Can‘t export :( - Sprite Swapping Issues

Discuss issues pertaining to the Creature Animation Editor here.
chong
Posts: 858
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:21 am

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by chong » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:23 pm

Hello,

Yes you should try that first. This will allow at least a tag to be created for the new Sprite and when you set it to the first frame, it will compute the required offsets needed for active sprite swapping.

Thanks

zampano
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by zampano » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:45 pm

Okay, so I did that and now it does seem to work. But I discovered that it adds each and every existing region as a swap_item to every single region that has image swap actived which results in a file that is twice as large even though in most cases, I only need one regian as swap_item...
I would use the "classical" approach via sprite manager but that forces me to use a larger spritesheet even though there's plenty of room in my original one.
I know it's not done in the blink of an eye, but maybe it would help if it would be possible to add character mesh regions to the sprite manager, which would also make the "Image Swapping from Character Meshes" window obsolete.
Edit:
Maybe a better and first of all simpler idea would be to add a function to the "Image Swapping from Character Meshes" window that allows you to pick which regions will be made available for swapping for the selected region.

Edit 2:
Is there maybe a way I can convert the json file to flatdata so that I could at least edit it to my needs for now?

chong
Posts: 858
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:21 am

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by chong » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:10 pm

Hello,

The FlatData is exported into the same directory when you do a Game Export ( all the files are in there )
But if you want to convert an existing JSON into a FlatData file from command line, that currently does not exist officially.
I will need to find some cycles to provide a standalone binary at some point.

Thanks

zampano
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by zampano » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:40 pm

Hmmm okay.
I urgently need to finish my animation and I can't use it this way due to the file doubling in size like described above. So I guess I need to use the Image Swap Manager for now. Please add the bugs I reported (all sprites turning black and numbers partially resetting after loading in "Image Swapping from Character Meshes" window, crashes when adding/renaming bones in the project I sent you as described) to your list and it would be great if you'd consider doing something to make the Sprite Swapping from Character Meshes more suitable.

I don't want to seem ungrateful, I really like Creature and many of it's features, but as I admire your motivation in making it the most feature-heavy animation tool, I think it would actually be more important to optimize or improve some of the features and their usability to make the user experience match the quantity of possibilies. At the moment, I only need to use it every now and then and I chose it because it fits my needs best, but at the same time it's often more frustrating and tedious than other tools and than it needs to be.

The lighning-fast support and quick updates and fixes on the other hand are absolutely awesome and I really appreciate that, so thanks again for everything, I really do hope that the tool will further evolve to live up to its potential :)
Last edited by zampano on Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chong
Posts: 858
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:21 am

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by chong » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:21 pm

Hello,

Actually the upcoming update(s) are focused on user requests to improve the animation workflow:

- There will be a new Bone Groups feature. This allows you to construct/group bones into a Group, enabling quick bone selection when dealing with complex rigs. You can switch between different bone groups easily

- Animation Compositor. This will allow you to stitch together different animation clips into one big clip.

- More keyboard shortcuts have been added in Rigging + Animation mode ( for switching between Transform modes, breaking down keyframes at a specific frame etc. ) These are all animation focused workflow improvements

All of these features are user requests from a couple of major studios running Creature on a regular basis. They deal with heavy, complex rigs with tons of animations. These features are required to improve the workflow management of complex, rig + animation heavy projects.

I will log the bugs you listed as well, thanks for the very helpful info you provided.

Update: In the interim, one thing I found out you might consider doing is to add a "dummy" super tiny sprite to the Sprite Frame Manager. It will increase your texture atlas size a bit but will be considerably smaller than everything every thing. Then you can use your code to swap your in character sprite meshes. The reason why it writes everything out is because that's how the system works, it needs to give you all the possible items for swapping. If you want a selected subset to be written out, it is a lot more complicated.

Thanks

zampano
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by zampano » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:00 am

Looking forward to it, sounds good!

Thought about the dummy sprite, too, but I really can‘t tolerate doubling the file size for a few simple image swaps. Of course it‘s more complicated to implement, I totally understand that it‘s not a simple request, but I would guess that most of the times, it‘s not feasible like it is :/ I mean if it would write all regions once into a universal swapping pool, the effect on the file size would most likely be ok, but having five swapping-enabled regions, I get the code for all regions as swap-items five times... So yeah, I would be happy to see some improvements there in the future, but I totally understand that you have to set priorities that might not always cater my needs :D keep up the great work.

zampano
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: Can‘t export :(

Post by zampano » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:20 pm

Okay so now I can't even add anything to the sprite manager or at least the sprite manager doesn't display anything. Also, when I hit resize Atlas in the SPrite Manager and then "back" to close it, it works for a while, then the sprite manager closes, but I can't click anything and it triggers the windows alert sound. I waited 10-15 minutes but it didn't help.
I'm sitting on an otherwise finished animation and can't get to a satisfactory output :/ I will use the double-sized file for now, but would you maybe like to have a look at the project files again regarding the Sprite Manager bugs?


EDIT:
More findings: The doubling in file size is not because it prints every region as uv_item to every swap-enabled region, but instead it really printed around 1300(!!!) swap items to each of my swap-enabled regions into the file. So there must definitely be a bug involved: I mentioned before that the regions would turn black when opening the "swap from character meshes" window, so I would hit "regen" to "fix" that. I did that a lot so the biggest tag number was around 1300. Even though they partially reset when reloading the project, it seems I have created 1300 instances of regions that all ended up in the file.
So I take back the request for making only subsets available for swaps as that is obviously not the problem and would result in only 32 swap items per region instead of 1300 if it worked correctly :D

chong
Posts: 858
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:21 am

Re: Can‘t export :( - Sprite Swapping Issues

Post by chong » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:39 pm

Ok, some good news. I patched in a bug fix to the "Regen" button. It will now remove/clear out older entries so when exported out, it should not result in extra entries that were around before.

I will be releasing this fix with the next update ( hopefully in a week, maybe less ). This is not a fix to address all the issues specific to your case but it should at least reduce the file size since old entries are now discarded. You will however, need to click the "Regen" button one more time to remove the old entries.

Thanks

zampano
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: Can‘t export :( - Sprite Swapping Issues

Post by zampano » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:07 pm

Ah, that‘s great news!

To use it with my project, I will however need one more thing: either a fix for the sprite manager to be able to add images again (can send you the recent project files) or having the „use uv swaps“ option (or a sub-option) in the export window automatically export the character meshes as possible swap items for swap-enabled regions without the need to add a dummy png to the sprite manager. Is one of those maybe realistic for the upcoming version so that I can update my release files?

chong
Posts: 858
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:21 am

Re: Can‘t export :( - Sprite Swapping Issues

Post by chong » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:49 pm

Hello,

Sorry but the upcoming changes are pretty involved/complicated as it is. I will need to publish the updates first before addressing more bugs/issues/updates.

Thanks

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