Click to see blobs I made!!!

There we go. No explanation required. Enjoy.

Okay, fine… I’m working on animations for the group project again, and will be over the course of tomorrow. I have a pretty extensive list of pretty complex motions to try and get the hang of, but I’ll do my best. I’ve done about 8 different motions so far, and not all of them are perfect, but they look smooth and natural enough to use in game, even if there’s a couple which break some key rules in animation.

Again, I’ve been ploughing through The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams. Every animator I spoke to seemed almost paid to endorse it, so thankfully I dug out a copy my brother gave me a loan of a while back. To say it’s been handy is frankly a massive understatement. Animating a character with such long and gangly limbs was sort of jumping in at the deep end frankly.

So what are the blobs in the image above? Well, in one animation the robot is meant to assemble a componant of the ship. Instead of doing seperate animations for each componant (which would be more hassle than it’s worth) we’ve decided to take advantage of our cartoony style and simply shroud the item the robot is building in a cloud of dust. The above image shows three variants for dust clouds that I’ve been working on. I think the 3rd is best to be honest, it fits the cartoony vibe quite nicely and looks pretty good when in motion.

Once animated everything needs to be converted to spritesheets to be used in game. What is a spritesheet? I felt to n00bish to ask the question myself at the time, but it turns out that it’s an image where every frame of the animation is laid out in sequence, ready for the game engine to read. So my all my animations go through this little program, SWFsheet. It’s a limited bastard, only letting you export to pre-determined size of spritesheet, like 1024, or 2048 squared, but we’ve been able to fit all our animations on there so far.

The game engine on the other hand can only handle animation at a maximum resolution of 256×256 pixels. This means the robot, being the lofty twat that he is, needs to be chopped in half for every animation. These seperate animations are then stitched back together by the game engine, giving you a whole, fluid animation. Gnarly, huh? No? Pfft, fine then, be that way.
Listening to: Pantheon by InMe

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