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2D All the way! / Making sprites, where do I start?

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Zarier Games
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Posted: 19th Dec 2009 17:37
I am going to be making a 2d war game and I need to know what program I should use to make the characters, back grounds, objects, and weapons. If possible could someone please give me a link to a good reference site for what I mentioned above. The game is a side view scrolling game, I don't know if thats important or not, thanks in advance. Also, I know I need Sprite sheets to make animations so any info on making those would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

While war is evil and a sin to all man kind, we can not help it for it is just human nature.
Hodgey
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Posted: 19th Dec 2009 23:05
What is your budget? Are you willing to Spend heaps of money, a little bit of money or do you want freeware?

I like to use tile studio to create basic sprites and it has a map editor that you could use for your side scrolling game. Here is the link

http://tilestudio.sourceforge.net/

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
Zarier Games
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Posted: 20th Dec 2009 01:18
Thank you, for now I am looking freeware or possibly something in $40 range. I will try out tile studio thanks for the help.

While war is evil and a sin to all man kind, we can not help it for it is just human nature.
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 20th Dec 2009 19:17
Personally I would use Anim8or to render 3D images into 2D animations, and use them as sprites.

Anim8or is free.

Zarier Games
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 03:56
How would you go about turning a 3d image to an animation. I have anim8or, so if you could please tell me more about your method or a link to something that explaines it, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

While war is evil and a sin to all man kind, we can not help it for it is just human nature.
Van B
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 09:38
You could make one in DBPro, or DBClassic if you use limb hierarchy animation.

It depends on how much animation you need, and how many variations - but really there isn't a huge threshold for when rendering isn't a better option, to get the sprites started at least. I'd say that if you want an easy life, make the models in anim8r, then in DBPro, load each model and draw each required frame at the required orientation, then grab the render. This could easily be done using an extra camera, or setting the default camera view. Being able to make, say a soldier model and change the texture to suit the uniform, and it's easy to see where the time saving comes in. If you ever need to get higher resolution sprites, then it's easy this way.

That's a thing actually, you should set the background to magenta, RGB(255,0,255), then render at twice the resolution you need, then delete the magenta backdrop in your art package, and resample at half size - then you get a sprite sheet at the resolution you need, but anti-aliased, so the sprites would blend into the backdrop smoothly.


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 14:19 Edited at: 21st Dec 2009 14:21
Quote: "How would you go about turning a 3d image to an animation. I have anim8or, so if you could please tell me more about your method or a link to something that explaines it, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you."


A render is sometimes called Raytracing. It produces a 2D image from a 3D model with all of the lighting in the right places. So for example your shiny armour would actually look like real shiny armour, or tanks would look like real metal tanks. Isometric angles are easy to create this way too. Being as we don't walk around in real life looking down on our world, it is difficult to draw things from unusually high angles, but with 3D rendering it is easy. All of your 3D renders should have a plain coloured background, and then you can easily take them off it. Anim8or has IK, and other animation tools that make walking, and fighting animations easy too. Here is a 3D render that could be used as a 2D animation, I did this entirely in Anim8or...



Zarier Games
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 15:40
So I would make a 3d model, then render it to get the 2d animation? I am new to this so I am a little slow .

While war is evil and a sin to all man kind, we can not help it for it is just human nature.
spine
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 17:53
You can either use MSPaint (which should already be on your computer) or the GIMP. Both are free.
Pincho Paxton
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 18:17
Quote: "So I would make a 3d model, then render it to get the 2d animation? I am new to this so I am a little slow ."


Yes, that's how it works.

Van B
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 18:18 Edited at: 21st Dec 2009 18:19
It's an option is all, some people can churn out sprites like nobodies business - but it depends on the quality you are going for and the number of sprite variations you need.

Typically though, it's much easier to animate on a 3D model then convert to 2D, for one thing it's tricky to even work out 2D animation without a lot of training, practice, and a helluva lot of skill. A lot of 2D artists will mirror sprites and skimp on animation, it's simply crazy to want to draw 16 frames of animation for 8 directions for 1 character walking. It's really, in my opinion the difference between doing 1 whole character sprite sheet in an evening instead of a week.

If you can draw it in 2D, you'll be able to model it in 3D without too much trouble and learning. Really, modelling took over 2D for me within about a week of just messing around. Rendered is quite a destinctive look though, sharper and more detailed than most artists would draw in 2D. You can always tweek the renders with whatever style you are going for of course, adding thick lines and stuff. You'll know yourself what sort of look you want, but even if you just need a start, like flat colour that you can draw over - that takes very little time and gives you full control over the looks. South Park is made in Maya, a traditional 3D modelling and animation package - so even if it's all 2D, 3D animation can still save a lot of time and effort.

So really it depends on what look you want - if you are making a mario platform game, then 2D is probably the easiest. If you were making say, an isometric game like Diablo, then rendered models is certainly the way to go. You could grab some FPSC media from the store, render it to 2D, and have an incredible sprite sheet if you wanted.


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
Zarier Games
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Posted: 21st Dec 2009 19:24
Ok I think I am getting it now, thanks for your help guys.

While war is evil and a sin to all man kind, we can not help it for it is just human nature.
Quik
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Posted: 22nd Dec 2009 10:45
if ur going for a tower defence like game like my game here: http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=162700&b=2 then u can get away with simple sprites and close to no animation, i suggest u start of small.


[Q]uik, Quiker than most
TDK
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Posted: 30th Jan 2010 04:12
I know it's a shameless plug, but I'm developing a 2D sprite design/animation program for Dark Basic - see the Dark Sprites thread on the WIP board for more info.

TDK

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