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Easy Animation Maker


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#1 RTII

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 01:03 PM

Sometimes when I need to make a character for a game, the difficult part I find is actually drawing the character. Therefore I made a very simple program that edits frames of an animation. I kept working on it and this is what it has become: Easy Animation Maker.
It is really simple: add a few objects, select their images, add a few frames and place the objects at the positions you want them. Then export and it's ready to use in your games!

Screenshot:
Posted Image

Download:
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Note: this program uses surfaces. Older computers may give strange results.

Please post any bugs or suggestions!

HELP NEEDED
I use a surface to draw the frame on, this way:
surface_set_target(<surface id>)
draw_clear_alpha(c_fuchsia,0)
//draw images
surface_reset_target()
When I draw/save it the alpha gets messed up with partially transparent sprites (it doesn't blend); I tried several blend modes but it doesn't work.
I found a few topics about this problem and they all got answered by complicated stuff I don't understand.
So, if anyone can show me a working method, he/she will be credited and I can continue making this program.

Edited by RobinT, 02 June 2010 - 02:00 PM.

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#2 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:14 PM

That's pretty nice! Good work! :medieval:
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#3 LoopStan

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:28 PM

This seems to be pretty much the same thing as what gm has...?
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#4 RTII

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:20 PM

This seems to be pretty much the same thing as what gm has...?

But this is way faster and easier and it can set the depth of objects.

EDIT:
Update!
Added preview panel which plays the animation
Fixed some issues with switching between frames
Fixed a serious bug with objects not being selectable in new frames
When exporting the animation, the frame dimensions are now added automatically
Replaced the cheap screenshot with my own 'artwork' :medieval:

Edited by RobinT, 28 March 2010 - 03:37 PM.

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#5 LoopStan

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:04 PM

Ahh ok, that makes more sense :) It seems cool! More people need to see this, it's very helpful.
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#6 RTII

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:02 PM

Updated:
- The background can now be set to a custom color or block pattern
- You can now see which object is selected by moving the mouse over the Animation button
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#7 jbeave

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:01 PM

This seems like a neat little program, but can you elaborate on how to do stuff with it? Like maybe post a short, simple tutorial? All I'm able to do is move and rotate whatever I load into it, that's all I got from the Quick Start Guide.
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#8 RTII

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:27 AM

This seems like a neat little program, but can you elaborate on how to do stuff with it? Like maybe post a short, simple tutorial? All I'm able to do is move and rotate whatever I load into it, that's all I got from the Quick Start Guide.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will probably add that in the next version.

EDIT
- Fixed a serious bug which leads to an error when loading.

Edited by RobinT, 30 March 2010 - 06:34 PM.

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#9 Ace

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:28 AM

Add an object, select its sprite from a file, left click to move around the object, right click and drag to rotate it, then add a new frame if you want. When you're done you save the file. A simple but effective program. I only wish it could handle the PNG files correctly. Aside from that, can you make rolling the mouse wheel change between frames? Like rolling up will move forward, and down moves backwards a frame?
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#10 RTII

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 10:50 AM

Add an object, select its sprite from a file, left click to move around the object, right click and drag to rotate it, then add a new frame if you want. When you're done you save the file. A simple but effective program. I only wish it could handle the PNG files correctly. Aside from that, can you make rolling the mouse wheel change between frames? Like rolling up will move forward, and down moves backwards a frame?

OK, I will make that. And I will add zooming with Ctrl+Mousewheel too.
I am unsure if I will complete making the tutorial.
And can someone please help me with the PNG problem described in the fisrt post? YOU WILL BE CREDITED!

EDIT: I have added the mousewheel functions, and also some keyboard shortcuts. Thanks for your suggestion Ace!

Edited by RobinT, 04 April 2010 - 03:53 PM.

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#11 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:39 AM

KEEP WORKING ON THIS! I'm using it insanely! Please keep improving!!!!!
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#12 RTII

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:12 PM

KEEP WORKING ON THIS! I'm using it insanely! Please keep improving!!!!!

Wow, thanks! I will keep working on this. Do you have any suggestions to make it better? Maybe I will add scrollbars someday, but not for now.
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#13 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:16 PM

Possibly an interanle sprite editor, but that is not neccicarry at all!
Maybe some premade body parts.
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Indie is.ME
NNIARFAPTILMTAIK = nikc-nack is a really freakin awsome person that I love more than anyone I know
People say I use "..." too much in my post. I don't understand...
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People sleep peaceably in thier beds at night because brave men are willing to do voilence on thier behalf. -George Orwell

#14 Lewis X

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:43 PM

HELP NEEDED
I use a surface to draw the frame on, this way:
CODE
surface_set_target(<surface id>)
draw_clear_alpha(c_fuchsia,0)
//draw images
surface_reset_target()
When I draw/save it the alpha gets messed up with partially transparent sprites (it doesn't blend); I tried several blend modes but it doesn't work.
I found a few topics about this problem and they all got answered by complicated stuff I don't understand.
So, if anyone can show me a working method, he/she will be credited and I can continue making this program.

