January 22, 2011

Animation Crossroads

I'm on the fence regarding how to approach animating the roughly three-hundred characters and creatures that will pop up in Skybrawler. I have been using Inkscape, which is a simple vector graphics program without animation capabilities. As such, I've been making animations frame-by-frame, as you can see:

Click for a larger image.
This could be potentially problematic, since Inkscape doesn't have any kind of rigging. It does have "pivot point" capabilities, which I admit I haven't been using to their fullest, but that may not be quite enough to make life easy. Perhaps.

In the meantime, I'm exploring other options to see if there's some software available to get the job done more efficiently. I came across something called "Toon Boom Animate" which seems decent. The learning curve is somewhat steep, but they have a cornucopia of tutorial videos on their site. That's where my morning and most of my afternoon went. It seems like a reasonably effective animation tool, but I'm not sure I can fork over the cash for it, and realistically, it's not clear whether it will save time.

I'll keep tinkering with it to see if I can make it sing. Or dance. Probably dance.


  1. Since these are SVG files, maybe a script could be written to make generically shifted bodyparts? I'm not sure on the structure of the SVG files, but even if it's time-consuming to come up with such a script, it would save you bajillions of time later. Shoot me some files and I'll take a look.

  2. Here's something you can look into. One of the guys from the STL Game Devs meetup built this to deal with his animation issues. I don't know if it'll do precisely what you need, but it's worth checking out.


  3. Demina looks good, but for my purposes it probably won't work. I need to export the frames as individual images, and the guy's post on Demina says that it doesn't do this.