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2D All the way! / Animation programs

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New Creature
21
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Joined: 1st Jan 2003
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2003 05:34
I would like to know if there are any good freeware 2D animation programs. I used Deluxe Paint on the Amiga, and I found some program like it but I didn't like it.

I haven't really learned to use DB yet, because first I feel I have to have some material for it to work with (graphics/animation).

And can you export animations in to Dark Basic as animated sprites or characters, or do you have to make DB animate your sprites?

And, if worse comes to worse, I have been using Deluxe Paint to do `frames' (layers), but what resolution and size should I use?

thanks much
Disco Stu
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Location: Australia
Posted: 2nd Jan 2003 07:31
Umm, well there are far more knowledgeable people then me here, but I think I can help with a few things.

I use Truespace (3d modelling program by Caligari) to create images for use as sprites. I just find it easier this way, since you can model your character to look like what you want and animate there. Then you just tell Truespace to export each animation frame as a .jpg. You can get free versions of Truespace from various sites, though I doubt that they're current enough to export frames to single files.

DB takes images (in just about any common format after version 1.09) and you tell it to run the images in a certain order to create your animations. You can have one image with all the animation frames on it, or you can load lots of images that contain one frame each. Generally its better to have one image with all frames on it, since you load less media, though it gets harder to code (you have to tell DB to cut up the image once its loaded to be able to use it).

Size very much depends on what you need, and also since you're using sprites are tied to the resolution you run your code (ie: an image that's only 256X256 isn't that large on a 1024X768 resolution, but bring the resolution of the screen down to 640X480 and you find your image taking up far more space).

Hope that helps,
Sina.

"Maybe if you ain't so good, I ain't so bad."--Tony Manero to Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney)
New Creature
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2003 04:22
Thanks- I actually just bought True Space 5.2 and am learning VERY SLOWLY how to model, then I have to learn how to animate in it.

I am an excellent 2d artist, I just wish 3d was easier- oh well. Gotta learn it sometime.

Disco Stu
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2003 06:55
Ohh that's a shame, if you had bought version 6 you could've got 6.5 for free. Well I missed out on that opportunity too it seems. 6 is nicer, since it has UV wrapping/unwrap abilities (these are non-existent in any earlier version).

I'm very bad at modelling, you can ask anyone who's seen any of my models and they'll tell you. Animating is also a pain in Truespace, much easier in other programs to rig models with bones and get nice animations.

If you're good at 2D then you are one of a very few talented people, since most people find modelling easier then 2D. Any chance I could see some of your 2D work? I'm always keen to see what other people can achieve.

Sina.

"Maybe if you ain't so good, I ain't so bad."--Tony Manero to Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney)
New Creature
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Posted: 4th Jan 2003 00:37
I always get the offers from Caligari, so 5.2 was the one I thought would be the perfect start for me. The biggest draw was the `facial animator'- but I'm a long way from doing any kind of `faces' in 3d.

And when I say I'm really good at 2d, sorry to sound misleading, but because I have not yet found a program to animate in 2d I don't have any work to show. The only animation I did was on my crusty old Amiga, and now I'm thinking about getting something like Moho for PC. I don't know if you can do the kind of shading/detail that you could with photoshop though.

I did a comic book of sorts (and have failed to seek publication more than once cuz it's a short graphic story rather than a comic book series) and I have done some CD artwork for myself and a local band, which was basically what I call 'photographic manipulation' in PhotoDeluxe. You know, take some pictures, slam them together and create something that doesn't really exist.

I actually have used PD to make `frames' using layers for one of my characters, but I am still just sketching him out, no texturing/coloring. And I don't even know all the moves I need to have him do, so right now he just walks, breathes (heavily- for his standing still position) and grabs something.

I think I would possibly like to put 2d characters into 3d environments (because modeling is so hard) and limit the camera angels so you won't see this flat character moving. Does anybody do that stuff with games? I figured 3d buildings shouldn't be too hard to model if you got a bunch of boxes and slap some brick textures on them (sorry to sound so unpassionate about the artwork at this point- but I'm thinking small til I get the skills down.)

The Darthster
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Location: United Kingdom
Posted: 4th Jan 2003 01:15
It'd be an interesting game style, if you used plains with flat 2D people textured onto them for characters, or cars, or scenery or something.
Disco Stu
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Posted: 4th Jan 2003 02:51
Well you could do a platform game like that, shouldn't be too difficult at all. I'm actually doing much the same thing with my fighting game,using sprites as characters but 3D scenes as backgrounds (I think Capcom Vs. SNK 2 did the same). It has some interesting effects, though if you attempt this for any game then you have to be sure that the gameplay is 2D (like you said the camera needs to be limited).

Don't give up on modelling though, because if you use a model you get the nicety of having the lighting in a level become apparent on the characters (impossible with 2D unless the whole game was 2D). Only problem I have wit modelling is animating and polycount. Those two points kill me every time I try and make a character.
Sina.

"Maybe if you ain't so good, I ain't so bad."--Tony Manero to Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney)
New Creature
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Posted: 4th Jan 2003 22:22
So, does anyone have any 2d cel-animation programs or programs used to make sprites where you can see them in motion before putting them into DB?

indi
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Posted: 9th Jan 2003 04:58
u can download a free 3d to 2d script off my site.

