AuthorTopic: Paper Mario 64-sized sprites - animation pipeline query  (Read 1397 times)

Offline Calcobrena

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I'm working towards making sprites that I'll be able to give a variety of animations that would work in an RPG battle system (idle, performing an attack) and I was wondering what people's workflow is when prepping sprites to be animated?

Do people normally do clean up after getting a general idea what the animations are going to do? I'm struggling to use cut-up segments to an effect that doesn't just look like they're puppeteered...

Both these sprites are WIPs, just to mention. I'm not 100% on the character design of the snail, so he'll have to mostly be redone from the outset.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Paper Mario 64-sized sprites - animation pipeline query

Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 05:06:10 pm
For dynamically posed sprites like this where you'll probably want a lot of rotations and squish & stretch, frame animation is best. For that, sketch your key frames (either as rough line sketches, or as colour blobs, whichever you prefer), get the timings down, then refine with inbetween frames. Then, do pixel polish on all the frames.

Skeletal animation, where the characters are composed of a bunch of segments that are rotated and scaled to create motion, works better on high-res art, where you can scale and subtly move things without distortions. With pixel art, it tends to fall apart as soon as any "3D" motion (rotation of the body, movement towards/away from the camera) is added.

That said, for complex-but-2D motions, I think skeletal animation can be a useful tool as an intermediate, because it's easier to iterate on the timings of a complex motion when you can just move bits around without having to redraw them.  The results can be rendered to a frame animation and manually cleaned up. If you have a decent idea of what you need to draw though (or if you have good reference), then I recommend starting with key frames.