Character animation

First steps with Spine and Spriter

It’s been a while and as usual, a mix of real-life turmoil and health issues stopped me from doing what I enjoy. Nevertheless, I have not been 100% lazy, laid back and enjoyed a nice long vacation.

I started to work my way into Spine and Spriter to finally get to those animation tutorials. There is one waiting for the robot game. I have another request from the readers’ list. Finally, there is the special fx swoosh and swirl parts, which would be nice to animate.

So… I went and took the Green Dwarf (from the free art bits). The art needed minor modification to work. Basically, it was a minor variation on the faces and the mouth.

Starting with Spine

The setup takes a little bit of time to get into and a few good videos will help understand the process. Yes, I will record a video or two on setup and animation. I am very impressed with the flexibility of the program. It allows alterations of the skeleton at all times. The x-sorting can be adjusted per animation. Turning elements on and off is very intuitive. The exported data worked fine with the coder friends who tested it on different platforms.
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2Dgameartguru green dwarf
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2Dgameartguru character animations Spine test

The Basics

I started with a basic idle animation (to see how things interact). From there, I continued with a walk (which is a little more complex when you have fixed legs and not separated upper, lower legs and feet). Finally, I played with the tools that are part the dwarf art. The walk would look different with or without them. Luckily it’s a breeze creating a copy of an animation in Spine and modifying it to create variations.

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I will record a video soon (once I am a bit more confident) and will also turn the assets for the dwarf and the skeleton back to free.
I strongly recommend checking Spine out when you are looking for a 2D bone based animation tool: