HOW TO DRAW CHARACTER ANIMATIONS

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HOW TO DRAW CHARACTER ANIMATIONS

Post by Ace on Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:03 pm

This tutorial will walk you through the process of creating a character for MUGEN ZERO using Graphics Gale. You can find the version you need at the link below:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Any version after 2.01.04 will work since it has the .png animation strip export functionality necessary to creating the sprite strip animations that MUGEN ZERO uses. Please note that all .png animation strip's filename should end in '_stripX.png' and 'X' should indicate the number of animation frames in the animation strip file saved in '.png' format. For a single frame, only the '.png' part is necessary.

Be sure to have already exported the base animations (from the Character File Maker tool) to a folder of their own. For more information on this part, see the tutorial for "HOW TO CREATE A CHARACTER" which walks you through making the character file.



SETUP YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Set up your work environment in Graphics Gale by clicking and dragging the toolbars into a position that is easy to work with. My personal work environment looks like this:

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As you can tell, this is very easy to work from, and yours may differ, but remember, you can right click on any button to set the toolbar as dockable to allow it to dock when touching other docked toolbars or float over them. You can also set whether to allow them to unroll when your mouse hovers over them.

The last (but most useful) workspace setup tip I can offer is to set your keys for Backward Frame to Alt+F11 and set Forward Frame to Alt+F12 to allow for the rolling of the mouse wheel up and down to move forward or backward a frame. You can use Alt+F10 as a shortcut for the middle mouse button click to perform a function such as Undo or to bring up the properties window. Please remember that you can right-click in an image to grab colors and hold right click (and drag) to select areas of pixels that can be copied and pasted or moved and rotated, and then tweaked for animations.


CREATE A FILE AND SAVE IT:
This is where we get into detail with defining the look of our character states. The first step to doing that is to load character animation states from the folder we exported our base animations to OR creating a new file called "stand.png" where we will create our standing still pose. Be sure to click the '...' button on the frame selected to set its transparency color.

The standing pose is the main pose from which all other animations and abilities originate. The size of the stand pose affects the width and height of the hit box surrounding the character as well as other attributes such as strength and defense.

While creating a character, one important thing to keep in mind is the center of the sprite. This is the point where the sprite will be horizontally mirrored when changing direction from left to right or vice versa. If the sprite is too far away from the center when changing directions, it will appear to teleport back and forth when you turn around. Not very nice looking. Keep the center exactly where you want the sprite to flip when flipping the image horizontally. As long as it looks nice flipping in Graphics Gale, it will look nice flipping in MUGEN ZERO. You can check this by going to All Frames -> Flip Horizontally and just click Undo when you're done checking. Also, please note that all sprites should initially be facing to the right to look correctly.
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