Our engine supports 3 types of animations: animations from code, sprite-sheet animations and skeletal animations. The idea of the first system is to allows programmers to define simple animations like changing a value over time.
Sprite-sheet animations are simple animations that show a different image every so many milliseconds. This type of animations allows artists to paint each frame of the animation to create super complex animations. But it also takes much more time to create smooth animations because an artists has to create a lot of different images to make the animation look smooth. This is where the third system comes in.
Skeletal animations are probably the most complex animations. With this system an artists creates a skeleton consisting of bones, attaches sprites to each bone and then animates the bones. Then the artist creates snapshots for the skeleton at certain moments in time and the system interpolates between these snapshots. Because of this interpolation the animation looks perfectly smooth.
In this 3 part blog I will elaborate on each of the systems. I will describe how they work and I will show you how we have supported our artists with the tools they require. I will start with the simplest system namely sprite-sheet animations, then I will continue with animations from code and last but not least I will describe skeletal animations.