Animation Tips

When animating for games, depending on the type of game you’re doing, you may need to limit your animation. For example, if you’re doing mobile games and you want to keep the file sizes small and playback fast on all devices, then you should limit yourself to simple keyframe animation with as few drawing swaps as possible. If you’re creating console games, you have the freedom to create more drawings and have a higher complexity. You can explore with your programmer the limitations of the platforms you’re exporting to, and what your game engine supports.

Here are some tips for efficient, lightweight animation:

Use mainly transformations, such as move, rotate, scale, skew.
Create additional drawing swaps when needed.
If you use Deform or Morphing, you’ll need to bake out the drawings for export. Be careful when doing this, as you may want to keep the number of drawings small. Don’t bake out an entire sequence, just selected drawings.
The bigger the drawings are in the Drawing view, the more pixels they will occupy in the texture size on the sprite sheet. When setting up your rig, make sure to not scale individual layers by using a keyframe with the Transform tool. If you want to scale things up or down, use the Select tool. This will keep things the same relative size on the sprite sheet. When you export the sprite sheets, in the script you can also set the resolution of the sprite sheet so the drawings can be downscaled for smaller devices.
Only drawings which are exposed in the scene will be exported to the sprite sheet. For example, if you have 10 drawings in your Library view, but only two of them are showing in your scene, only those two will export out. This keeps the sprite sheet as tight as possible.