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Spriter Requests

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Hi,

Announcement of Spriter 2 is a good and long awaited news.

I'm pretty sure many others have requested lots of things and the time might be a bit late to mention fixes and requests but I also want to write my own experiences. I've been far from those things and excuse me if they were fixed or I'm unaware of ways to handle them. At this point correct me if possible.

* The interface for the sake of convenience must be reworked. Some elements are acting buggy or doesn't feel comfortable when working with them. i.e. Guides. Dragging in new guides is easy but you can't realign guides thus need to clear one and redrag in the final position you plan to use. Also, clearing a guide already present on canvas is tricky because you have to precisely point your pointer on it or else, it will not select it. A highlight and snapping to grab guides would work well as if how it is in most drawing software.

* When selecting group of sprites(i.e. Upper arm, lower arm and hand trio) on canvas, if you start to move them around to reposition by dragging with mouse, sometimes 1 of them randomly stays behind while the other two moves in conjunction.

* Resolving images & folders not found issue. Better to be able to have migration and renaming options in the project.

* Timeline management : When you try to set the current time through Keypad, it causes a problem with focusing on the interface. It controls the play buttons.

* In overall, a user defined shortcut settings is a MUST. Since because I have hard times to remember all native shortcuts of different softwares that I work with, I want to be able to set my own shortcuts for a smoother and faster workflow.

* I'm not writing anuthing about skin feature, since it was always experimental and probably be one of the powerful tools in Spriter 2.

* Selecting objects with mouse. When you select an object with mouse, if you have a sensible mouse and just slide your mouse accidentally, it also moves the object like 1-2 pixels. There have to be a sensitivity option between selecting an object and start dragging in. Like minimum snap/drag distance or something like this.

* Dargging objects with mouse in  straight lines. I couldn't find the shortcut if there is any. i.e. when you hold shift and drag an object in illustator, photoshop or so, you can drag the objects along the axis of movement. This is essential. Same applies with shift+arrows when you need to increment or decrement move distance by i.e. 10-20 etc. pixels at once.

* In overall software guide should be more elegant and explanations should be sufficient. For example, the Character Map panel seems a bit abstract to me and prefer a better guided interface/flow.

* UNITY integration. There are some tools that have been developed and used by some others, yet, I remember when I first tried to use those Spriter implementations in Unity I got lots of errors or problems. Major game engines especially an engine like Unity, should be more backed up officially if possible.

* EDIT / ADDED : After spending some time this morning up to now, I've seen that timeline editing is a bit painy. Please correct me if there are those capabilities already but I'll write them down here,

  1. The ability to view the current time while dragging a keyframe through timeline to make sure the re-timed(?) keyframe will be placed as exactly where it should be. i.e your keyframe sits at 100 and you want to move it to 300. It is quite time consuming to fully zoom in just to see where 300 exactly is in a huge timeline of i.e 1200 ms.
  2. The ability to directly add some amount of new frames between or before keyframes. For now on, if I need an additional 100 frames/ms at the beginning of an animation, I first increase the Length without stretching keys and then aligning already present keyframes each a 100ms ahead to open up some space at thebegininng or in the middle.
  3. Interface to auto focus on timeline to be able to zoom-in zoom-out just with the mouse wheel alone.
  4. Option to zoom-in to where the play-head is or homogenously all the timeline itself. Could be done with a modifier I think? i.e. Ctrl + mouse-wheel zoom-in/out to playhead or current-frame, while single mouse wheel zooms in/out of whole timeline centering it.
  5. When expanding collapsing the timeline, viewport automatically centers itself to the origin. This is not a big deal but better if stays where it is. This introduces another mouse-drag to view an object currently being worked on which sits quite far from the origin. Also in some cases like Jump animation where the character might be quite above of origin on the Y-Axis.

