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

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Post: #31
I like this idea, and maybe this would be a good project with which to get my feet wet with Cocoa.

I have some other ideas for maybe automatically generating some slides... I'm going to write up an algorithm outline for doing something. It will involve a sort of cross-correlation if that gets anyone excited Smile

Also, I like having the window resize the thumbnails - but when it's resized, I'd make the window resize out both ways, like the "Open/Save" dialogs in Mac OS X.

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Post: #32
Quote:Also, I like having the window resize the thumbnails - but when it's resized, I'd make the window resize out both ways, like the "Open/Save" dialogs in Mac OS X.
IMHO, live resizing tends to be slow on some machines. Perhaps there can be a preference setting which enables/disables "live re-sizing". For instance, even on my 1.25 G4 tower, some apps that invoke a "live-resizing" feature have more studdering than fluidity.

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Post: #33
The live resizing thing can be optimized by simply using empty white frames instead of using the thumbnails while resizing, too. That should speed it up a bit. Of course turning live-resizing off in the preferences is a nice easy feature as well.

Oh yeah, it's almost 4 months later and I'm still working on that short film, but the baby's popped out and I'm still interested in continuing this project. Anyone interested in giving this project some life can take that code above and read the description (with screenshots) above and take it to the next step.

I'll be happy to drive this thing with motivation and direction until I can devote more of this thing called time everyone keeps talking about (but I don't completely understand anymore.) Any work on this will be met with much enthusiasm and feedback, believe me. Grin

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #34
I had never heard of this before today. Sounds cool. I don't have time right now, but after I ship my big giganto app, I should hopefully have some time (and money Grin ) on my hands.
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Post: #35
It's time to revive this thread. I just bought a Wacom tablet and would love an app like this. I can help out with creating buttons, icons, and any other graphic element needed for the Sprite app.

A good deal of thought has already been discussed regarding how the app would function, so it has a great start. Now it's just a matter of diving into developing it. Who's interested? Cool

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Post: #36
I've been working on an application which should fill at least some of these needs. It's a pretty big project though, and juggling it with work and other projects is sometimes difficult, so progress hasn't been as fast as it could have been. At some point, though, hopefully sooner than later, I'll have a beta for you guys to try out and tear apart. Smile
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Post: #37
ThemsAllTook, what needs of the project does it fill? Just curious what parts match up.

This should probably go over to iDevApps.com under the Product Development forum. I'll try to re-organize the information into something there and we can continue it, there. I just have a feeling we may find some more able and willing cocoa gurus there who can help whip this up right fast. Smile

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Post: #38
It's a paint program with planned animation features. It'll let you arrange the animation frames how you like, play them at variable frame rates, and export as QuickTime or a series of images, as you described in your first post. I'm not so sure about the onion skinning stuff... I haven't done any from-paper-to-computer animation myself, so I don't really know how that process generally works, but I'll certainly look into it.
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Post: #39
Holi crap... I just thought of a big time-saver (button/element) when animating inbetweens using the app. You see, when I animate on paper and lightboard, I like to quickly flow the sheets between my fingers. This allows me to quickly view the two current extremes with their full opaque clarity. Perhaps there can be a function that toggles between the two extremes. All it needs to do is quickly (yet temporarily) bring either of the two in front of the "inbetween" frame. This will work in unison with the onion skinning function.

You see, when animating an inbetween frame, the artist is ultimately drawing a transition pose. The two extremes are placed on top of each other and then the inbetween pose is on top of both. The problem that occurs is that sometimes the lines of the two extremes run into eachother and it's hard to discern which line goes to what drawing. This is why it would be hot... yes hot... to have a function that quickly and temporarily brings one of the two extremes to the front of the drawing.

OMG... scrap the above....Even a better idea... Perhaps a function can be set that has the two extremes simply cross-dissolving into eachother while the animator is drawing the inbetween!!

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Post: #40
Gatti, excellent idea. I was going for something close to that with the "pegged" slider to choose what frame you are on, but while animating one is almost always flipping between two extremes and the inbetween as you described.

