Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flash Rigged Sprite Update: Success?

So a quick update on using Flash's "bone tool" for animating characters.

Not willing to let the whole "Toon Boom dropping the ball on the importer" situation slow me down, I exported the character from Toon Boom to a normal SWF file. I then loaded it into Flash and began the tedious process of naming each part of the character (again). Then, I selected all of the parts at once and used "distribute to layers" to put them all onto their own layers for use.

I was then able to start rigging the character with the virtual armature. The only real hinky part was that the layer depths change while you are rigging. This wouldn't be a big deal if I could slide them around in the layer window, but you have to use the "Bring Forward, Bring to Front, etc" functions. Didn't take forever, just longer than I would have liked.

Later this week, I'm going to try and animate hands for the character and create its "Idle Animation".


  1. Are you planning to export rendered frames, or use the skeletal animations directly in your game? I went with skeletal animations in my game, and I'm really glad I did, but it was alot of work to get them to work properly.

    I like the art style. I'm gonna have to read back a bit in your blog and see how you're doing things. (We're doing everything in raster images starting from really high res scans, rather than using vector art)

  2. Thanks for the comment. I'm going to be sticking with exporting the frames of animation from Flash. I was going to look into the skeletal animation system in XNA to use for some larger "Contra" style end bosses. Did you use any tutorials in particular?

    I'm also scanning in my line art and down sizing it for a slightly more retro look. Funny part has been trying to balance "actual retro graphics" and how I remember them.

    I've been following your site for a little while now. Looking good.

  3. No tutorials, really. I just sort of made it all up as I went, praying that it would run fast enough on the 360. I've been lucky so far.

    The trickiest bit was to get it all working with SpriteBatch. Allowing child bones to translate/rotate with parent bones involved some matrix trickery that I couldn't handle with the SpriteBatch.Draw parameters.

    Also, if I wanted to flip the characters horizontally, I needed to turn off back face culling, which had me stumped for a bit.

    I'm subscribed to your rss feed. I look forward to seeing your ongoing developments.

  4. Thanks for subscribing!

    I picked up Building XNA 2.0 Games: A Practical Guide for Independent Game Development by James Silva (the Dishwasher Samurai guy) and I think that he has a system explained in there. Pretty impressive that you figured it out on your own. I'm hoping that can walk me through doing it.