package and trying to manually draw each frame, pixel by pixel.

    I have noticed a lot of really bad animation advice on these forums, and game making forums in general.

    People are saying the proper way to make a torch is to make an emitter (not a c2 particle) and have it spraying hundreds of alpha mashed flames on the screen, rotating and scaling them, and changing the opacity and blend modes. Mixing it with a Particle to add to the effect.

    Looks great, and it is fun to program, but it will totally suck the life out of your CPU. This is how a PROGRAMMER who does not know anything about art, or the actual game making process does things.

    You should try to "fake" as much stuff as possible. Little animations like torch flames should be made before the game is ever run, with as few frames as possible.

    Rotating and scaling things in real time, is the biggest mistake I have seen on these forums. Not from newbies either. I am seeing some really high level users wasting CPU power left and right.

    You should only do things in real time, when there is absolutely no other way to fake it.

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  • It's not easy. To do it well, you need some level of artistic talent.

    I paint the key frames of my animations, then use a program called Anime Studio Pro to blend them together. So for this wolf animation I created 8 hand-painted frames (after studying closely how a wolf moves), and then using Anime Studio Pro's bone mechanics blended them into a 22 frame animation to make it smoother:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIFfaster_zps4102a1a5.gif" border="0" />

  • Thanks for the advice, rep for both of you (don't really know how to give rep).

    But why would I make a 2D animation in a 3D program like Blender? I've gone through the Interface and Navigation, Modeling and then Animation tutorials so far, I don't see how I can make a 2D animation.

    I finished all the beginner tutorials now. I still don't see how I can render a figure running in 2D, let alone 3D...

  • Bump please

  • I don't use Blender, so Jojoe will have to fill you in on that method.

    I use Anime Studio Pro, which is specifically designed for 2d animation. It's easiest with vector art, but I animate with raster images - hand painting key frames. It takes longer, but the results are far more detailed and accurate. I wouldn't have been able to animate the legs of that wolf well enough with a single piece of vector art broken into individual sections.

    So for my method: paint up several key frames in whichever program you prefer (Gimp, Photoshop, etc), then blend together using bone behaviours in a 2d animation like Anime Studio Pro to double, triple, quadruple the number of frames you have. It's up to you how detailed you go with them <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    Practice makes perfect too. You won't nail it first time.

  • Spriter is a great option too...

  • Spriter is apparently useless for making walk cycles, no thanks.

  • I don't use Blender, so Jojoe will have to fill you in on that method.

    I use Anime Studio Pro, which is specifically designed for 2d animation. It's easiest with vector art, but I animate with raster images - hand painting key frames. It takes longer, but the results are far more detailed and accurate. I wouldn't have been able to animate the legs of that wolf well enough with a single piece of vector art broken into individual sections.

    So for my method: paint up several key frames in whichever program you prefer (Gimp, Photoshop, etc), then blend together using bone behaviours in a 2d animation like Anime Studio Pro to double, triple, quadruple the number of frames you have. It's up to you how detailed you go with them <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    Practice makes perfect too. You won't nail it first time.

    So I should make a couple running animations on Paint.net (I finished the Photoshop trial and that's all I have), then export them to that program? Wouldn't that take out the whole need of an animating program if I paint all the animations in another program? Think I misunderstood.

  • Murad96 do you even know what you are saying?

    Spriter was made to do animations. (assuming You already have images to animate)

    Blender, Photoshop, Paint.net... are application where you create your content. 3d models or 2d image.

    In Photoshop you can make your images and animate them in 2d.

    Blender is made for 3d modeling, animation and rendering - you renderwhat you made to 2d images.

    I see you have no idea what you are doing or trying to do. and you have no knowledge about that subject.

    So first of all, google yourself some tutorial about basics of animation

    then study it, try to do simple stuff (like bouncing ball) and after that try to animate your character - if you learn how to make it.

    If you never animate anything in your life, you won't be able to animate after watching couple of tutorials. It takes months and years of heavy practicing to understand how it works and how to do it properly.

    So you have 3 choices here:

    • give it a rest and make your game without animations
    • start learning
    • pay someone to do all animations you want

    and yeah Spriter is 100% fully capable for making walk cycles, like any other soft... even notepad - if you now how to.

  • So I should make a couple running animations on Paint.net (I finished the Photoshop trial and that's all I have), then export them to that program? Wouldn't that take out the whole need of an animating program if I paint all the animations in another program? Think I misunderstood.

