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Bringing Anima2D to Unity

Discussion in '2D Experimental Preview' started by Johaness_Reuben, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Johaness_Reuben

    Johaness_Reuben

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  2. Kiori

    Kiori

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    Maybe you guys should sticky this.
    I was surprised when I came to this section and did not find any mention of this.
    I thought there would be info, for instance, is the Anima2D guy gonna be working with your team?
    In fact it would be nice to know how things are structured, are there two 2D teams, like one for stable and the other for experimental features?

    It's nice to see this added anyways, Unity is making strides in some very exciting directions.
     
  3. Johaness_Reuben

    Johaness_Reuben

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    Stickied.

    As was mentioned in the blog post, Sergi is part of the 2D team. :)
    There is one dedicated 2D team. There are currently 12 members in the team.
    While we are developing the 2D skeletal animation feature, this is a great alternative to use in the meantime.
    We too are very excited in the direction we are headed, but we are also equally excited that we can work with you, the community to help keep us heading in the right direction.
     
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  4. CyRaid

    CyRaid

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    I know it's a bit soon to ask, but any update on this? I know it's to be released in January sometime but.. *eager* haha
     
  5. rakkarage

    rakkarage

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  6. Pypsik1

    Pypsik1

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    Fun fact: Experimental client breaks anima's examples:


    That's Unity-chan.
    It works perfectly on generic 5.5 client tho.
     
  7. SteeLMan

    SteeLMan

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    Remove the tag from multiple sprites :)
     
  8. Pypsik1

    Pypsik1

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    Breaks once you hit "play".

    Also, look at generated assets.
    That's arm_1 sprite mesh, normal and experimental:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  9. SteeLMan

    SteeLMan

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    I'm the same as you, but as soon as I delete or rename tag it works, but it does not show the play mode.
     
  10. Pavel_D

    Pavel_D

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    Working well done:), soon the video trailer or something more)
    PS: Its native and have fully functional simply no less than Spine)
     
  11. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Sounds great! Is there a way to get into experimental releases for the new features? I ask because I'm creating a kit for the store and it sounds like the some of the features I'm adding are going to overlap stuff that will be built into Unity soon so I would prefer to integrate into those directly and support mainstream features instead.
     
  12. Johaness_Reuben

    Johaness_Reuben

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    @LaneFox What do you mean "get into experimental releases for the new features"?
    As in getting the experimental release or being part of the experimental?
     
  13. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    @Johaness_Reuben

    Is FFD (free form deformation) or, essentially, vertex animation of individual points on a sprite's mesh currently in development for Anima2D or the final build in Unity?

    This feature is sorely lacking from Unity AND Anima2D, and is a make-or-break feature for me as a 2D animator to avoid that stupid/cheap/rigid "cut-out" look animation tends to have these days.


    PS:

    I'm assuming you guys aren't animators, but if you take Rayman Legends into account, you'll see they make heavy-use of vertex animation on their body parts to give it that hand-drawn look that makes it feel rubbery and cartoony. If done a little more subdued, it can make more realistic stuff look nice as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  14. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

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    + 1 for FFD

    And vertex animation is also welcome as a standard feature so I can import animated vertexes from maya.
     
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  15. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    I was referring to this

    I would like to start digging into the new built in feature(s) [skeletal animation] asap as I seem to be creating overlapping tools that Unity is already building and would prefer to integrate the official tools instead.
     
  16. Johaness_Reuben

    Johaness_Reuben

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    Ah got it!.
    The 2D skeletal animation feature is in prototype stage at the moment. Unfortunately I can't give a time at the moment as to when it will hit the experimental preview.
     
  17. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    @Johaness_Reuben

    Apparently my post was overlooked.

    No mention of any FFD or vertex features so far, but am I correct in assuming there WILL be FFD (free-form deformation) and/or point/vertex animation features included in the final release of Unity's Anima2D replacement?

    I recall seeing these features were in the works for Anima2D, but then Unity swooped in and those expectations all went to hell. Can I get a clear answer from someone at Unity that this is in the works? Once again, this feature is ESSENTIAL to animators, and hopefully I shouldn't have to explain why again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
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  18. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

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    I have been asking for vertex animation support about ten years ago, so to see that it still has no priority is a bit of a miss for me. hope someday an animator starts to work at unity who can prioritise this feature.
     