To be a little more specific: Hold one key down(a) to show the first extreme, another key(d) to show the other and it goes back to normal when you let go... I think I like that best. It would work well with an Intuos 3 Wacom tablet and the two-way touch-sensitive slider thingy on it.

(sidebar: The key between the extreme toggles (a and d) is 's' and it could be used to toggle the onion skin on and off maybe.
Also, choosing which frames are the extremes could be accomplished with two distinct markers on the "animation frames" window.)

The auto-cross fading thing could work but I really like to control how long I'm looking at each extreme while I animate to study the particular area I'm interested in. I think I'd always be annoyed by an auto cross fade. Still, it wouldn't take much to try it out, or make it an option. Grin

I might just have to give this some serious attention tomorrow, maybe a fresh and more thorough design spec for a 1.0 version to post on iDevApps.

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Post: #41
I would *love* to see this program come to fruition, even though I don't do animation work much anymore. Heck, I should learn Cocoa just to be able to work on this, this is my dream project... I wouldn't want to contribute too much in case i screwed up some class design or something, I'm still very much an Obj. C beginner, though I'm comfortable in C++... I just need to learn.

I like both Gatti's and Aaron's ideas - I think they should both be implemented, and have them as an option.

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Post: #42
I don't want this idea to rest for too long or it will get weeded out of the forum. Let's start talking about this again.

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Post: #43
So, someone open xcode and make a new project.
I'm sure plenty people will pitch in and make this real.

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Post: #44
That whole design spec thing I talked about... at the time I was thinking I could really consolidate and rework everything, but when I started looking at the screenshots I realized that it's mostly prepped. So, the inspiration faded quickly. What we need here is a dedicated Cocoa programmer, and that's not me. I'm knee deep in Unity projects right now, so I can't give this the programming attention it needs.

However, as always, I'm up for bouncing ideas around and will give the project strong direction, if needed.

I've posted a thread in iDevApps. Let's move this discussion to there:
http://www.idevapps.com/forum/showthread...#post48870

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #45
I was very excited to see someone working on software like this. My partner in crime Phil Stroffolino had plans to actually incorporate the resolution independant sketching into his pixel art program.. But that's beside the point.

I would actually like to offer up some comments from an animator's point of view.

A function that is more or less present in the software at the moment is the ability to "flip" back and forth between drawings (currently using the arrow keys). This function should be sped up to be instantaneous as it is good animation practice to be constantly flipping.

It would be nice to have support for the Wacom eraser.. ie. automatically switch to the eraser tool when you flip your pen around.

Some basic pen options would be nice.. Notably an option for size and opacity.. with both chackable for use with the tablet's presure. I personally like to sketch with a fixed size brush with presure controlling presure.. Feels more like a pencil.
Have same options for the eraser.
I recomment a pop up options window with a slider for each size and opacity with a checkbox to have the attribute linked to the presure.. With maybe a second slider then activated so you can set a min-max.

A basic set of drawing tools would be nice too. ( figure these are probably planned).. but your run of the mill fill, lasoo, move etc.

I have used software that both used thumbnails of your drawings and not.. And I've personally found them not to be of much use. I would rather maximize my drawing space.

As for a displayed timeline sort of deal.. I rather like how flash does it by displaying each frame as a little empty rectangle. It would be cool if drawings showed up as coloured boxes filling these rectangles and could be dragged to fill a number of frames to hold the drawing longer. It would also be neat if you had two of these 'tracks'.. one for the roughs and one for the pixel art.. That way you could block in your whole animation just as rough keys and only inbetween the pixel art part.

Another important function would be to control how many drawings before and after the current one are displayed by the onion skinning.. And I say drawings because flash lets you control how many frames ahead and behind.. and that's no fun as a same drawing can easily cover many frames.. Same with 'flipping'.. flash only lets you skip forward and back through individual frames, not drawings.. useless for flipping.

I put together a little example of what the timeline looks like in flash.. Maybe something like this would suit Flex. I would, personally, make it a slightly more aqua looking version of this... Maybe even keep the vertical.. like an animation timing chart.. though that would be a little contre-courant.


-Louis

[Image: FlexExample.jpg]
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