Sunday, July 11, 2010

DirectX 2D Sprite Animation

I've been working on my first plug-in for Artismo 0.11.5 (dev). The Sprite Capture Plug-in will take the current animation sequence and export the animation to a bitmap as a 2D sprite map for import into any 3D Isometric engine.

The benefit of this plug-in is to quickly generate realistic 3D animations and run them in 2D. Several games use this technique. For example Diablo, WarCraft III, StarCraft, and other 2D sprite engines.

I had written a program in the past to allow me to create these animations by hand, but I had to draw every frame. So, a walk sequence which had 10 frames had to be drawn in 8 directions which was 80 frames for one animation sequence. So, if you wanted to have the character swing the sword while walking, that was an additional 80 frames.

With this tool, I create the 3D model with animation, and export any sequence I want. The penguin above is the test model. There are a few minor tweaks but this plug-in is almost ready.

Happy Coding!