The Animation Editor Dot

...and what it does

That little dot which you move to get the creature's feet centered on the cross hairs of the Animation Editor's screen is actually the top left corner of the graphic being displayed. And like stamp placement on a map, the white margins on a graphic affect where the stamp will ultimately appear. Most graphics are trimmed so that no margins exist.

I'm working on an animation of a snake and ran into some uncommon problems. There are 8 frames in each of 8 directions for the "walking" sequence and a like number for the attack sequence. When I started adding the pictures to the animation, the snake was jumping all over the place, particularly when the snake changed directions. With almost any other creature this would not happen because the feet would always be at "ground zero" and the creature's height and breadth were mostly constant.

I began moving that little dot around to get the snake into the right spot for each frame and soon had a maze of dots I couldn't possibly sort out. Centering the head did not work either because the head is supposed to weave back and forth.

I've discovered a way to make all the pictures show up correctly in an animation without having to plot the placement dot for each individual graphic. Here's what I did: I determined that the "ground contact" point on the snake was about 1/3 down the length of the snake. I then opened each graphic in GraphicConverter and charted the X and Y distances (in pixels) from the top left corner of the graphic to the "ground contact" point. Next, I went back to GraphicConverter and added clear margins to make the X and Y distances the same for every picture. (For example: 90, 42) Now I went back to the animation editor and set the first placement dot at 90, 42 and everything lines up perfectly when the animation is played.

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Well that's... great. However I have no idea what you are talking about. Something that makes it easier to use the terrible animation editor would be a blessing, but could you try to explain this to me? :huh:

I just always make all of the frames for any NPC or Hero the same size with the guy/snake/bear in the middle.

Ledorax, on Jul 31 2005, 07:12 AM, said:

... but could you try to explain this to me?
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I'll try. Here are four frames of my snake with the intersecting lines leading to a point on the path of travel where the snake's body first touches the ground. Notice that the point is not on the body of the snake in each case, but rather on the straight line direction. The numbers are the pixel count to the left and top edges.
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Now here's what the Animation Editor looks like with those four frames entered. Imagine what it looks like with 128 frames.
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In the first image, the largest X distance is 86 pixels and the largest Y distance is 58 pixels. Okay, I now add margins on the top and left edges to make my "ground contact" spot 86X, 58Y in every frame and the graphics now look like this.
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My animation is now a breeze to construct because I only have to set the dot in the first frame.
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Centering the snake in each picture (as Yoggy sugests) would not work because the snake would jump every time it changed direction and the "straight line" travel would be very eratic.

Ugh, nevermind. Nothing of that makes any sense to me at all. 😛

I'll just continue doing as I've always done. It works in-game, and that's what matters.