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Nemesys01

Handling Perspective Change and Depth in 2D Skeletal Animation

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I have created 2 prototypes which have been fairly successful in identifying the feel of the game I want, and both of these have different animation techniques.

The one in question is the skeletal animation. My problem is this: I don't have depth.

Perhaps the player would swing his sword, causing foreshortening in both his arms and sword. With a sprite, I cant show depth like that. How would this be handled? 

The only way I could think of is replacing the mesh when necessary. Is there another way? The reason I don't want to use sprites is because they aren't very flexible, and 3D modeling takes a lot of skill which I don't have, and a lot of time. If this problem has been tackled in another game, please do point me to it, as I would also like to see how it looks in a finished product.

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I need a little more clarification...

Is this going to be a 2D game with sprites?

How is the sword swinging animation going to look? Is it going to be a sideways slash, or over-the-head smash?

Are you using an existing game engine? If so, what are you using?

Have you thought about purchasing existing art assets and animations?

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I need a little more clarification...
Is this going to be a 2D game with sprites?
How is the sword swinging animation going to look? Is it going to be a sideways slash, or over-the-head smash?
Are you using an existing game engine? If so, what are you using?
Have you thought about purchasing existing art assets and animations?


Yes, it will be a 2D game with sprites. I am linking together the limbs in Anima2D in Unity. An over the head smash wouldn't need a foreshortening effect. I'm asking for a situation in which that would be needed, such as a side slash (this is a 2D platformer, side view) where I have to add a depth to the arm and have a different perspective. I don't see a feasible way to solve this. And no, I have not considered purchasing art assets or animations as I do the art myself, and 2d so far has not been too bad, especially given that I'm doing skeletal animation

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Generally, doing 2d skeletal animation...you won't be able to get the changes you are looking for without changing the image.  You might be able to kind of fake it by doing some scaling or something similar, but I don't know how easy to get the right look it would be.  This is in fact the primary reason why the animation software like Spine and Spriter let you change images as part of the animation.

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Generally, doing 2d skeletal animation...you won't be able to get the changes you are looking for without changing the image.  You might be able to kind of fake it by doing some scaling or something similar, but I don't know how easy to get the right look it would be.  This is in fact the primary reason why the animation software like Spine and Spriter let you change images as part of the animation.

Ok well this honestly does seem like it would be finicky or aesthetically unpleasing. I wanted to know if there was some way that I haven't been exposed to for some reason to solve the problem. Perhaps the extra work for sprite based animation is worth it. 

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I agree that it is not something I would want to do.  I've seen the "new" skeletal animation with 2d workflows, but I don't like them much.  I'm not a pixel artist either, but if I wanted something lower resolution I'd force myself to learn.  When I've wanted sprites in the past, I render from 3d models.  This has tons of advantages for me, but it does come with disadvantages too.  And my current project is just a full 3d game, just with only 2d gameplay.  I'm one of those people that at least for art creation, it is easier to wrap my head around 3d objects and deal with those issues(time, complexity, 3d animation, etc...) than to deal with the 2d pixeling issues of shading, silhouettes, and creating tons of animation frames, which when using 3d kind of go away as the renderer takes care of it for me.

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