* Better solutions for full side-view entities/poses especially when working with bones. It becomes really painful trying to select the bones that are almost aligned behind each other because of the nature of the pose itself. Maybe iterating through bones with +/- keys? - Also related to this one, even if we can select a bone that sits behind others, it sometimes becomes hard to adjust/manipulate it and it loses focus if you accidentally press 1 pixel to the left or right. I don't know how can this be achieved? Maybe a right mouse, "lock/focus to the bone" which temporarily locks the other bones preventing the accidental selection of them?

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* More tutorials with tricks of animation world ! =) Tutorials are not essential parts of a software but developers can get hold of the mainstream  and a healthy community by pumping more vids of software usage in YouTube. Most of the tutorials I found about Spriter are dating back to 4-5 years before and cover things in general. It's better if you develop some different user scenarios/cases and display them in your tutorials for many others to get used to your software quicker.

Anyway, these are what were holding me back to invest more time in Spriter than doing other things. To sum it up, a more stable UI and a user defined shortcut system would probably solve most of my own issues.

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A LITTLE QUESTION,

I have a problem with exported seq images (PNGs here). Spriter always defaults to 96 ppi and exports the PNG's this way even if the images in the source folders are in 72 ppi.
I have also tried to reproduce this with a simple fresh new project. And the result is the same. When I randomly open one of those images in Photoshop, and check with image size, it reads 96 ppi. Is this how it is intended to work? I'm not a graphics guru yet, don't know if this convention causes problems in the future?

EDIT - Since the focus of my topic seems to weigh more on the request side, I edited the title and also realigned my question to the bottom.

 

Regards,

 

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Thanks very much for the suggestions and feedback. We're keeping an eye on all this and will be influenced as Spriter 2 continues to evolve.

Regarding your question:

"I have a problem with exported seq images (PNGs here). Spriter always defaults to 96 ppi and exports the PNG's this way even if the images in the source folders are in 72 ppi.
I have also tried to reproduce this with a simple fresh new project. And the result is the same. When I randomly open one of those images in Photoshop, and check with image size, it reads 96 ppi. Is this how it is intended to work? I'm not a graphics guru yet, don't know if this convention causes problems in the future?"

 Don't worry, ppi is a completely arbitrary and useless "setting" for video game artists or animators. ppi is for printing (pixels per inch) (same for dpi=dots per inch). It makes no difference to the actual image unless you decide to print it instead of animate it, and even then, you could change it's ppi settign to whatever you'd like before printing.

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I can second many of the mentioned points. After using Spriter for a while, mostly for tests I`ve encountered different bugs and weird behaviors, which is partially normal for a product with lots of features. I really love it and hope Spriter 1 won`t be left behind with many bugs because of Spriter 2, assuming that Spriter 2 will be very different as stated in some posts. I personally prefer to have more stable Spriter 1 version, than having the new one, which will eventually come, add new features, fix some bugs, but will also introduce new ones.

PS: Despite probably this is not the best place to post these, but here are some of the most recent bugs I encountered just of the top of my head (there are more):

* Sound key with "Trigger Sound" property unchecked will still play the sound in Editor
* Metadata: sometimes changes on variables and tags won`t tell Spriter as scene change and cannot be saved unless we make a change outside of metadata
* Metadata: adding/removing variables and tags and modifying them results in crashes in some cases
* Character Maps - there`s no way of swapping images per object - If I have a character with two heads and I want to swap only one of them I need to do some dirty hacks with duplicated images with different names

* Working with Boxes` handles is really buggy

 

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Thanks for the feedback and bug reports.

Regarding this one:

' Character Maps - there`s no way of swapping images per object - If I have a character with two heads and I want to swap only one of them I need to do some dirty hacks with duplicated images with different names"

This is not a bug, its the way the feature and data format is designed. It keeps workflow and data very simple and easy to understand/work with, and wanting to swap out the same object differently in the same key-frames of the same animation of the same character is a very edge-case scenario, and even in most of those cases, it's only a matter of a handful of redundant image copies being required to work around the issue.

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