Character design & animation tools

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  • Hello everyone, its been a while since I posted something here in the forums...anyway, I would like to ask you guys if you could share your knowledge in the matter of character design & animation tools.

    A friend and me are looking to make a 2D platform game, but then again we dont know a lot of sprites and animation for the characters. So far we have been using Photoshop for the character designs and sketches but as I said, for the animation we dont know what would be the best tool available for it that could help us achieve our goal.

    Any tips, tricks or tools you could share would be a big help.

    PD: Sorry if I posted this in the wrong forum I havent been around lately.

  • Animation tool : Spriter

  • +1 for Spriter

    There is a free application called Blender that may be helpful. You can use it for 2D or 3D animations.

    It is really nice for isometric tiles.

    The place to learn it is in the Blender Artists forums:

    Some helpful things to search for in the BA forums:

    Toon rendering

    Keyframe animation

    Lip syncing

    IK animation

    Particles (can make smoke, flames, explosions!!)

    Physics Simulation

    Fluid simulation

    Cloth simulation

    You can make things that look ultra realistic, or extremely simple.

  • Synfig is a really interesting open source software that Im learning to use. Is for 2D animation.

  • I forgot all about Synfig, what a great application.

    Ktoon is pretty neat too:

    iirc it is linux only.

  • One of the best books I know of has been made into a DVD set:

    I recommend the book, I have never seen the movies, so I cant say if they are good or not.

  • You can animate with Photoshop. It's not the easiest software to do it in, but you already have it and some artists are able to create some amazing things with it. Here's a list of animation software I have used. All great in their own way.

    ToonBoom Animate (expensive, but probably the best)

    ToonBoom Studio (lighter version of the above)

    Flash (my Favorite)

    After Effects (great puppet tools and for special effects)

    Maya (3d)

    3ds Max (3d)

    FlipBook (mainly hand drawn animation)

    Anime Studio (popular & affordable)

    TVPaint (expensive)

    Animation HD (iOS app)

    AnimationDesk (iOS,Mac,Android)


    Synfig Studio (Mac, Windows, Linux)

    Pencil (Mac, Windows, Linux)

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  • One of the best books I know of has been made into a DVD set:

    I recommend the book, I have never seen the movies, so I cant say if they are good or not.

    There's an app for iOS too. It has interactive examples and videos. It allows you to flip through some of the examples. I have the book too, but the app is so much better.

  • Hello..

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  • Hello..

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  • Pencil2D is the best and most straight forward traditional animation program.

    Otherwise I'd use Spriter, but I think it's more fun to make and watch hand drawn animation than turn it into a technical thing.

  • It depends on what type of sprite/character art style you want . For 3d rendered animations you could try Daz3d.It's base installation is free. The rest of the 3d models and props you have to buy though.

  • DrawPlus Starter Edition - Free


    It's a 2D vector program. If you try it and like it, they are having an sale right now for upgrading to DrawPlus X5 for 70% off. So it ends up costing around $30. DrawPlus X5 can do animation too.

  • I use iclone by reallusion.

    There's a learning curve but it's worth it.

    Design, Pose and animate

    Export as image sequence 32 bit PNG's

    includes a built in cell shader.

  • For pixel art animation I recommend Pickle

    It's really useful to draw your animated sprites as it is easy to use, has onion skin, real time view of what your animation looks like as you're drawing it and is cheap.

    The only drawback is that there is no layer system, but you dont really need it for pixel art :p

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