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Sparks - Particle Animation Tool


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#1 Nocturne

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:35 PM

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Sparks1.gif


INTRODUCTION

Sparks is tool I made which allows you to create particle effects and then save them as a series of sprites, which can then be loaded into GameMaker or whatever other animation tool you use. You can also save the particles as a text file, which contains pre-formatted GML in case you wish to use this tool as a particle designer too (although it is not as flexible as some).

 

ScreenShot.png?t=1336739832

 

FEATURES

You can design up to three different particles.

Test them over your own choice of background color or graphics

Particles can be saved and loaded again later

Choose the number of animation frames (approximate)

Fully transparent sprites are easy to import and use

Saved files include GML for the particles

 

ExplodeTest.gif?t=1336741059

 

SUMMARY

This tool started out as something I made only for myself, due to the fact that particles can be quite slow in HTML5 and are not able to reproduce the same blending and colors as they do in windows. So, I designed this tool to make sprites from the particles as they are much faster in browsers and on devices... As I worked on it, I realised that if I find it useful, then so will all of you and so I polished it up and present it here for anyone to use! Please post with any feedback and bugs, but don't ask for more features as they will not be getting added... this is a finished tool and I will only fix bugs from now on.

 

 

KNOWN BUGS!!!

trying to create a sprite when you have no particles defined will crash the program.


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#2 Yal

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

Put short: Cool! Guess this will be useful to many people. I'll download it myself and see if I can muster up some good feedback.

Also, your spelling on the menu items give away your British english. ;)
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#3 xot

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:55 PM

Found a bug immediately, 'cause I'm good like that.

Start it up, click "CREATE SPRITES", Cancel, OK, interface is dead.

Otherwise, THIS IS AWESOME. Should be very helpful to particle experts and novices alike.
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#4 gnysek

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

Download link is dead for me... :(
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#5 Nocturne

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:06 PM

Download link is dead for me... :(


Fxed.

@Xot : i never thought that anyone would try and create a particle when there were none defined... I will update and fix that later, thanks!
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#6 xot

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

i never thought that anyone would try and create a particle when there were none defined...

It was literally the first thing I did. Some people compose symphonies. Others build cathedrals. I break software.

Having a lot of fun with this. I can already see how it would have saved me a lot of time on two recent projects.
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#7 Swifty

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:24 PM

Great work Nocturne, loving this particle creator! I've already spent the last 15 minutes fiddling around with it and no problems on my end. I know I'll put it to good use so +1

Edit: As a suggestion I'd probably add a close button to click and a popup box saying yes/no to close the program - I've accidentally hit escape a couple times now to cancel a popup box and closed the program too losing my work!

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Edited by Swifty, 11 May 2012 - 02:30 PM.

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#8 Nocturne

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:45 PM

Thanks Swifty! Okay, I will add a dialogue to close the window in the next update (tonight). Glad you like it!
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#9 Swifty

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:38 PM

This could be a bug: I have my 3 particles, on the second particle under the 'Death' option I set it to Particle 3 - but it's creating Particle 2, which in turns creates more Particle 2 on death, lagging the program out. However If I pick Particle 1 It works fine and creates Particle 1.

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#10 Nocturne

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:09 PM

Okay, v1.4 is now uploaded!

FIXED :
Step and death particles now created properly.
No more errors if you try and create sprites with no particles defined.

ADDITIONS :
Reset button! Reset the whole program to start again.
Off button. Escape no longer ends the program.
Sounds. Yes, button have sounds now!
Crash prevention when you make too many particles.
Instructions now only appear the very first time you run the program.
Particle counter and progress report when making sprites added.
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#11 Swifty

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:38 AM

Good work Nocturne a question and another suggestion:

Question: I made a particle 3, but I only really want it to trigger from the death of particle 2. Is there a way so it doesn't create Particle 3 at the start of the test? If not perhaps adding a button to "Create at Test" or whatever.

