Should I use white space?

Ok so say you have an animation of a character that attacks with like a sword or something that protrudes. Now for the west facing animations, it will start with a picture where the sword is close to the body. But as it moves out, in an attack the picture would have to get bigger. Coldstone automatically aligns by the top left corner, so it would look like the character was moving back instead of the sword moving out. What I had been doing was just making all the picts the same size, so the first one would just have white space at the end of it. But I noticed that it acts wierd around acess. Like the character will sometimes move through blocked tiles and wont move over open tiles. So instead of white space should i just move each picture individually in the animation editor, and just not use white space?

thanks in advance

The animation editor is a pain in the arse. If you have many frames, it sometimes won't let you move them around. Also, the "health bar" will hop around under your character, which looks strange. All my characters have some extra white around them so I won't have to use the animation editor very much and I haven't had any problems with that. But then again, I haven't really tested it a lot. I do hope you're wrong, or else I've made about 2000 pictures that I can't use. :blink:

About moving over blocked tiles: where, exactly, have you placed your character? Their feet should be where the two lines cross I think. At least, that's what they did with pog and it works fine.

Summary: use white, it will spare you much pain and loss of hair.

Edit - lousy grammar :mad:

This post has been edited by Ledorax : 24 November 2005 - 05:01 PM

I am a great believer in making the white space help with the placement of the animated figure. I started a thread about this a short while ago. Graphic Converter is an excellent tool to control the amount of white space because it has a feature of "add margins" which is calculated in how many pixels you want to add.

I figure out where my "ground zero" is on the picture (in most cases this will be the feet of the NPC) and then make all the pictures have the pixel X Y co-ordinates match. Then when you build your animation, all the graphics line up where they should be when you set the first picture.

If you need more explanation after reading the thread, let me know.

Unlike Ledorax, I do not consider the animation editor to be a pain at all. But then, I don't think he understood what I was doing with the white margins.

I use Snapz Pro 2 so that all of the graphics in each direction are the same size. So the character will be in one position at the beginning of a direction (like NW) and then reach out and strike, but the actual dimensions are the same from one pct to the next. That makes it easier when you place it in the animation. The animation editor will let you adjust each pct, so that's possible when needed.

In short, white space is a good thing. Try to make every direction the same dimensions by using white space and allow the character to "naturally" move out and back for each direction without needing to change those dimensions when you make the original graphics. Think of the white space as part of the graphics picture. It'll make life easier.

Meanwhile, in the animation editor, move your character the way you want. Check mark each frame BEFORE you move each frame in the animation editor. If you don't, it'll screw up what you've done before that particular frame.

oh.. lol that could have been a problem. You're supposed to center the feet? 😄 I knew that.... hah. So for any animation you want to move the entire animation set so that the feet line up on the (0,0) spot? I had just always kept the dot on (0,0)... oops... :rolleyes:

Well thanks a bunch that should help everything.. lol

The most significant time to keep 0,0 and to not move your graphic in the animation window is when you're placing stamps, including animation stamps, via stamp control.

For instance, many of my towns are walled. I placed gates that open and close as the Player moves through them. The engine reads the upper left corner of a pct file for stamp control placement. In the map, under layers, I would place a gate pct where I wanted it and note the pixel coordinates of the upper left hand corner of the graphic. (Not movement, pixel, the bottom coordinates in the lower left info window on the map.) It's indicated by the dashed outline when you place a graphic onto a map, so you'd note (write it down) the upper left corner of the dashed outline by moving the cursor to where it was. (The map info window reads where the cursor is at.) Then I'd delete the graphic.

In map location, via stamp control, I placed the gate pct graphic using the pixel coordinates so the gate pct graphic loads whenever the Player enters the map. Then in the map, I created an event that would replace via stamp control the gate pct graphic with the gate animation graphic at the same pixel coordinates. It worked because I kept the gate animation graphics at 0,0, as the engine read the upper left corner of the animation. The gate pct graphic is, of course, part of the animation.

It took me forever to figure out this particular rule!