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How to create energy ball ? Artist Advice.

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Hi all,

I'm working on a new game where the player interacts with balls of energy, and throws them onto each other.

How would you recommend me to create a ball with animated lightning surrounding it? Making it frame-by-frame?
Something similar to as seen at 00:05 in this movie -

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFNVAKrsMVc[/media]

My engine is 2D and I use OpenGL for the rendering part, currently it's just plain 2D.

Thanks,
Guy

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If it's 2D then you would just hand draw the fx. Like any animation, animate the physical ball or most solid part first (unless its stationary, then just create a ball reference on each frame to work from. After that, gather as much fire reference as you can, understand how it moves and reacts to natural forces so you know how to make it react properly and creating unnatural deformation can be based on how much fantasy you want to exist in this process.

Decide how your power ball is going to move and try and find real life reference of fire in that situation. Then do loose sketches to capture the proper length and look you want to capture and test, test, test, test, test, test, test... until the motion looks right. Remember power is the focus, finding explosion reference might help to get the timing for sheer power. Once you've got a test your happy with, do color tests on a separate layer (I imagine youre using GIMP or Photoshop). Using the same testing method painting over the sketches. The core should look like its powering the process and anything emitting from the ball should look like a bi-product based on the reaction. After the color looks just as powerful as shape. Ink line it if you want and render it! Ta da!

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