Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sprite animation, part 0.5: blender!

Laziness is what drives progress.  You’d think that with all the technology we have around we would all be enjoying endless holidays.  Nope.

So, in order to save a few hours of difficult pixel-arting, I am spending a few hours learning how to use Blender to make my sprites.  And strangely it’s not going that bad !  I already have a Minecraft creeper that works pretty well, with a cartoony rendering and all.  Could 3D be easier than 2D ?  Maybe…  Probably.  Certainly.

3D creeper by me!

Look at the mini green thing above!  It doesn’t look like it, but it’s full 3D ; only, it’s rendered with an orthographic camera in order to avoid any persperctive. I like the black outline, but I’m looking for something a bit less dark, more alpha-blended. Proof it’s 3D:

My creeper in real 3D.

Before trying Blender, I tried the only 3D-designing software I knew: Minecraft.  Here, have some screenshots:

16x16 sprite build in Minecraft. Voxels are good and bad. They're so hard to animate!

Modeling my sprites in minecraft was cool, but animating then was a pain, that’s why I installed Blender.

And, to end the post, here’s the first sprite sheet I drew by hand in 2D myself:

Sprite sheet I created for Infiniworld.

It’s not bad, but it takes WAY too long to draw.

So… I’m going to have fun with Blender a bit more!

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Sprite animation, part 0.

Hello hello!

Damn, art sucks. I meant to write something about sprite animation for the past few months, and I obviously didn’t.

The good thing is that I already have the code running ! Mostly: still some pbs with frame interpolation.

My problem is that I have to spend hours on Gimp to draw some sprites that are decent enough to make the game appealing. This is killing me…

So, if I feel like it, I’ll try to finish up a sprite sheet this week-end. Baby steps. I’ll do that while everybody else in the Universe is at Minecon.

I live in the Netherlands, but my job sent me to Los Angeles this month. I get to visit Caltech and JPL which is cool. Also, Minecon happens in Las Vegas, and that’s not that far!  Problem: I got confirmation for my plane ticket to the US the very day Minecon was sold out. I didn’t want to buy a ticket before being sure I would travel. So here I am, bored to death under the Californian palmtrees, drawing with pixels.

So, next updates, sprites !

Apocalypse Bunny on Open Pandora.

If you don’t know the Open Pandora, then here’s a link:

http://www.openpandora.org/

I just received mine yesterday, and so far it seems to work which makes me quite happy. Now, it’s not a plug and play console, and I have a lot to learn in order to make things work.

However, I could easily install Apocalypse Bunny! The Pandora comes with python 2.6. Installing pygame was a one-liner:

sudo opkg install python-pygame

Then I just downloaded a tar.gz of apocalypse bunny and ran it.  It runs out of the box ! Of course, the controls aren’t optimized, and it should be toggled to full screen. But it works.

Apocalypse Bunny running on an OpenPandora, at less than 10 FPS.

The frame rate makes me a bit sad.

With one drawback: it starts at 10–6 frames per seconds, and after about 20 seconds in the game (when foxes have appeared), it runs at 1 frame per second.  This is way, waaaay below the interactivity threshold.

So… I should forget python when developing for the Pandora I think, or at least the way SDL is implemented/bound to python on Pandora. It’s way too slow. Now, what are the alternatives? Java or C#/mono? Sure they’re going to be faster than python but they still run the code in a virtual machine so I’ll run into the same performance problems later. I really, really, really don’t want to bother with C++. What do you guys think?