Does a program that does this exist already? (Sprite animation)

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Post: #16
I can most definitely commit time to this project. As mentioned before, I can also provide graphic support.

An idea for the brainstorming bucket:
Perhaps the app can have a customizable theme set so that individuals can easily customize the interface elements/icons of the app. Just mentioning this because it's always fun for those who will use this on a pseudo professional level to kinda "Brand" it with their look and feel. (remember, this is just an idea)

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
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Post: #17
That's a fine idea, and would guide some principles in setting up the app. To get this off the ground quickly, I think sticking to the standard widgets as much as possible would be best, BUT with .nib files and Cocoa it should be easy to customize some parts (just make a separate app that allows swapping of the individual graphic files for the custom imagery.) This would only be able to replace things like the buttons (pencil, pen, etc.), paper and stack of paper icons, and other custom buttons/widgets.

I'm more interested in refining the key functionality of the app, however. The color palette, in particular, needs some work. I was thinking about what you said about setting up transitional colors and easily shading and I've got a couple ideas for that.

I'm thinking of a sort of drawer for EACH color... I'll have to comp something to show this I think... working on it...

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #18
So, I had to take a few hour hiatus RIGHT when I was about finished, but here is my color palette idea.

When you are dealing with pixel art, you don't necessarily want painterly mixing of colors, you want precise control of each dot. Sure, you might want some automatic anti-aliasing of edges and outlines, but most of the time you want to be dealing with one color at a time.

As Gatti mentioned, you are often dealing with several main colors and then highlights and shades of those. (At least one highlight color and one shade.)

Of course sometimes you will want more transitional colors in-between for more subtlety.

I want to avoid choosing lots of options from menus and opening several windows, so here is what I came up with. First, you change a color by using the standard Apple color picker (with a transparency slider on each panel.) You activate that by simply double clicking on a color like any other app, but THEN there is the highlight shading functionality. Here's where it gets interesting.

There is a little "nub" above and below each color well. You can drag it up a notch (or down if you are below) to create your highlight and shade color. The app could make a default "guess" at the color (Up could go lighter, down could go darker) however, you would be able to change the color to exactly what you want it to be (including more or less transparent.) So, now we have a row of ambient colors, some with a highlight and/or a shade.

Now the fun part. Drag that nub a little further to get finer gradations between the colors. For instance, in the pictures below, you'll notice that the first has only one notch above and below the deep pink color, but in the second, it has been dragged an extra notch down. The color in-between was calculated automatically, while the center and extremes are just how you set them.

color palette one
color palette two

You can also see, further right, that the blue color had a 25% transparency above it and it was stretched up two notches. Wells for 50% and 75% were automatically added between.

Of course, you can always change the extremes and the center and get new in-betweens. (There should be some extra visible designation to which you can edit and which you can't. Perhaps the white outline will be removed from the in-betweens.)

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #19
yea sorry i posted and stopped following this thread, call me stupid =p

Anyways email me at krichter@dragon-forged.com with whatever you need.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Post: #20
Sounds like a good idea -- and easy enough for a evening/weekend job. I might see what I can do this evening. (Dancing to avoid toes) I'll just hack for fun, see what I can get working, then you can strip my source code. Smile
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Post: #21
Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Make sure you download the project with the .nib file. It should give a decent start even though somethings are just there as place holders.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #22
Well.. here you are, FlexAnimator 0.1. It does the basic things you want. Smile

[Image: flexanim1.jpg]

What it can do:
  • The code is simple enough for almost anyone to understand, so it should provide a good base for others/me to learn/build upon.
  • It allows you to sketch out frames and reorder them.
  • You can draw pixel art over the top of these sketches.
  • These are saved as a bundle of images which you can grab for whatever purposes you wish.

Notes:
  • I started from scratch, it was easier. The interface is simplified from what you were after, but it provides the same-ish functionality.
  • I can't figure out how to find the eraser on a tablet pen.
  • I looked at pinching some pixen code -- but I've always found the program buggy, and they have a mad way of doing pixel editing --very very slow.
  • The sizes and scales of the images are hardcoded atm.
  • You can use the dropper tool from the colour panel
  • Erasing stuff is icky -- leaving non-transparent whiteness in sketching
  • No undo

Anyhow, I'd encourage, all the people who made interested sounds to check it out. It is very simple to understand, and please by all means destroy/hack with it. Enjoy. Smile

link: http://will.thimbleby.net/downloads/FlexAnimator.zip

PS. Not to hijack the thread -- but if anyone is interested in a decent vector drawing program let me know.
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Post: #23
Fantastic. Faster and better than I expected for a first crack at it. Thanks!

The pencil action is great with my wacom tablet.

I'll be playing with this tomorrow. Anyone who wants to help make it more like the description earlier in this thread go for it. I'm especially interested in the animation controls. Dragging new sheets to the stack, and being able to "scrub", that is drag a slider back and forth to watch the animation at whatever speed you want.

Actually, more important than that is going to be getting that eraser to work and, of course, undo - the animator's best reason to use a computer.

Thanks again, Will!

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #24
Cheers -- glad you like it. I would like it if others pitched in. -- it really is a simple app Rasp I'm not precious about it, and would be very happy for others to take over.

However; I just fixed the eraser bug (not the wacom one) -- I render the erase into a buffer then compose it with the sketch. And undo is not so hard, I might do that as well later.

--The link has been updated.
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Post: #25
I took a crack at moving and adding some properties to the Animation Controller Palette.

[Image: ani-controls.gif]

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
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Post: #26
Nice. It was my intention to have those ticks adjust according to the number of frames so we are on the same page there. Also, I'm glad you added in the forward/backward buttons.

What if we just make the thumbnail size automatically update based on resizing the window and the number of frames showing at once?

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Post: #27
aaronsullivan Wrote:What if we just make the thumbnail size automatically update based on resizing the window and the number of frames showing at once?
That sounds just as cool. I guess as the app takes further shape, we can see what works best.There can always be a preference setting for the Animation window enabling different ways that it can function.

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Post: #28
This isn't dead or anything. Smile I'm just otherwise occupied at the moment and excited to get back to this. The call of Hollywood is a little stronger than that of Apple and games at the moment. Wink

Plus, I'm just starting a new quarter teaching and I'm sick and my wife and I are having our first baby in a month and a half... Wacko

And in the end this is just a *bump* so no one forgets about this little project. Grin

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Post: #29
This just magically appeared on VT today:

http://www.kudlian.net/products/icananimate/

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Post: #30
Interesting. I already like Flexanimator better. Grin This one uses slow response vector drawing and has no pressure sensitivity. So, using it for pencil testing, or initial animation (without scanning drawings) is not very effective. It IS interesting how they have the drawing layer over the other image. It's there for an entirely other purpose than Flexanimator's, though.

When I originally started doing all digital animation (1995-96 I think? On a Powermac 7500 500MB of HD space!) disk space and speed was a huge factor and creating large animations using Painter's animation stacks was pushing the computer's limits. Vector drawing came along and helped in this regard (and really came into it's own with flash for quick data transfer over the 'net) but for sketching, now on a modern mac, there is no reason not to go full raster and get that almost pencil to paper feel.

I'm not saying there is no reason to use vectors (because there are many) but for doing initial animation work you want thousands of "lines" to help form the figures and volumes as you sketch and form it in your mind and fine tune the extremes and in-betweens. Vectors are NOT optimal for that type of work but for final imagery instead.

Not sure why I just explained all that, except to highlight a key difference in flexanimator's direction and iCanAnimate.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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