Looking for a program to help with sprites.

For questions about using Classic.

Post » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:15 pm

I wasn't really sure where to post this, but I didn't see anywhere else that would be better to ask. :| Though I feel stupid asking here, considering the other threads here are actually very Construct related...

I'm very, very new to using Construct, but I'm not extremely new to making sprites. But it usually takes so long that I just give up before even finishing the sprite sheet for running, or doing a full attack.

I then saw a game where the person used a 3D program to make his sprites. The idea of it seemed great and simple, until I asked questions, which lead me to believe... that the man was a freakin' super genius, and doing so is entirely impossible for any normal human being. :b (NOTE: I don't want to just leave him out entirely, but I don't remember his name. Though he made the thread on the My Creations board called something along the lines of "An Action Adventure Game" - though I'm not sure those were the exact words. In any case, you should check it out, it's not finished but from what I can tell, he's quite the artist. If anyone needs me too I can find it again and put the link.)

Getting to the point, I realized that the concept of making "bones" to put into a sprite WITHOUT going through the 3D part should be much easier, very possible, and almost as effective. Then I found myself looking at Pivot (I believe everyone knows what this is, if you don't then it's a free stickman animation program). Now Pivot, your stick figure has joints, and you can create your own stick figure, but not much more than that. So what I'm now looking for is either a program like Pivot in which you can draw your own character OVER a stick figure, and use the bones and joints underneath to pose him, or a program in which you may make your own sprite for a character and then choose where you want the joints to be to position it, that way with one sprite of a character standing, you could position them into whatever poses you need, take a screen shot, save the sprite, and move on to the next. Then go back in another program, and do any touching up that needs to be done, such as blinking or... whatever.

And I guess I dragged things out longer than I needed to, and didn't describe what I needed to describe well enough. For that I'm sorry, but I can't help it. :( Hope you could make enough sense of it to help me out, I've looked for quite a while and couldn't find what I'm looking for, but with all the programs out there for EVERYTHING I just know there's a program out there that I can do this with. x_x Or maybe I'm even more stupid than I feel, and there's a very simple way to do it that I'm just over looking.

Thanks for your time.
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Post » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:45 pm

http://my.smithmicro.com/win/anime/index.html

Anime Studio will do what you want but it costs $50, and then you'll have to learn the program, and then you'll have to create a workflow to export your characters and clean them up and import them as sprites etc, etc, etc. It'd probably be just as easy to slog through the process of animating things by hand in the long run.

Not to mention 2D character deformations tend to look a little funny and bendy at the joints. But it does things like paper doll animation too, I think.

You can use GIMP or something (or Photoshop or Flash if you have one of those) to fake the paper doll thing. Draw your body part in pieces (forearm, hand, foot, leg, whatev) then set those pieces aside. Then when you make a new frame, copy your pieces and rotate and place them where they need to go. Flatten your frames or take a screenshot or whatever, and then make the next frame.

Just a warning though... if you use a paper doll method to make animations, it will end up looking like you used a paper doll method to make your animations. In other words, not so good, unless that's the look you're going for. The reason those sprites that were made from a 3D model look good is because, well, they're 3D renders. If you have a program like Poser you can dress up a model and export some frames from the canned animations no prob (when shrunk down to sprite size, it's hard to tell it's Poser).

Really though, nothing beats putting in the time and effort when it comes to animation. I know it's tedious (it bores me to tears) but the only way to get quality work out of it is to put quality work into it. And that pretty much means tedium.
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Post » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:48 pm

Not stupid at all. Lots of people use this technique - one example is the super robot wars series - they really push the envelope of what can be done that way. Check it out:

http://www.suparobo.jp/moviearchive/index.html

Click on the one at the bottom of the top section (the one that's 101mb - don't worry, it streams - unless of course you don't have broadband), then scroll to about halfway through to get to the sprites. There's a high-res version somewhere but I'm not sure where at the moment.

I was even debating writing my own little animation program with construct to do stuff like that - construct is capable of it. Some programs out there that can do stuff like that are flash, the tab and anime studio. There are more but I don't know of them all. You should download demos of a bunch of them and find out which one works for you.
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Post » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:45 pm

"You can use GIMP or something (or Photoshop or Flash if you have one of those) to fake the paper doll thing. Draw your body part in pieces (forearm, hand, foot, leg, whatev) then set those pieces aside. Then when you make a new frame, copy your pieces and rotate and place them where they need to go. Flatten your frames or take a screenshot or whatever, and then make the next frame."

Absolutely everything you said was helpful, but I love the sound of that. I agree with going all hand made, all from scratch, all from hard work being the best way, but I believe the paper doll idea is exactly what I'm looking for. Not for everything, but for my first lil creation I believe that would be the perfect way to go to get a hang of things and be happy enough with the sprites that it didn't leave me feeling like I wasted tons of time on anything. :D That's a wonderful idea, I wouldn't have thought of trying that lol
Thanks a lot. ^^
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Post » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:50 pm

Arima, that game looks awesome. xD Lol
Which technique was it they used, the one I mentioned or the paper doll thing? I'm.. pretty clueless about everything. =S

I never would've thought about making something like that with Construct, but that'd be awesome. You've got to let me know if you make something like that, alright? :D
And I'll certainly need to look into the Anime Studio, I've heard of that quite a few times and never did much research into it, but no better time than now. (:
Thanks!
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Post » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:19 am

It IS awesome :D It would be even more awesome if it was translated in english. GRR!

The technique they use and the paper doll thing are the same thing. They just use a lot of images, but each segment of the mecha is only rotating on one axis. The technique is basically moving, resizing and rotating images. This can all be done in real-time - as they show - all that's needed is an efficient way to tell the program how to place them. Another benefit of this is the animation size is very small.

Look at this page: http://www.spriters-resource.com/other/ ... g_rgun.png

Those are the pieces that make up the sprites. Not to intimidate you or anything. :) But that's how they get a lot of the crazy movements.

It's actually not all that hard in theory - they're masters of it though, so it looks more complex than it is.
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Post » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:38 am

[quote="MRxMADxMONKEY":139j6c7m]I believe the paper doll idea is exactly what I'm looking for. Not for everything, but for my first lil creation I believe that would be the perfect way to go to get a hang of things and be happy enough with the sprites that it didn't leave me feeling like I wasted tons of time on anything. :D [/quote:139j6c7m]

Oh, I thought that's the look you were going for anyway. Anime Studio can do deforamtions, but most 2d bone animation that I've seen is essentially paper doll style, like Flipside (video).
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Post » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:21 am

well my blober character is made using paper doll, but he doesnt really looks like it because of the way i set him up. if you make your character planar and flat looking itll, look bad, but if you make it right youll barely notice, and it'll come out quite nice

and as you can see in my engine, the benefit to making sprites this way (and animated using construct) is that your character can be very dynamic (infinite aiming directions in this case) while still breathing and moving realisticaly, and arima, that game looks reaaallly sweet. i have to try that anim style sometime, looks damn smooth and i have lots of uses for it.

its kinda like that worm boss in the new metalslug if youve seen it yet
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