I have begun working with Spriter again and have been for the past month or so, and I a renewed view on spriter.
These are my biggest nuances currently with spriter:
-What's the logic behind having to rotate images counter-clockwise so they will be scaled properly inside spriter? I have to say that this is not intuitive in the least, at least for the end user.
-The stepping on scaling a bone when dragging with the mouse is way too big, making subtle scaling animation a chore to do.
-Why every time I key a bone, it also keys all it's children? This really breaks my workflow since I constantly have to delete those keyframes and I see no reason for them to be created. My only guess is so I can delete a bone and it's children remain where they are, but I have never come across a reason or can't think of one where I would want to delete a bone, if I want a part of the character to dissapear or something, I just hide the image, not touch the bone.
-It should be made clear that pixel art mode is enabled when making renders.
-Save UI layout and background color on close, it's a pain in the butt having to rearrange everything every time I start up spriter ( which is a lot due to it's tendency to freezing/crashing).
-Why am I allowed to select multiple images on the z-order tab if I can't do anything with that selection? If you can't allow me to drag several images across the z-order at once, don't let me select multiple images so I get the illusion that I can.
-What's the use of the object palette? Images showed are too small to be of any use, you can't click on it to select a bone or image, and I have no clue what combine selected object with does( I thought it could be used to bring objects that where present in other animations but not the current one, that's not the case it seems).
-Why second view doesn't have 0.75, 0.50, 0.25 options? This makes it useless to those of use who work with large files to be scaled later. Also, its Buttons take too much space.
-Changing background color doesn't nee such a central space, normally I just change the color once when I start working and don't touch it again, so the series of buttons are just adding to the visual clutter.
-UI is desperate for a visual overhaul, currently it looks like some patch job made on winforms.
-Object properties wastes a lot of space and yet it feels cluttered.
- I don't need a billion decimals for x and y, truth is I don't need to see decimals at all for these.
- xScale and yScale could do with 2 decimals, 3 tops.
- Angle and alpha don't need decimals at all.
- Taking off all these numbers would allow the panel to be smaller and much less cumbersome.
- Without all these needless info the object properties pane could be redesigned into a small floating panel
- The timeline is not very good.
- The play/stop/etc buttons are flat and enclosed on a square, while all other buttons have anti-aliased drawings.
- The beveled rounded rectangles for user input look bad.
- The way it changes the distribution of elements when one is clicked looks bad.
- The increase/decrease arrow buttons are useless.
- I see no reason to change the whole layout when I click a box for input, just highlight that box and be done with it.
- I'm guessing that the "..." and the "Char Maps" buttons are placeholders for not yet made images, since quite a while.
- Button images are visual noise, make them more explicit and make them a flat color. Look at any graphic program like Adobe ones
- Let me "minimize" panels, I don't need the all the panels all the time, yet in order to get the space occupied by them for work I
have to close them all, making it a chore to bring them back up when I need them.
- I think the ui in general would greatly benefit from a more actual look, like a flat design
(http://interiorimg.com/WP_images4/78367.png), to get a away from the win95 vibe.
- File menu -> Other file actions... to me it doesn't look like you ran out of space on the file menu, so I see no purpose in hiding these functions under a generically named submenu.
And to wrap up:
Spriter is unstable, a lot of people who work with it know it. There are lots of posts here from people saying how much spriter crashes, and every time Mike pops the same answer of how he works with it everyday and it never crashes. The sad part is that only a few people will bother to make an account and report a crash, most people will download the software, crash a few times, uninstall and forget about it. This is particularly worrisome if you consider that spriter is almost impossible to find using google without knowing it's exact name, so the crashes and maybe coupled with the bad looking ui are probably shooing potential customers away.
You guys say that we need to report the crashes and how to reproduce them, but the truth is that they usually happen at random, with no apparent reason, examples: "was watching and animation, paused it and spriter went unresponsive and crashed moments later", or "was saving and spriter crashed", or "minimized the window, and when I maximized it spriter crashed" or "tried to scale a bone and spriter crashed"; it's already enough for the user to have to deal with loss of work and time, and most of us don't even know where to start looking at a cause of a crash, we just know it crashed and pissed us off and made us wonder why we even use this software.
So, instead of developing new features, which somehow always creep up on new version announcements, why not develop some kind of error log? I have no clue of the implications of implementing such a thing, mind you, so I don't know if it's extremely hard to do or if it would be of any use at all, but it's what I think spriter currently needs the most.