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how do I make nice 2d animations?

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The artist in our group asked me to post this here: "Im a graphics artist in a small game dev team that is trying to create its first game (slllllooooooowly) and now the time has come for me to create more fluid animations. The way Ive done it somfar has been to draw the character on papper, scan, clean, color and so on. Unfortunately because I can do only so many steps (frames) of animation the end result turns out rather choppy. What I want to know is if there are better ways to go at it or to use flash perhaps in order to interpolate inbetween frames by using two preexisting frames of animation. What would really make my day is if someone proficient in animation could tell me the correct procedure of animation from the start. (A bit much but heres hoping if the nagging from the team lead dosent kill me first!)" When he said "nagging", he meant "constant praise and flowers" /team lead }-- Programmer/Gamer/Dreamer --{ I didn''t choose to code, coding choose me.

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Blizzard did a post-mortem about their game, Diablo 2, at Gamasutra (free reg required) here. It includes some information on how they did their character animations and artwork.

Everything was 3D modelled in 3DStudio based on sketches created by the artists, then rendered to 2D images for use in the game.

For characters and artwork that needs to look at least semi-realistic, this I think is the preferred way to go. You can achieve realistic movement, shading, and proportioning as an automatic byproduct of the modelling process, rather than as a result of the artist''s skill at such things. It saves time, too, in not having to hand-draw all intermediate frames. Animation frames are "drawn" as a part of the rendering process.

For graphics that need to look more classically sprite-based or maintain a hand-drawn look, it might not be the best idea.

This is the technique I use for my games that aren''t 3D based to start with.


World of Golem

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There are pixel animation packages for the PC but those that I
have tried weren’t of very good quality. I would reluctantly
recommend Image ready that you get with Photoshop, I don’t like
it very much but it does work. I miss Deluxe paint on the
Amiga. =P

Other animation software:

Graphics Gale - http://www.tempest-j.com/gale/e/
would be good if it didn’t have all those buggs.

Ulead Gif Animator - http://www.ulead.com/ga/runme.htm
Only gif animations (I think).


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[edited by - Herr_O on May 7, 2004 1:00:25 PM]

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Our artist has checked the links and responds:
"We are already painfully aware of 3D / 2 D conversion rutines and as of this moment we do not have the expertise required for such methods to be used - what we were considering is more along the lines of standard 2D animation methodology. Thank you for the advice."

}-- Programmer/Gamer/Dreamer --{

I didn''t choose to code, coding choose me.

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quote:
Original post by Seriema
Our artist has checked the links and responds:
"We are already painfully aware of 3D / 2 D conversion rutines and as of this moment we do not have the expertise required for such methods to be used - what we were considering is more along the lines of standard 2D animation methodology. Thank you for the advice."

}-- Programmer/Gamer/Dreamer --{

I didn''t choose to code, coding choose me.


Your artist sounds like a lawyer.

My traditional 2D skills are pretty grim, so I reckon I don''t have much more to say.

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I forgot Plastic Animation Paper:

http://plasticanimationpaper.dk/

There is a free shareware version... haven''t tested it much myself.

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pro motion is a dpaint clone from the amiga days, and its pretty good at low level stuff, supports animation

http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/index.php

____________________
Dave www.colouredpixels.com : mail@colouredpixels.com

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Plastic Animation Paper seems to be what we want. Our artist has promised to check on it tomorrow, I''ll post here again then.
(he liked the "being called a laywer" bit! *gasp*)

Does anyone knows of techniques to interpolate new frames from existing ones so that 5 animation frames can become say 20 anim. frames and thus make the animation smoother? Hand drawing 20 frames would take all year, not to mention killing our artists motivation

}-- Programmer/Gamer/Dreamer --{

I didn''t choose to code, coding choose me.

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