Suggestion:
Add a mute button sound, no offense intended but the sounds to me could be distracting at times.

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#12 Nocturne

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

Hmm... You are right that it could be very useful to have a button that only creates the particle at death. As this tool was really only intended for my personal use I never thought about it that much. If I can cram one into the already overcrowded interface then I will! I may actually have to re-design this eventually... And IŽll add a mute button to the program too, or change the sounds for less annoying ones or something. Thanks for such good feedback!
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#13 dadio

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:44 AM

I made something just like this... :whistle:

Nah, *very* nifty little tool!
Will probably put to good use in my own stuff sometime soon. :yes:
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#14 Nocturne

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:13 AM

Thanks for the comment Dadio!

New update!!!

BUG FIXES :
Particle orientation didn't save relative, but it does now.

NEW FEATURES :
Particles have a "Create?" toggle so that they can be switched on or off but still be active for step and death routines.
New sounds that annoy less.
New "mute" button just in case they still annoy!

NOTE: Due to changes, old saved particles cannot now be loaded. Sorry...
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#15 Player Zero

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:20 PM

Nocturne, this is an excellent effects utility, all the more important now that real time particles are less feasible on HTML5 and handheld platforms.

I particularly like the fact that you can save the effects to png alpha transparencies, the older particle effects generators that I tried couldn't do that.

One feature suggestion: being able to import your own sprites.

Thanks very much for your efforts.
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#16 Nocturne

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I had thought about allowing your own sprites, but I wanted to make the output files compatible with GM in a "no fuss" way... BUT as the focus of the program really isnŽt about making the particles so much as making the sprite animation, I may work it in there. Actually, I have been toying with re-doing the whole IDE anyway as it's a bit cramped and I'd like to increase the number of particles that you can use to 5 or 6 as well... So in Sparks2 I'll do it, okay?
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#17 Player Zero

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 12:04 AM

So in Sparks2 I'll do it, okay?


That sounds great, looking forwards to it.
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#18 coines23

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:33 PM

This is a fantastic little tool; I'm having too much fun with it and it's eating into my working time...

Found a bug, though. In the GML output, all three particle systems in the effect end up having the third particle shape applied to them.
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#19 Nocturne

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:15 AM

This is a fantastic little tool; I'm having too much fun with it and it's eating into my working time...

Found a bug, though. In the GML output, all three particle systems in the effect end up having the third particle shape applied to them.


Thanks! And I'll see about fixing that ASAP.

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#20 ParrotPeach

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:10 PM

Cool... Thanks, Nocturne. :thumbsup:
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#21 HomeBrand Gaming

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 01:11 AM

I have found this to be quite a fun little tool. It's neat fiddling around with the settings and seeing what happens.

I do have a question, though: Is it possible to get a stream of particles instead of just the initial burst? If it is, what is the option to do that? It would be useful for creating the likes of fire or smoke.

Anyways, it is a fantastic little tool that I'm sure will help a lot of people - most notably those using Lite, like me. :thumbsup:
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#22 Nocturne

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:36 AM

Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you like it... There is no option to stream particles due to the fact that this program was primarily designed to create sprites of the particles effects for those that need them (ie: Lite users or HTML5 games where color blending is limted). This means that streaming can't be done, sorry!
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#23 KOOPA

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you like it... There is no option to stream particles due to the fact that this program was primarily designed to create sprites of the particles effects for those that need them (ie: Lite users or HTML5 games where color blending is limted). This means that streaming can't be done, sorry!

Maybe add Fake Streaming :D Like so its a Simulated effect :P
Similar to how Fake 3D Works or fake image_angle works
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#24 Spruce

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:34 PM

Thank you so much, this utility is awesome. (A bit late to the party, but better late than never :) )


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#25 slojanko

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:45 PM

The download link is super tiny :P

Also downloading now, I like the fact that it exports sprites.


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#26 xlordt_97248

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:59 AM

Nice program, I have a question though.. how do I create particle using an existing image?


