Session – March 2021 – 2D Character Animation

Many games use skeletal animations, as opposed to sprite sheets.

Skeletal Animation

Spritesheet Animation

This month we are doing skeletal animations using a program called Spriter.

Visual Studio if needed

You will be earning the Skeletal Animator Badge.

Step 1: Design Your Character

You will be drawing the character in Piskell. Each piece is a different part of the character, blue is left side, red is right side.

You will need to install Spriter. Ask for help if you don’t know how.

Watch this video to learn how to start editing the pieces of your character (3.5 minutes)

Watch this video on tips to design your character using Piskel. 

Step 2: Rigging Your Character

Rigging is the term used in game design to describe the process of getting a character the bones it needs to animate.

If you used the body style, you just need to check the character works correctly when you move the bones. Some small adjustments may need to happen. If you made a very different shape, you may need to make a new skeleton for the character.

Once you have placed your images, this video shows you how to get it ready to animate.

If you make a different shape character or you want to add a weapon, you need to watch this.

Step 3: Animating Your Character

You are going to create 3 animations:

  1. Walk/Run
  2. Jump
  3. Attack

First, just try a simple animation, jumping in surprise:

Here’s how you save and export animations:

Here’s a video that shows a more difficult animation, walking!

Once you’ve finished your walking animation, do a jumping and attack animation.

Note, the jump doesn’t have to move the character really high, you can do that inside of a game engine.