I started making a paint program using surfaces (see my signature), and I have the same problem.. I think it is just a thing about surfaces, they seem to use the alpha given too them.
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#15 RTII

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:07 PM

Update:
- Added more keyboard shortcuts
- Slightly improved the graphics of some GUI elements
- The editor now correctly draws alpha-blended images, but unfortunately, the exported images still don't.
- Because of the new drawing system, the block pattern background (if enabled) will be stretched when zoomed in. I know this is a little inconvinient, but it seems impossible to fix.

EDIT:
Small update: you can now resize the frames.

Edited by RobinT, 08 April 2010 - 07:11 PM.

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#16 smudge123

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:24 AM

This is great!! :P A really useful software. Keep up the good work!! :)
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#17 RTII

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:08 PM

Update:
- Fixed a serious bug with objects in new frames showing at zero position and being unselectable (again)
- Added scrollbars
- Added link to this topic in the Help menu
- Added version number in Info dialog
- Again, slightly improved the graphics of some buttons (who cares)
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#18 FRIDG3

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:56 PM

this program ROCKS!

There's only one thing i want: the ability to move object behind other, and in front

i.e. "Sent to Back" and "Bring to Front" commands
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#19 RTII

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 07:54 AM

this program ROCKS!

There's only one thing i want: the ability to move object behind other, and in front

i.e. "Sent to Back" and "Bring to Front" commands

You can change the depth of the objects by selecting Options > Send Selected Objects to Front. But good idea and I will see if I can these features.

EDIT:
Update:
- Added 'Sent to Back' and 'Bring to Front' commands, thanks to FRIDG3
- You can now restore objects exidently placed outside the view

Edited by RobinT, 11 April 2010 - 12:03 PM.

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#20 RTII

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:25 PM

Update:
- The working file is now shown in the title bar
- When saving, it now shows a preview for images and asks you for confirmation on overwrite
- Changed some stuff in the help file
- New icons
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#21 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:47 PM

This just keeps getting better!
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People say I use "..." too much in my post. I don't understand...
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People sleep peaceably in thier beds at night because brave men are willing to do voilence on thier behalf. -George Orwell

#22 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:23 AM

This program deserves a free bump! I'm even using it right now!
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Indie is.ME
NNIARFAPTILMTAIK = nikc-nack is a really freakin awsome person that I love more than anyone I know
People say I use "..." too much in my post. I don't understand...
American soldiers do not fight because they hate what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them
People sleep peaceably in thier beds at night because brave men are willing to do voilence on thier behalf. -George Orwell

#23 RTII

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:46 AM

Thanks! ;) :D
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#24 linus371

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 04:15 PM

make some sort of youtube tutorial video ;)
Cuz i have no idea what to do xD
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#25 RTII

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 01:22 PM

make some sort of youtube tutorial video :)
Cuz i have no idea what to do xD

Sorry, I'm a bit lazy with explaining stuff, but the 'quick start guide' might help. I still have the ~25% completed tutorial on my pc for a long time and just don't have the patience to complete it. If anyone wants to make a tutorial, post/PM me the link and I will include it in the program and credit you.
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#26 Raster

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:53 AM

Well, I downloaded it and played around with it. It'll be REALLY useful whenever you can figure out how to get the Alpha to work. As it is right now, I have an character animation with several parts, animated it, saved it, then loaded it in Photoshop to find that there were transparent areas around each of the parts. Apparently, the Alpha of the object above was over-riding the alpha below, making it look like this:
Posted Image

This is the feature I am rooting on the most. If you can fix that, this will be awesome and extremely useful! :P

Also, if there was some way to make an Undo option, that would be wonderful. It becomes very time consuming when you accidentally right click on an object and it spins to some wacky position and then you have to carefully rotate it back to the original position. A possible option would be when something is changed to save all of the variables for angles and position etc. Then when undoing load them all back. You could make 10 sets of variables that rotate out which would allow up to 10 undos. :P Of course this is just theoretical on my part. Haven't tried to code something like that for awhile. :P Not quite sure how hard that would be, there may be an easier way to do the Undo option.