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  19. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    @Lars-Steenhoff

    Sorry but thinking about that type of stuff just infuriates me.

    No idea why nobody at Unity seems to think this type of (commonly-needed) stuff is important.

    Stuff like animation exists in ALL games. Game environments do too. For example, streaming textures and terrain is present in some form in almost ALL the biggest-selling modern titles these days, and yet Unity makes us jump through hoops to make stuff like this happen, and/or instead refers us to either some subpar workaround OR the Asset Store.


    Something as common as moving vertexes around in an animation should NOT be something a developer has to fight with, nor should he have to buy an extension to the editor he uses to be able to do it. As far as the animator goes, I feel like they should either give us the source-code to the animator so we can do it properly, OR do it for us (properly!) instead. But no matter what they want to do in the end, they should NEVER make it necessary to have to beg for features like this for years on end.

    That's just my two cents.

    With indies pretty much competing with AAA studios these days, you'd think they'd take us a little more seriously and develop tools to help us do just that -- especially with as much gusto as they seem to be approaching making Unity into a new movie-making software-hybrid, right? It's not a bad direction to go graphics-wise, but why start something new when you haven't even finished the framework of what you've already started first? You're abandoning your core fanbase for greener pastures -- and that never ends well.

    </RANT>
     
  20. Lars-Steenhoff

    Lars-Steenhoff

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    IMG_3995.PNG Yea im not kidding here is the post I found from ten years back
     
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  21. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    I can't imagine you were the ONLY one to have requested this feature...? Is the Unity community really that small still...?


    You'd think the very soul of the company (the Unity Editor) would need some strong bones (animation/textures/worlds) to support the weight of all the meaty features afforded by its malleable interface and deep API.

    Sad thing is, Unity boasts about its nifty graphics pipeline, and yet basic graphical stuff like this is still mysteriously MIA? :(

    I apologize for beating a dead horse here, but I'm gonna do it just in case that one guy from Unity Team is listening:

    • Framework stuff, like vertex animation, should have been simple to translate from 3D into 2D, as it should have been included in the 3D pipeline a long time ago.
     
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  22. Johaness_Reuben

    Johaness_Reuben

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    @awesomedata Apologies, did not mean to overlook your post. As I had mentioned in my reply to another, we're in prototyping stage but didn't get into more details.

    So here's more info for all :)

    - 2D Character rigging workflow will be focused in the Sprite Editor. This provides a smoother and neater workflow.
    - Create edit bones, hierarchy of bones.
    - Auto and manual mesh tessellation
    - Auto and manual vertex weight assignment
    - Free Form Deformation
    - Inverse Kinematics

    We're not ready to go into Experimental yet, but we're working towards it.
     
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  23. _watcher_

    _watcher_

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    Hi, could you be more specific? It doesn't work for me either, what tag are you speaking about? GOs are untagged. Does it work for you in play mode? Atm looks broken in experimental.
     
  24. bingheliefeng

    bingheliefeng

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  25. Sylmerria

    Sylmerria

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    Hi @Johaness_Reuben

    Any news about 2d skeleton ?
    And for info, performance will be better than with anima2d ?
     
  26. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    Strange -- no idea why i never got notified of a reply to this thread before today...

    @Johaness_Reuben

    Thanks for the heads up! -- I'm very pleased to hear about the FFD implementation! --

    One other question -- Would we be able to also change meshes and parts with FFD in mid-animation, and return them to what they were when the loop transitioned back to the start frame?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  27. Johaness_Reuben

    Johaness_Reuben

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    Generally - work is well under way but is still awhile away before a preview.
    @lenneth78 - What performance issues are you currently facing with Anima2D?

    @awesomedata - FFD will be one of the later features worked as we do want to concentrate on the core first. On you question, its something we are generally looking at, as it does relate to some rigging features but in terms of animation it is quite a difficult thing to tackle but definitely something on our radar. I have not see this really implemented even in rendering software yet. Have you seen it being used somewhere that works well?
     
