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Need advice on Character animation

03-16-2012, 10:30 AM
#1
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 228
Need advice on Character animation

Need some advice from the animation & tech savy folks of TA.

We've reached the stage in our game where we're about to start adding reasonably complex character animation, we'd planned on using png strips but alas that may not be possible... We have around 16 unique characters that have 7-8 short 4-16 frame sequences. We started by just creating png strips which contained each frame, but unfortunately this method has resulted in 2.5mb art files for each character! This is far too big as we're going to add 16 character sets so we're looking for potential new ways of handling these animations more economically.

I was hoping someone might have experience working with other less bulky methods of character animation. If so maybe you could shed some light on the process.

The previous company I worked for we made a resonably popular game with lots of Zombies and ....plants animating really smoothly. We used a system which was able to utilise the offset and transform data from a Flash file, (position, scale, rotation, skew etc) whilst recompiling each character from it's individual component pieces on the fly, this was a whole lot more efficient than the anim strips.

We'd really like to have something like this system without having to rewrite it from scratch. Any tips please?

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03-16-2012, 01:15 PM
#2
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Alhambra, CA
Posts: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_wexer View Post
Need some advice from the animation & tech savy folks of TA.

We've reached the stage in our game where we're about to start adding reasonably complex character animation, we'd planned on using png strips but alas that may not be possible... We have around 16 unique characters that have 7-8 short 4-16 frame sequences. We started by just creating png strips which contained each frame, but unfortunately this method has resulted in 2.5mb art files for each character! This is far too big as we're going to add 16 character sets so we're looking for potential new ways of handling these animations more economically.

I was hoping someone might have experience working with other less bulky methods of character animation. If so maybe you could shed some light on the process.

The previous company I worked for we made a resonably popular game with lots of Zombies and ....plants animating really smoothly. We used a system which was able to utilise the offset and transform data from a Flash file, (position, scale, rotation, skew etc) whilst recompiling each character from it's individual component pieces on the fly, this was a whole lot more efficient than the anim strips.

We'd really like to have something like this system without having to rewrite it from scratch. Any tips please?
Are you using an engine? The method will be different depending on how you're doing your character animation.

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03-16-2012, 02:08 PM
#3
Hey @mr_wexer
Have you looked into skeletal animation? So, you'd break up all of the character's components. Head, arms, torso, legs, etc. I rolled my own engine for Slice 'n Dice Ninja, however there is an engine called TDAnimEngine under development that should do the job. The current version is for Maya, but I believe Jordi (the developer) is working on a Flash CS4 version.

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03-21-2012, 06:42 PM
#4
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarrettVD View Post
Hey @mr_wexer
Have you looked into skeletal animation? So, you'd break up all of the character's components. Head, arms, torso, legs, etc. I rolled my own engine for Slice 'n Dice Ninja, however there is an engine called TDAnimEngine under development that should do the job. The current version is for Maya, but I believe Jordi (the developer) is working on a Flash CS4 version.
That "TDAnimEngine" sounds prefect. Thanks for for the tips guys We use our own engine btw.

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