Another Nice feature would be the ability to scale or stretch an object! It would help allot for my breathing animation. lol
Might also be nice to be able to select multiple objects at once by holding shift and clicking or something.

PS: I generally use graphics gale for animation, but I have to say that I find the concept of using easily rotatable objects instead of seperate layers to be much faster! Thanks! And yes, that's the Character form of my avatar image. :unsure:

Edited by Raster, 30 April 2010 - 12:16 PM.

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#27 RTII

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for your comments.
Alpha blending: I can't possibly fix it. I tried everything I could.
Rotating: you can reset the angle directly via the Animation menu.
Undo: I'm not sure if I will make that.
Scale objects: would be difficult with rotated objects!
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#28 GameDevDan

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:06 PM

Awesome program, very professional without many bugs. This would be great for people completely new to spriting. (for animating limbs etc)

I would say though - It needs a "look." You're using the GM default Icon and Loader at the moment, but If you had an instantly recognisable logo of your own it would complete the tool.
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#29 RTII

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:58 AM

Update:
- New icon, loader and again some visual improvements
- Objects can now be scaled
- There is an option to remove the background from images
- A folder with a few sample images is now included
Because of these changes the filetype has been changed, so files created with older versions will not open correctly in this version.
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#30 RTII

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 10:35 AM

Update: fixed a bug which caused the copy-paste functions to ignore scaled objects.
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#31 Stew :)

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:10 AM

I love it ;) But what I think it needs is a pallete as well, so you can edit your images :GM015:
Although, you've done really well and I can see myself using this alot ;)
ohhhhhh, one more suggestion, make a "duplicate frame" button. I would find this really useful, so I don't have to go through ONE WHOLE MENU! Just joking, but I think it'd be a good idea :)
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#32 RTII

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

I love it ;) But what I think it needs is a pallete as well, so you can edit your images :GM015:
Although, you've done really well and I can see myself using this alot ;)
ohhhhhh, one more suggestion, make a "duplicate frame" button. I would find this really useful, so I don't have to go through ONE WHOLE MENU! Just joking, but I think it'd be a good idea :)
-Stewart

Thank you! The image editor I think would be a little too much work for a small app like this. Did you know you can open the animation menu by clicking and releasing the mouse when over an item? That saves you ONE mouse click. And of course you can press Ins, no key combination, just Ins! That's 'easy' enough, isn't it? I want to keep the interface clean and I don't think it's a good thing to spread similar commands in separate places (*cough* windows7 *cough*).

EDIT:
Thanks to Nikc-Nack's Magazine, A bug with the preview panel should have been fixed now.

Edited by RobinT, 18 May 2010 - 01:55 PM.

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#33 RTII

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 02:04 PM

Update:
- You can now jump to another frame with a new menu from the toolbar
- The preview panel now draws large images smoother.
P.S. I got a GIF export command almost working but due to a very annoying bug in Game Maker I cannot release it. I cannot tell if it will be included in a later version.
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#34 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 01:14 AM

I love this program Robin, this may be the best GM application ever. I may review it again in issue 3! Just kidding, but it really is an awesome program! Best GM application I have ever used! You should make a custom draggable border! Read the tutorial in issue 2!
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Indie is.ME
NNIARFAPTILMTAIK = nikc-nack is a really freakin awsome person that I love more than anyone I know
People say I use "..." too much in my post. I don't understand...
American soldiers do not fight because they hate what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them
People sleep peaceably in thier beds at night because brave men are willing to do voilence on thier behalf. -George Orwell

#35 RTII

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 04:39 AM

I love this program Robin, this may be the best GM application ever. I may review it again in issue 3! Just kidding, but it really is an awesome program! Best GM application I have ever used! You should make a custom draggable border! Read the tutorial in issue 2!

Thanks!! For the draggable border, I already know how to do it, and I can do it a lot better than most tutorials, because I make GUI engines. I can't do it in this program, because it would inferere with the toolbar system (the toolbar would stay on top of the titlebar). As you might notice, this program uses the Office 2007 theme, and Office itself also doesn't have a custom titlebar (except on classic Windows themes, because of the Aero windows interface). Now I'm not saying I want to copy Office, but I'm happy with the current graphics. If you have any other suggestions or bug reports, please tell me.
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#36 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:50 PM

Oh, OK. Just a suggestion.
I can't wait to see newer versions....
Sadly, I can't think of much else to do, it's pretty much a done program...