  28. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    @Johaness_Reuben -- I know the following is a lot to read, but please, bear with me -- I assure you it's worth your while!


    Check out "Unity Sprites and Bones" -- it does this (in Unity!) already (for free!), and it is open-source! So does "Dragonbones Pro" (which is also free and works in Unity, but highly undocumented). As does so many other tools. I can get you a list of tools that do it if you really need them. Just say the word. But those two tools do this style FFD right out of the box -- in Unity! -- so, tbh, I really have no idea why you guys went with Anima2D (no offense to its creator) due to its bone-based nature.

    Most animators I know (I'm a 2D animator myself!) want to have full-control over deformation while animating (minus the basic location/rotation -- but only in SOME cases, because a lot of times we do want control over rotation/location sprite/image aspects of individual parts too!!) -- Bottom line is, bone-based 2D animation is sub-par in so many ways (even to its viewers!), but the major reason is because it rarely affords artists full-control over how it looks, visually, at any given moment. This is, unarguably, 2D's biggest strength against 3D, and not focusing on that strength will lead to a sub-par tool, and ultimately, sub-par animations.


    So I have a proposal to help solve your bone-based issues -- see below:


    As for FFD, I think you guys might be overthinking it, and here's why:


    First off, as mentioned above, animators don't need bone deformation on their control-point animations. If you give them a way to select multiple control points and move (or smear!) them simultaneously (with a soft-brush, for example), we can easily achieve the same effects manually (such as breathing or 3D 'rotation' -- without the immense tedium of setting up complex rigs/weights, for meshes with unnecessarily high polycounts like in tools like "Creature") that we'd have used bones for! -- Outside of subtle movements like that (and the overall location / rotation for the whole appendage!), we will never use bones for anything but location/rotation of the whole form/appendage.


    To solve your technical woes -- here's how you can approach FFD like this in an artist- and programmer- friendly way:

    First off, generate the mesh every frame from simple cages and control point offsets that relate to specific verts used in that generation (remember, Unity does multiple cycles per-frame -- one of these could easily be used to generate the mesh for display). This technique is already in-practice in tools like Archimatix and EasyRoads, and works for complex multi-story, multi-room, 3D structures in realtime just fine (take a look at videos of Archimatix -- it does exactly what I'm suggesting... in realtime -- and in 3D), so what's stopping it from working in 2D instead?

    I doubt 2D control point motions + mesh regeneration (based on those control points) would cause Unity to hiccup at all since speed depends on triangle count most of all, uv offsets are already predetermined, and only a super-tiny amount of CPU is used per-frame to generate the meshes you see (since pretty much nothing is being transformed [especially multiple times!] which is usually the major pain point in this type of animation!), plus, with 2D, you'll already have those meshes/textures/uvs in memory in some form -- all that's left is to generate (not deform!) them based on your control points' new animated locations.

    So "Free Form Deformation" is essentially a misnomer in this case -- but the goal (and the outcome!) is the same, for far cheaper than is traditionally achieved!

    --

    This type of animation does not need bones to work -- in fact, it works much better if there's nothing but a single transform controlling their location/orientation, as they'd never be weighted to anything (aside from 100% to the transform of the appendage), assuming you allowed their control points to be manually animated separately from the bone's influence.

    Also, don't forget the smooth/smear brush I mentioned -- give it a proportional falloff to smear or move verts (control points) around, and artists like me would love you guys forever!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  29. landon912

    landon912

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    Maybe I missed some news, but is Anima2D going to have its features natively implemented at some point, or will it remain a separate package?
     
  30. vakabaka

    vakabaka

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    "Paul Tham
    December 5, 2016 at 8:43 am
    Anima2D will remain as a separate package. However, together with Sergi (now in Team 2D) we are building this feature directly into Unity. The end result will be seamless and not a Unity with Anima2D preinstalled."
     
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  31. Wanwidi5

    Wanwidi5

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    Hi
    Is there a stretchy bones feature in anima2d?
    Thanks
     
  32. _watcher_

    _watcher_

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    You should ask in here, like i did (Anima2D was integrated into that asset), and nobody replied, so prob. not (usually i get no reply when feature is unavailable, which is still bad imo, they should just say so)