    I'd recommend Gimp over Paint. It's still free.

    You don't paint all the frames of your animation, just the key frames (so for a walk cycle, between 3 to 6 frames depending on how detailed your sprite is. You then use a program with bone behaviours like Anime Studio Pro (though there are plenty of others) to create additional frames in-between the key frames. You do this by duplicating the key frames and editing them with bones, blending the animation together.

    For example, here's two key frames from my wolf:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/5_zps085231d4.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/5-5_zps02806e0e.png" border="0" />

    I have a total of 8 key frames like that for him. If I left it at those eight frames, it would be an incredibly poor animation - you'd easily see when one frame changes to another. So I used Anime Studio Pro to turn it into a 22 frame animation by duplication the key frames and editing the duplicated frames, tweaking leg positions, head position, tail movement etc, so that the key frames blended together better. Much faster than painting all 22 frames by hand, but you'll still need to invest a lot of time painting the key frames:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIFfaster_zps4102a1a5.gif" border="0" />

    Animation is not easy, and it is not fast. If you're looking to create one single image of a character and create a walking animation from that, it's not going to look anywhere near as good. It can be done though, using vector art. A lot of flash games use this animation technique. They break their image up into (using a human as an example) torso, head, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg. And then just move the individual pieces around to create animations. It doesn't look natural though, and definitely looks cheap and rushed. It all depends on your own talents if you're an artist, or on your contracting budget if you're not.

  • Murad96 do you even know what you are saying?

    Spriter was made to do animations. (assuming You already have images to animate)

    Blender, Photoshop, Paint.net... are application where you create your content. 3d models or 2d image.

    In Photoshop you can make your images and animate them in 2d.

    Blender is made for 3d modeling, animation and rendering - you render what you made to 2d images.

    I see you have no idea what you are doing or trying to do. and you have no knowledge about that subject.

    So first of all, google yourself some tutorial about basics of animation

    then study it, try to do simple stuff (like bouncing ball) and after that try to animate your character - if you learn how to make it.

    If you never animate anything in your life, you won't be able to animate after watching couple of tutorials. It takes months and years of heavy practicing to understand how it works and how to do it properly.

    So you have 3 choices here:

    - give it a rest and make your game without animations

    - start learning

    - pay someone to do all animations you want

    and yeah Spriter is 100% fully capable for making walk cycles, like any other soft... even notepad - if you now how to.

    I'm sorry but I spent hours watching tutorials and using Blender to practice, so yea I do try every day. Also, why are you telling me Spriter is fully capable? I didn't say it's not capable, I said it's apparently not capable because a guy with years of experience has told me so. It probably is capable, but I definitely find it easier and more fun to use Blender or that Anime Studio Pro. You're not helping, you wrote basically what jojoe wrote. I know it will take years to make proper animations, but it doesn't take that long to animate badly. I couldn't even do anything in Spriter, all I wanted to do was make a bad but usable animation, I'm not planning on making a game. When you re-size a body part the quality of it turns unbelievably low, and resizing really helps.

    And I'm sorry yet again but I'm a kid, one in about -100 others in the whole of the UK who is 10-15 deciding to do this early on. You act like I didn't even Google anything, like I'm absolutely clueless. I don't know anything about most of the stuff in Blender, but I think I know the basics.

    The whole reason I downloaded Blender was because I find it easier modeling, and it's just more fun to use. It will also help me gain skills with a professional 3D program, not a 2D program that makes it difficult to animate a stick man (which is actually harder to animate than a proper body on Spriter).

    And no I'm not gonna use Notepad because I'm clueless with coding, if that's what it even is.

  • Just put the camera on his profile for a side scrolling game, or above him for a top down game.

    Look in the rendering options for the Animate button, or press control-f12.

    Your frames will be in c:\tmp

    Select all frames in the folder , drag and drop them on the C2 window to quickly load the sprite.

    Set the FPS to 24, and you are all set.

    EDIT:

    Try here for some great tutorials, and a nice community:

    blenderartists.org/forum/forum.php

    I think in the game section there is a sprite sheet exporter too. Search for a user named Solar lune, the guy is a wizzard with 2d stuff, and a really nice guy. He even will do private classes with you if you want to pay a very reasonable hourly rate.

    I suggest reading through his posts for the usage of blender in sprite creation.

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