Actually one suggestion! You could have a thing where people can rip apart a sprite into multiple parts. Not a complete graphics editor. But a simple selection thing that you can rip out the legs, arms, torso, head, and any other items or whatever.
Just an idea,
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Indie is.ME
NNIARFAPTILMTAIK = nikc-nack is a really freakin awsome person that I love more than anyone I know
People say I use "..." too much in my post. I don't understand...
American soldiers do not fight because they hate what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them
People sleep peaceably in thier beds at night because brave men are willing to do voilence on thier behalf. -George Orwell

#37 RTII

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:32 PM

Actually one suggestion! You could have a thing where people can rip apart a sprite into multiple parts. Not a complete graphics editor. But a simple selection thing that you can rip out the legs, arms, torso, head, and any other items or whatever.
Just an idea,
Nikc-Nack

Hmm, nice idea, but way too difficult. Sorry!
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#38 Symbols

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:16 AM

This is a great tool to use for animation !!! Very very nice
i made a easy anim file for u to use an example

weeguy

here is the gamemaker sprite file

gmSprite

I used my spritemaker to create the components.

link to the topic: sprite editor / anim

Edited by Symbols, 06 June 2010 - 11:20 AM.

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#39 RTII

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 06:38 PM

@ Symbols
That animation is amazing!! Btw better don't upload .anim files because they only include links to the image files they use, not the real image data. Opening them on another computer would result in an error.

If anyone knows how to save and read several sprites from a single text file I would like to see that!
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#40 Symbols

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 08:08 PM

@ Symbols
That animation is amazing!! Btw better don't upload .anim files because they only include links to the image files they use, not the real image data. Opening them on another computer would result in an error.

If anyone knows how to save and read several sprites from a single text file I would like to see that!



Thanks glad you liked it, thanks to these programs its all possible now.

Oh, i wondered about that... anyway they can see the results with the gmsprite file.

I can see that even if I supplied the images, it may depend on the location of my computer and still become an error..?
or does it simply look in a local images folder?

if its local folder then i could certainly make some templates for you.

My question is: Is the filename for the images an absolute location or a relative one?

Edited by Symbols, 06 June 2010 - 08:14 PM.

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#41 RTII

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 08:35 PM

About the files, the filenames are absolute. Open any .anim file in Notepad and you'll see for yourself. Let's say for example your file refers to C:\Users\Symbols\Desktop\sample.bmp it would at my computer result in an error because that file doesn't exist at my hard drive.

EDIT:
Update:
- There is now support for sub-images, so you can create even more detailed animation
- When loading an unsupported file, the program now stops loading the file
Because of these changes, the filetype has been changed again. You will not be able to load old .anim files in this version.

Edited by RobinT, 07 June 2010 - 04:22 PM.

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#42 Ace

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:31 PM

Very awesome program dude!

But...

Is it really not possible to make the parts save transparently over the other parts? This is too awesome of a program to just toss aside unfinished.

I like the awesome updates and the ease of use of the program, but I can't help but think it's just soooo close to being finished, but just not far enough along to make it usable for what it was intended... :(

Even if you have to toss aside partially transparent stuff in order to get it to work properly, surely you can make a composite surface as it appears in gamemaker (even if it involves taking a screenshot of the game or something!) for each image! I can't believe there's no way to save it properly if you're able to come this far. :(

If you try hard enough, I promise there is a way. Please believe me. It's hard to ask because I know how much work has gone into this program but... would you mind giving it another go and trying again? I need this exact program for my game and I know others would too. If not, do you think you could release the .gmk for someone else to give it a go? I wouldn't mind taking a peek at it and trying to understand how it works in order to help you out if you would like it. I just can't see letting this program end up with less than it deserves. You've done an excellent job so far. I'll help you find a way around the limitation. If you can get it to display properly in Game Maker, then you should definitely be able to get it outside of game maker in that same state somehow, even if transparency has to be added in later on by importing the non-transparent file and saving it again with a composite alpha channel.
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#43 RTII

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:33 PM

@ Ace
Thanks so much for your comments, but the transparency bug... I have given up with it. Game Maker seems to screw everything that has to do with surfaces and transparency combined. It just doesn't want to. That last idea of yours, adding the transparency after exporting, is excellent. But how can I ever get the transparency out of the application if it doesn't even provide a way to save it somehow? I have googled everything and tried lots of things, changing blend modes, using multiple surfaces, using screenshots, turning off automatic drawing... It doesn't want to. The only way of fixing this I think is a DLL with GMAPI, but I can't write DLL's and haven't ever used GMAPI, nor do I userstand it. Porting it into an other language would also require me to learn another programming language, but that's too much for me. I read tutorials how to program with C, C++ etc, it's too difficult. If I don't find a final solution, this is probably going open source then. If the bug is as deal-breaking as you describe it, indeed the program would die like many others here. Unless Game Maker 9 is going to fix these surface problems of course... *goes to google, again*
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#44 pakman

