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What do you recommend to use for 2d animations?

Discussion in 'Animation' started by serban13, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. serban13

    serban13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2021
    Posts:
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    Hi! I have in my game different types of animations ... from environmental ones [flying birds, moving clouds] to character animations like attack, movement, mining. What do you recommend to use to create these animations?

    For now, I developed a part of this in Adobe After Effects.
     
  2. Unrighteouss

    Unrighteouss

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
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    Hey,

    Pretty much every AAA company that does 2D skeletal animation develops their own private tools, so there aren't really any massively popular packages like for 3D software.

    The closest thing to being industry standard is likely Esoteric Software's Spine: http://esotericsoftware.com/

    There are many other options though, here's a decent overview video of what's available:


    Personally, I like using Unity's built in 2D skeletal animation. It has the fastest and easiest workflow I've tested, with the only downside being that it's very performance intensive and basically requires that you install the burst package and the collections preview package. It's also still pretty buggy.

    I've never used After Effects, but if that works for you, I'm sure it's a fine option as well.

    If you're talking about 2D hand drawn frame by frame animation, then Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, Krita, whatever you feel comfortable with.
     
  3. Ted_Wikman

    Ted_Wikman

    Unity Technologies

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    Oct 7, 2019
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    499
    Great summary there, @Unrighteouss
    If you want to check out what you can do with 2D Animation, have a look at our samples.

    And thank you @Unrighteouss for your kind words regarding the 2D Animation package! Regarding the comment that you think the 2D Animation package is "pretty buggy", could you share some more insight on what buggy behaviour you are experiencing? As we currently don't have that many active bugs in the package, these issues might have gone unreported.
     
  4. Unrighteouss

    Unrighteouss

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    Apr 24, 2018
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    Sorry, saying the 2D Animation package is "still pretty buggy" wasn't really accurate, it's more the workflow as a whole. I just experienced an issue the other day where I was getting an error when trying to copy bones from one rig to another (already submitted a bug report).

    I've also experienced numerous issues with sprite libraries (the built in functionality in the Sprite Editor for character rigs). Sometimes swapping sprites wouldn't save in animation, and I've experienced a bug where I was getting dead categories after changing sprite names in my PSB file (already submitted a bug report); this may be fixed now, not sure.

    It's also still very concerning how we need the collections preview package to get a decent frame rate with even a single somewhat complex character. Right now, collections seems to be working fine, but I've had major issues with it in the past. You also need a git URL to even install collections, aside from if you get it as a dependency, so it's all still a bit sketchy in my opinion.

    Despite the above, I still use the workflow because it has some stuff that easily beats the competition. The PSB import workflow is extremely fast and highly modifiable after the fact, and the automatic mesh generation/ automatic weights are the best I've seen.

    As a QoL feature, if there's one thing I'd really love to see though, it would be customizable bones in the scene view (colors, opacity, sizes, hiding bones). It can get really clunky to animate characters once you have many bones that are close together or overlapping.

    Anyway, great package, saves me a lot of time! Thanks!
     
  5. Ted_Wikman

    Ted_Wikman

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
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    Great feedback, thanks a lot for that!

    Ah, yes. We just got a fix in for this, pending final QA verification before it will go out to the public. The workaround is to have a .psb with more than 1 sprite in it, or convert the .psb to a .png/.jpg.

    This is an interesting issue. If you happen to come across this issue, do let us know the steps you took and if you have a way to repro it. We don't have any reports on this, so it would be very good to get some more info on this issue.

    We have a fix for an issue similar to this in 2D Animation 5.0.6. Let us know if you still experience this issue.

    Very good to know about this concern and that you have previously had issues with the Collections package. Our aim is to fully depend on the Collections package once it is out of its preview phase. If you encounter any bugs with the preview version of Collections, do let us know, so we can fix these issues and make Collections a more reliable package to depend on.

    Good points there, I'll bring these suggestions back to the team to use as feedback for future 2D workflow improvements.

    Thanks again for very constructive feedback, we really appreciate it!
     
    Unrighteouss likes this.
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