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#27 slojanko

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 05:30 AM

I don't think you can import an image and export as gml if that's what you're asking.


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#28 NotWhoYouThink

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 03:49 PM

Amazing! I was reading over super show's topic and I found this. WOW!

This is the only one I know of that generates sprites, which I prefer to code!


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#29 beeproductions

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 04:38 PM

Really nice tool..I decided I will use this to make free awesome particles for le community:)..

What I can't figure out it's how step/death options work..I mean theoreticly i know xD but for some reason they don't work as intended.

Also ..no custom sprite option for the particles?!Why?

 

Allrighty..well in the end i will advertise my topic...think it's a quite usefull one and this tool helped growing that assets db. xD

If you are looking for some particles made in it and preview/download them check my free gfx topic here:

http://gmc.yoyogames...&st=0&p=4447431


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#30 SoulTie

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:29 AM

Great tool.. the only thing I wish you were able to do with this is stream particles. Which is why I started making a tool to do just that. Question though,

how did you get the sprites to have a transparent background? ( I am assuming you're using screen_save_part?) Every time I save a sprite on my program,

it has to have a black background. (if the background is white, particles aren't visible..I dunno why). Hopefully you have some tips and advice. Thanks Nocturne!!


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#31 Nocturne

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:33 AM

Thanks for the comments everyone! @SoulTie: the particles are drawn to a surface that I previously cleared to have an alpha value of 0, like this:

surface_set_target(surf);
draw_clear_alpha(c_white,0);
part_system_drawit(global.Sname);
surface_reset_target();
surface_save(surf,dir+"\"+fname+string(i_num)+".png");

Hope that helps you!


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#32 N00b at GM

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:37 AM

Hey, I've played around with this for a bit and i would love to throw some particles into GM.

 

Anyway i create an object and call it "obj_test" and in the create event, i paste the code that was in the particle i saved to my desktop, anyway i keep getting errors when i try to launch the game! 

 

 

Error in Object obj_test, Event Create, Action 1 at Line 2, Position 2: Assignment operator expected.

 

 

any help?

 

and thanks for making this free and all, it looks pretty awesome!

 

 

just gotta learn how to use it!


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#33 Nocturne

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:38 AM

Could you paste the code that is giving the error? It's possible that on output I've missed a colon or something...


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#34 Debels

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 09:58 PM

I love this tool :D


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#35 Primoz128

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:15 PM

This looks just like Particle Designer i used before this came out, and by the look of it, looks less umm... good ?...


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#36 Nocturne

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:52 PM

This looks just like Particle Designer i used before this came out, and by the look of it, looks less umm... good ?...

 

Lol! Try it and see? The purpose of this designer was more to be able to make sprites for HTML5 and low end mobile than to create the best particle designer out there... And (afaik) none of the other GM made designers out there do this. :)


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#37 Primoz128

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:15 PM

Ah right, didn't read the info. I am just not sure why you have sound effects there at all, i don't think almost anyone likes feedback in such a tool...


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#38 Nocturne

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:16 PM

Ah right, didn't read the info. I am just not sure why you have sound effects there at all, i don't think almost anyone likes feedback in such a tool...

 

I do. :)


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#39 Shadowblitz16

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:28 PM

Nocturne is it possible you can update this to save the particles to a sprite strip

so we don't have to add the sprites together individually?


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#40 Nocturne

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:50 PM

Nocturne is it possible you can update this to save the particles to a sprite strip

so we don't have to add the sprites together individually?

 

I won't be updating this I'm afraid... I'm currently up to my neck in my Skein project! However I am planning on making a NEW version as my next project, as I can see numerous flaws in this one (like no sprite strips :thumbsup:) that I think I can fix and improve.


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#41 Shadowblitz16

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:23 PM

k message me when the new version is out


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#42 plus_Time

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:39 PM

I just download this now.. I am wondering how it will work with game maker
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