Monday, May 22, 2023

Animation Tools Coming Along Nicely

I had a great night in the editor code today. I've had ideas bouncing about my head since yesterday about what I want to implement and how it might look - and now, having had the time to nicely process things in the background, I got into build-mode which was a lot of fun.

The editor now handles a lot more of the images more efficiently, I can isolate frames, set actions, set animation times, and generally do all the things I need it to be able to do. I do need to work out the object model on the page, so that I can start to save data to it, and then transfer that to the database, and finally load that all into the game - but I did have a very smug moment as I started to look through the tables I'd made for animations in the database well over a year ago now. I really, don't think I need to modify what I've got in there. I think I have it covered. Which.... made me feel delighted and proud/confident/something that I'd managed to get that right all the way back then.

Anyhow, enough of that. Tomorrow I am hoping to get into the object model on the editor page and with a bit of luck, perhaps starting to save it (bits of it) to the database. I do also need to write the code to reprocess the uploaded spritesheet into just the frames that were used so that I can output an image to import into the app directly. 

Oh yeah, I'll also need to tweak the tools I'm working on at the moment to be able to import multiple input spritesheets and process the final output from multiple files into one output. Cause some of my asset files are in that sort of format, and I think it's easier to just bite the bullet, write the code to handle it than to try to modify the input spritesheets each time, aligning things properly and all that.

I am still mulling over the decision to keep entire animations all in a single x,y resolution, optimising each particular animation element, or optimising each individual frame. I think there's a lot of memory to potentially claw back by doing a more thorough optimisation, cleaning out unused pixels and limiting the size of each frame if possible, but that means there's also going to be a lot more work in rendering them just right. If I hadn't just tweaked the rendering engine to scale and size things on the fly, this would be much easier, but again, I think I'm likely going to lean into the "just do it...." camp. Just not yet. I'll put some of that off a little bit yet without committing to that yet. The extra work would be doing my head in right now.

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