Animating simple player sprite (Platform)

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JasonK 101 May 19, 2013 at 12:38

Dear DevMasters,

I’m new here and this is my first post on DevMaster so I hope I don’t violate any forum rules with this post. Also excuse me if my English is not very good. I’m working on a simple platform game and I’m not very good at spriting/game design. This is how my game looks like at the moment:

appInGame.jpg

As you can see It’s very basic. I’ve designed a simple player sprite but I can’t get the walking animation smooth. I’d hoped that somebody could help me out with the player walking animation. Here is the PNG file of my player:
playerTrans.fw.png

I’m looking for something like this, the only problem with this animation is that it’s not very smooth and I need the player to be bigger:
playerStrip.fw.png

Also, if anyone has any tips or additions for my platform game I’d really like to hear/see them. I’ve read a few articles so far on this forum and I like to hear more. Thanks in advance!

PS: Can I also ask for sprites against payments on this forum?

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TheNut 179 May 19, 2013 at 15:00

Some people have different acceptance levels of what’s smooth and what’s not. If you look at the TV and movie industry, you will see that a minimum of 24 fps is considered smooth. In the gaming industry, most people prefer 60 fps, which most would agree is the upper limit of our ability to track motion. Having said that, if you wanted to generate a smooth animation, you would need to have a minimum of 24 frames to render in a given second. In your example, your sprite only has 7 frames, which can have two side effects. If you render the animation at 7 fps, then it will have a choppy animation. If you’re running your animation at a higher frame rate, then the sprite would appear to be animating very fast. At 30 fps, your animation would loop 30 / 7 = 4 times. This will produce a smooth animation, but you would have to move your character around the screen much faster.

So animation can be broken down into two tasks. First, find out how long it should take to complete a motion. Once you know how long it should take, you can then determine the number of frames you will need based on your target render frame rate. If you need an artist to help you with that, then you’ll need to find them. Try contacting the original author of that sprite, or make requests on other sites like deviantart.

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rouncer 103 May 19, 2013 at 15:07

dont worry violating forum rules is my job! :D

you could always puppet the feet sprites, then it would be really smooth.

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fireside 141 May 20, 2013 at 09:16

Animation is something that takes study. You have a simple character and it shouldn’t be too difficult. I can’t see anything from looking at it, but the motion from one frame to the next is what matters. It has to be very consistent, otherwise the character will appear jerky. You want a very slight up and down motion with the foot motion. The timing between frames is also important. It may help to examine other games. 2d games commonly use very few frame animation and it generally works all right. I’ve seen 4 frame walks that look decent. 8 should give a pretty smooth looking animation. The larger the character the more noticeable the low frame count will matter. An art program that has layers may help. You can set the transparency of the underneath frame so it looks ghosted and you can see if the motion is even. A program that’s pretty cheap that may help is Anime Studio Debut which has bone rigging:

http://www.amazon.co…me+studio+debut

Another method is to use rotation with a vector program such as Inkscape. If nothing else, skip the up and down motion and just rotate the feet the same amount each frame. Also, make sure the character is centered on each frame when you grab it off a sprite sheet. A small variation will look choppy.