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slicer4ever

compositing images.

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I'm looking for suggestions on the best way to approach a problem.
Lets say i have a 2D character, he can wear dynamic armor, facial features, and hair. So my first problem i have is how to do this. Their are two methods that come to mind:
Draw base character, draw facial features, draw armor, draw hair. Basically we store all the components seperatly, but layed out so that i can draw it in layers. However their is a major problem i have with this method(besides having to do 4 draws per character), each animation frame is going to require every armor set to be animated as well, every facial feature animated, all the hair also to match. Creating any additional armor/facial/hair means making that entire animation set. Basically i see things as getting out of hand for generating all these potential assets.

An alternative method would be to potentially do pallete swapping or uv mapping, but this still doesnt necessarly play nice with a number of potential designs(such as hair).

So i'm asking are there tools for making this type of overlay art easier to craft? Or are their approaches i havent considered that could severly lower the work load? Edited by slicer4ever

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Rendering such a character and crafting it (i.e. a tool and/or workflow to do so) are two different things.

 

You can animate / render such a character as a cut-out figure with an armature. Let's say there is an object of the Figure class. The object provides a pointer to an instance of the Armature class as well as a couple of slots, one for each cut-out graphic. An armature is just a spatially arranged set of 2D anchors. For each (possible) anchor there is a cut-out graphic slot available within the Figure object. Each cut-graphic has a 2D pivot which is thought to spatially match the corresponding anchor in the armature. At every turn, the animation system picks the current Armature instance and links it into the Figure object. Rendering is done by iterating the filled slots in order and drawing the belonging graphic at the placement as described by the corresponding armature anchor.

 

In fact the above thing is similar to a 2D skeleton animation except that not bones but the entire pose is written by the animation track. However, it allows to combine the graphics independently from the animation. It further allows to animate the graphics in flip-book manner, too; just let another (selected) animation track set the cut-out graphic slot in the Figure object.

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Hmm, a 2D skeletal system? I didn't consider this, iirc spline is a tool that can do this. Might give this a shot, thanks for the suggestion. Edited by slicer4ever

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Hmm, a 2D skeletal system? I didn't consider this, [...]

Its not exactly a skeleton, because a skeleton animates bone by bone, while the suggested system animates the armature at once. It is closer to sprite animation but supports exchangeable parts.

 


[...] iirc spline is a tool that can do this. Might give this a shot, thanks for the suggestion.

Its named Spine.

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You have also Spriter Pro which cost less and allows you to have deformation of your images

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You have also Spriter Pro which cost less and allows you to have deformation of your images


thanks it looks pretty similar to spine, and the free version looks like it'll suit my needs!

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Yep, I bought Spine several month ago (the essential version) and I didn't see that this version didn't support "Free-Form Deformation" which was vital for my needs... (and which was in the 250$ version :( , prices have increased since )

 

So I discovered Spriter pro after, which provides similar functionality. The development of this software is slower than Spine yes, but you will have everything at the end for the same little price.

 

I am not here to advertise, but just to inform you about this cheaper solution. (If at the time someone told me about Spriter pro before I buy Spine... this would have been nice :) )

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