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:23 AM

The only way of fixing this I think is a DLL with GMAPI, but I can't write DLL's and haven't ever used GMAPI, nor do I userstand it. Porting it into an other language would also require me to learn another programming language, but that's too much for me. I read tutorials how to program with C, C++ etc, it's too difficult. If I don't find a final solution, this is probably going open source then. If the bug is as deal-breaking as you describe it, indeed the program would die like many others here. Unless Game Maker 9 is going to fix these surface problems of course... *goes to google, again*


What needs to be done in C/C++? Send me what you've found and I can code you whatever you want. Is this project open source yet?
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#45 Ace

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:36 AM

@ Ace
Thanks so much for your comments, but the transparency bug... I have given up with it. Game Maker seems to screw everything that has to do with surfaces and transparency combined. It just doesn't want to. That last idea of yours, adding the transparency after exporting, is excellent. But how can I ever get the transparency out of the application if it doesn't even provide a way to save it somehow? I have googled everything and tried lots of things, changing blend modes, using multiple surfaces, using screenshots, turning off automatic drawing... It doesn't want to. The only way of fixing this I think is a DLL with GMAPI, but I can't write DLL's and haven't ever used GMAPI, nor do I userstand it. Porting it into an other language would also require me to learn another programming language, but that's too much for me. I read tutorials how to program with C, C++ etc, it's too difficult. If I don't find a final solution, this is probably going open source then. If the bug is as deal-breaking as you describe it, indeed the program would die like many others here. Unless Game Maker 9 is going to fix these surface problems of course... *goes to google, again*


I totally understand. Game Maker has very messed up drawing issues with (or even without) surfaces. It is very very frustrating for many people, including myself.

Perhaps you can export the combined alpha channels of the game image into a composite black and white image, save that image as a plain non-transparent image, import that image as an alpha channel to a sprite (created with the sprite_create_from_surface(id,x,y,w,h,removeback,smooth,xorig,yorig) function rather than from a surface directly). The function to set an alpha channel to a sprite is sprite_set_alpha_from_sprite(ind,spr) and then the alpha channel will be set when importing to the newly created sprite. You can also save the sprite to a .png file in GM8 with sprite_save(ind,subimg,fname). Maybe if you use sprites in conjunction with surfaces, it will work. The reason I say this is because in the manual it mentions that the format of the sprites / stuff drawn on the screen and the way the game image is drawn on the surface is different. You can possibly use surface export and sprite import to overcome this limitation.

A quote from the GM8 manual:

Drawing Surfaces

"Note that there are no functions to copy part of the screen to a surface. (This is impossible due to possible format differences between the screen and the surfaces.) If this is required you must set a surface as render target and next draw the room. You can then use the surface copying routines to get parts of it.

Note that you can also create sprites and backgrounds from surfaces. See the section on changing resources for more information."




There is also a .png and other file type exporting DLL somewhere around here but it is very old. I have it on my compy and I can get it to you if you need it. It is outdated since GM8 handles png stuff automatically but it can at least save alpha channels and possibly combine them with a .png file. Also, maybe use another application to save screenshots than GM's built in screenshot stuff. Possibly a command-line tool. I believe this DLL I mentioned uses something like that actually. However, no matter what, at least try using some hybrid of the method I mentioned above. I believe you can do it. This is a very useful program and I can't imagine why one like it isn't already available somewhere. Do not give up. As long as Gamemaker can export images in some format, I guarantee there is a way. Hopefully my method can help you overcome this limitation or at least the DLL might be able to succeed wherever Game Maker fails.

I totally support your program! I am making a game where people could really use this and I will definitely provide free advertising for you if you can succeed with this! :)

PM me if you need any help. I've been around a while and know GM's drawing capabilities inside and out. Take care dude, and good luck!
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#46 busylop

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:13 PM

That's awesome man!
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#47 RTII

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:22 PM

Thanks!
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#48 Nikc-Nack

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 01:56 PM

Hey Robin, Any word on updates?
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#49 johnjoe

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:50 PM

perhaps you could scan every pixel of each surface and null the pixels that aren't filled, to fix that png alpha issue.
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#50 ekgame

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 05:19 PM

There is SurfaceFix.dll . I'm not sure but it should fix those problems Posted Image
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