Anim8or Community

General Category => General Anim8or Forum => Topic started by: Aethelwulffe on September 01, 2009, 09:02:48 pm

Title: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: Aethelwulffe on September 01, 2009, 09:02:48 pm
  I would like to ask advice on the best way to automate my animated sprite creating process.
  While I do use Anim8or to create objects for use in 3d games (primarily Orbiter), I also use it for creating nice looking sprites for isometric 2d games.  I can create a character, then take renderings of him at any angle or walk cycle, and then turn that into an animation in the game.  The process I am using to do that is seriously time consuming:

1. Create a transparent box around the model to allow the view distance and angle to remain the same during rendering.
2.  Rotate to a user view of 45 degrees using the wireframe of the transparent box and sizing it to the viewable screen to ensure that the renderings are all the same scale.
3.  Use the render function to save an image.
4.  Rotate the model 30 degrees and take the next shot.

Here is an example of how many renderings it takes to get a decent walking animation.
OK, Fact is, I have been modeling with anim8or for years, and I have never once done an animation inside the program, or ever really used the movie making features at all.  I do all my animations inside the game programs that I am putting the models in.  So I really never used a "real" rendering engine at all.   Should I animate the models in animator and then convert a movie to frames, should I write a script to take the screenshots needed, or what?

-I look forward to some great suggestions from folks that have learned to do stuff like this the right way, vs. my way.

Title: Re: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: Aethelwulffe on September 01, 2009, 09:44:55 pm
Is it possible to use ASL to do the renderings?
Title: Re: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: lynn22 on September 01, 2009, 09:58:44 pm
I think that you would save a lot of time rendering all the frames in above image in Anim8or.

You would only build a skeleton/bones and skin your figure once, then pose it in sequence editor. You somehow have to pose your figure anyway to create a walk cycle.

Then in scene mode Build/add your figure and select it to add the sequence of poses.

Then place as many cameras around your figure, all at the same height and distance (copy the same settings to all your cameras) as the number of different sequence renders you need - 11 as per above picture.
Give each camera an Edit>Controler = active so that you can switch the cameras on/off, active = 1 or 0.
Render the sequence with each camera in separate frames/images instead of avi and you'll have all your image ranges in no time.
Title: Re: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: Jdez on September 02, 2009, 11:14:37 am
I am not sure if you can Render animations as an Animated gif or not, I have never tried. But you never know.
Title: Re: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: Aethelwulffe on September 02, 2009, 12:06:12 pm
There are 13 poses (1 of standing in 12 directions, then 12 directional walking animations with 8 poses each).  Basically I would need 12 cameras, plus 12 lights, and then pose (for this particular figure) 8 times and I would be done pretty easily, right? Being that I have not set up a camera before, I hope that the accuracy of the set up is easy to achieve.  I will try that.  I will be doing this a lot of course, so I'd like to explore all options

Can the whole thing be filmed as an animation with one camera, with the framerate keyed to the keyframes?  Perhaps creating a full-on animation, or perhaps just doing the rotating with the animation, and film the 8 poses by making the framerate equal to 8 per revolution.  It doesn't really matter how the images are organized, as I can re-sequence them.  If it can be accurately done, I  could convert the video output to animated gif, then use the gif in the game engine.

I will pose this same question relative to ASL in the appropriate thread.  Exploring all avenues...Thank you very much guys.  More advice is much appreciated!
Title: Re: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: Pincho on September 02, 2009, 02:19:29 pm
I think that once you set up the scene for your Spaceman, the whole scene can be re-used for all of your animations. I think that the walk cycle can be reused. the camera position, the lights everything. So a single setup will be all you ever need. The whole thing can then be rendered from 1 angle, save this as angle 1. Move the camera, save that as angle 2.. so you have lots of Anim8or files saved for each position of the scene.

I have already used Anim8or plenty of times for game sprites, but one thing I have never tried is re-using a walk cycle on another model, but I think that you can.
Title: Re: Rendering for 2d sprites
Post by: Aethelwulffe on September 02, 2009, 04:15:22 pm
Yeah, it sounds pretty smart to set up a studio and build some bones.  Unfortunatly, I have a wide variety of aliens etc... that won't follow the bipedal format, so mostly the camera setup is the most important.  The lighting will have to be arranged the same also of course.  I must have the lighting angle appear as if it were from the same direction...I think, so hopefully I can switch lights on and off as well.  It sure would be great if a script could be made to rotate the model and take shots of it though....On click and Poof! you have your output for any model.  As a coder, I would prefer to learn ASL than to learn to use the studio!