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Animate limbs independently within GS?

I'm totally new to GameSalad, just trying to get a handle on how it works so I can plan art assets for my first app properly. I've done tutorials and forum searching but haven't seen exactly what I'm wondering about, so hopefully this will make sense.

I'm thinking of doing an app focused on your interactions with one feature character. Not sure yet, but let's say it's a doll you can dress up and the doll might dance around or interact in some ways.

Is it most efficient to externally prerender and then import frames for all the possibilities? (That seems like the default, from what I've read.) Or would a better approach be to have each body part, accessory, etc. be a different actor and somehow animate within GS by coordinating their movements?

I know GS doesn't have skeleton-style joints, but presumably you can move actors around so would that work to fake animation? Or is it too tedious / unsynchronized / processor-intensive to even be contemplating this?

Is GS even the right platform for this approach? I'm more of an artist than scripter, though I get game logic and flow of events well enough that I think I could learn GS.

Comments

  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    Hello ... and welcome :)

    First off, as there is no joints whatsoever in GameSalad, it makes doing any kind of individual body part harder than normal as their isn't a way of pinning it.

    I would personally pre-render as a whole body to make sure of accuracy. It is possible to constrain separate actors to others and use offset rotation (as by default it rotates form a centre of an actor). The more constrains you use the more hit on the engine, however, if you have a very static app/game, you can get a decent percentage of constrains before seriously impacting the engine.

    Having said that, if I understand the kind of app you want to create, I would personally go pre-rendered/animated.

  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    Also don't know if this is of any help but if it is, for 99p you cant go wrong ;)

    http://www.deepblueapps.com/dress-maker-template/
  • CrazyDaisyCrazyDaisy Posts: 5PRO
    edited March 2013
    Thanks so much for the replies! Yeah, I'm thinking of something like the doll dress up template you mentioned, but at least with a little idle animation (hopefully) to give it more life.

    I could do prerendering of course, I'm just contemplating all the different possibilities. For example, let's say I have these three conceptual layers.
    1. Doll body
    2. Separate dress
    3. Some other accessories

    So if I wanted to animate her say, waving at you,,, then I'd also need the dress to move appropriately to wave in sync, etc.

    If it is possible to have the dress and doll and other accessories be separate actors, that would make more sense to me since otherwise I'd have to prerender all possible combinations of doll skin tone + hair + dress colors and styles etc.

    So would it at least be possible to have a set of same-size actors serving as overlays that are always aligned and fire off their animations in sync / at the same time?

    (I think this is what you mean by constraining actors to each other? Is that strictly position/rotation or can we sync animation triggers too?)

    To describe it another way, let's say every possible doll body, dress, accessory, etc fits inside an overall 5x3 bounding box. So couldn't I conceivably do my animations elsewhere and then export one grouping at a time? (So just the doll body, then just a dress, etc.) and then stack them all up as separate actors, like 5x3 cell layers, all aligned to the same center in GameSalad? And then fire off animations to all actors with a cue?

    If so, then I could presumably do stuff that also moves the center, like have a superhero fly offscreen (with her chosen clothes!) and then fly back on and land. Or jump etc.
  • CrazyDaisyCrazyDaisy Posts: 5PRO
    Oh and also -- this is off from the original topic, but I'm sure someone knows -- would I need to actually prefab all possible colors of a given dress style, or could I do a single grayscale one and just dye it using some color picker in GS?
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    Theoretically yes, you could load into boxes and control by attributes.

    e.g.

    Body
    Legs
    Head

    Rule

    When game.body = 1
    Change image to dress 1

    When game.body = 2
    Change Image to dress 2

    Same with all the other parts

    etc etc

    There is a colour picker, start a new project, create an actor, click on its colour (its white by default) and you can change colour via that .. So if you load a plain dress for instance, you should be able to change colour via that method.
  • CrazyDaisyCrazyDaisy Posts: 5PRO
    Oh awesome. :D I can see myself working very well within these constraints, then!

    So for example, I could have just one doll body and set the skin tone options using the color picker. Of course the eyes and mouth features would have to be separate so they don't get dyed too.

    Thank you again for all this information. Now when I contemplate design, I can keep these limits in mind.
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