New Creature
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Posted: 10th Jan 2003 06:47
Thanks indi-

I'm sorry to say I haven't even really done anything in DB yet. I figure I have to have material (graphics/animation) to work with before I get to the programming part.

That's what the 2d animation/3d modeling is such a roadblock right now. I am slowly learning modeling in True Space 5.2 and haven't even touched on animating in TS yet. The only thing I have been able to make are inanimate household objects because my nurbs seem to turn into them, which is kinda funny. I don't even know how I do it and boom, there's a cowboy hat or a hershey's kiss or something that looks like a toilet lid.. boy, if I could only make a game with those objects...

I just wish someone could tell me where to find some nice 2d animation freeware- Something where you can do traditional cel animation and export it as a sprite or AVI- I have something called Bobber, but as far as I understand you have to load pictures from another source to animate as frames. I have looked at (but not used) paint shop pro, moho and toon boom studio which all run around $100 or more, but I want to know other people's experience with any of these programs for making sprites/2d cel-animation.

thanks for any help yall!

indi
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Posted: 10th Jan 2003 08:28
one of the best 2d traditional packages i moved to was macromedia flash.

version 3 and above suit this requirement as u are not acessing the actionscript side of things.

version 3 was free a while back.

it has onion skinning and tweening and grouping also it can export to the requirements u need.

its only downfall is that it cant do any smaller than 16 x16 pixels but thats ok


some other programs that are free and worthwile getting
but not the best for animation yet still worthwhile.

thegimp

paintshop pro 4 and 5 are free others cost more.

canvas 6 (not 3d canvas) but its great as it has psuedo 3d control in 2d.

zonerdraw very cool tool for free

Harmstile seamless texture maker

Photoplus 5 once again amazing freeware got an extra$1 and u can buy tiff and gif export.

indi
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Posted: 10th Jan 2003 08:30
heres an example of something similar made in flash and exported as a gif













actarus
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Posted: 10th Jan 2003 14:29
Wow Photplus looks sweet...In fact,all Serif's products do,and they're all free

Nice.

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour!
indi
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New Creature
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Posted: 11th Jan 2003 00:43
Thanks a ton- I'll check them out.

New Creature
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Posted: 11th Jan 2003 08:21
Hey Indi

I got zonerdraw 3(free one) and have looked at photoplus but don't know if either have animation capabilities, they don't appear in any of the listed features unless I'm looking in the wrong place.

I tried to find free versions of Canvas 6, Paintshop Pro 4/5 or Flash 3- Do you have some links I can check out? And if so, are they freeware or shareware? I'm the type of guy that if it's shareware I won't even download because I would feel obligated to pay for it instead of just use it- gotta love freeware!

I'll check out some of the other titles too but I'm not having much luck yet- but thanks for the suggestions.

indi
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Posted: 11th Jan 2003 08:57
umm no i dont have the links because i aquired them on cd covers.

I did see a big list of them a while back so its possible to get them online.

I would search

www.google.com
www.download.com
www.dmoz.org
www.freewarehome.com/


flash is 30 days demo and is about $500US for a later copy.

U could always buy 2nd hand software if u think its worthwhile online or from swap meets, etc.

always best to get the warranty card in the box when u buy 2nd hand or u can severly drop the price

Flash is the animation killer in my eyes as i said the others are not so keyframe cell editing ready.

I made these as another demonstration of flash and its animation qualities.

http://www.lunarpixel.com/scorch.htm

New Creature
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Posted: 11th Jan 2003 18:21
Thanks Indi-
I really liked the Dwarven stuff- Is that going to be online game or a commercial product? And did you do that in Dark Basic or Flash? Can you do that kind of stuff in Flash?

good stuff!

indi
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Posted: 12th Jan 2003 07:41
no worries

Cheers for the DT
yup its going to be a commercial product but thats a reality
away at the moment it seems

I did those screenshots in DBC and I am currently porting to DBP.

My flash games/demos are listed on my site

cheers again

New Creature
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Posted: 13th Jan 2003 04:24
FINALLY FOUND ONE!

I had tried Movies12 before but ditched it cuz I thought it was stupid. I checked it out again (freeware) and it seems really cool. I still had to export frames from PhotoDeluxe (don't know if you can actually draw in M12 yet) and then within a couple clicks you have an animated GIF.

Okay... so now that I have a really sketchy version of an animated GIF, how can I use that in DB? Can it separate the frames of an animated GIF or do you have to load each frame of the animation into DB? (By the way, I don't have DB Pro yet, but I think this site got rid of that forum or merged it with this one, so I suppose it's okay to ask DB questions on here... I hope)

Thanks

indi
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Posted: 14th Jan 2003 04:27
hmm i think db classic can load gifs.

the best thing is to make a film strip so they are all lined up in rows on the one plate.

After u have this DBP has a quick grabbing command to get all the images into image locations.
You can code your own also.

basically with a for loop u can move the get image location
like a window across the this image to grab the cells into image locations.

I always try all the formats avaialable then try to evualate the pros and cons for the problem at hand.

Oraculaca
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Posted: 30th Jan 2003 19:23
ulead gif animator 5 is quite good for drawing and checking animation of sprites. Ive just started getting into the art side of things myself and im finding it very usefull. I usually save as individual frames and load them into photoshop for touching up / colouring. Dunno if this is the norm but it works for me so far.

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