Not too long ago there was a thread suggesting a change in the design of the animation editor (or rather, a throwback to TGF). That thread and the recent threads about what should or shouldn't be in Construct 2 made me think about the animation editor a bit, and I came up with some ideas that I think could improve the animation editor. But before we get to that let's take a look at the current one.
First things first. I like this editor, it's reasonably compact and does what it needs to quite well. The TGF radial... thing, was good, but it took up quite a lot of space for, let's face it, relatively low functionality.
The animation list in Constructs current editor is better in my opinion. The tree-structural approach to listing the animations allows for a better overview while not using up too much space.
The frames list is also good, but not great. It, again, does what it needs to. But not much more than that, and if you have a very long animation, things get unruly fast.
Which brings me to the properties view. This is, in my opinion, the weak link in the animation editor. Most importantly, it's all the way over on the other side of the screen (which admittedly can be changed, but I think most people keep it as it is by default because of convenience. At least I do) while not really showing that much infromation.
And last, something everyone wants, animation preview. As it is now we have to preview the entire layout to see if the animation looks right. Add to that that we have to jump from one side of the screen to the other to make changes. I think it's clear that it could be improved.
So here's my suggestion.
First, we have an Animation Preview at the top, with a convenient progress bar and a box showing the current frame, as well as some buttons which we'll get to later.
Second is the Frames List. Here is where changes to the old start (I'd call the preview an 'addition' rather than a change).
Instead of showing our frames as icons we have a list, with three columns. The first columns is "Frame", which I think is fairly self-explanatory. Next we have "Speed", this is in fact speed from the properties view. So instead of going to the propertes view to change the speed of a frame, we can do it here.
Last is something new. This idea I got from Unitys Animation View. "Function" would allow us to call a function from a frame in an animation. In my example the function is to play a sound, this could be used to play sounds of different footsteps (left/right, stone ground/wooden floor, etc) when a character walks, but it could be virtually anything.
Below the Frames List we have the Animations List. This, too, incorporates the functionalities from the property view into the animation editor instead. So we could now set the speed of animation and if it loops from here instead. (Note that the names themselves of the animations in the Animation List does not represent how I think it should look. I think the way it looks now is great, I'm merely suggesting added functionality.)
In my example the "Tags" functionality is not present, but I'd imagine it could be included in a similar fashion.
And last, here's a short legend of the different buttons/icons.
Play animation - Plays the animation in the Animation Preview window (animation is resized to fit if it's bigger than the preview window)
Preview in window - Opens a window showing the animation in 1:1. Usefull for larger animations/characters.
Pause animation - Pauses the animation in the preview. The frame in the preveiw will be the one that is selected either via the progress bar or the Frames List.
Loop? - When ticked, the animation loops.
Repeat # - The number of times to repeat (if not looping).
Repeat to - The frame number to go back to when the animation ends.
Ping-Pong? - When ticked, reverses the animation on end.
So, there are my ideas for the animation editor, I'm interested to see what you guys think. I started a new thread instead of posting in the "Most Wanted" thread because I think it could be discussed in detail of how to improve the editor for 2.0 instead of just saying that we want it improved.