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The sprites for monsters in Miasmon - the game I'm currently making - are static and pixelated, partly to give a 'retro' feel, but also because it was easy to do... or so I thought, before I discovered how much time it take to make a single pixelated sprite.

I've been playing Pokemon Black 2 recently, and wondering if the Miasmon would look better if they were animated... Since Flash allows vector animations and animating pixel sprites using the same techniques as Pokemon would be too cumbersome for various reasons that I won't go into, I tried this...
The sprite on the right is the one in the game currently.

I don't dislike the result, but it wouldn't be feasible to convert all the pixel sprites into things like this. It'd take far too much time!

Still, it was an interesting experiment, I suppose.

Also, I hate this new form of Motion Tween that Flash has in its latest versions... I'd like to improve this animation, but the way it handles keyframes is just making it too frustrating to edit. Ugh.
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:iconnickwiggill:
NickWiggill Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is the best of the lot, though I love them all.

Let's say you had a better tool to do this kind of animation with... I'll assume that all you really need are affine transformations i.e. skewing, scaling, translation and rotation tweens. If you had access to such tools, would it make it worth your while to do artwork for said project? Just wondering, since I can build the tool. But I'd need a skilled artist to use it.
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:iconbrockisnothere:
Brockisnothere Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Since I joined your site, I have always wanted a gruul for my birthday, but my Mom and Dad had no idea what it was! :P

Anyway, this is quite incredible, and gives me a bit more understanding of the whole thing. Will the trainer sprites move as well? When you are looking through your monsters in the encyclopedia, will you be able to see them moving or will they just be sprites? Either way, I am very eager to see how this works out. I love seeing how things change, and I am in glee for what I see, I guess you could say.

As for the gruul, everything seems smooth since this whole thing is unfamiliar to you. Overall, good job!
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:icongtva:
gtva Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
animation is actually and literally "beyond" smooth
never thought this thing would look "beyond" cute when animated, I almost fell over the floor dying from its cuteness
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:iconwonderlandsunflower:
WonderlandSunflower Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
Oh... gosh... darn...

I've seen both animations. That's... that's so amazing that I don't know what to say! I mean, on one hand you have pixelated sprites, which were already more or less done, on another hand... those... those animations! O.o'

Uh, really, I wouldn't like giving up the work I've done over years, but if you somehow managed to bring yourself to do that, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. O.o'

(the only thing I'm afraid of is whether it wouldn't mean remaking elements other than Miasmons; otherwise, those animations, while brilliant and pretty cute, might turn out to be out of context; oh well! O.o')
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:iconx-wanderer-x:
x-Wanderer-x Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
I really, really love the animation. It's a shame that it wouldn't be practical to do this for everything, because it really does seem to bring the creature to life. I love the little ear twitch!
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:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It might not be the wisest idea, but I'm going to try it anyway!!1 Converting them all, that is. I'll try to do a few more and see how I feel after a week or so...
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:iconx-wanderer-x:
x-Wanderer-x Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
That's great! I really hope that it works out!
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:iconchessplayer16:
Chessplayer16 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
It's cute! I can see why these would be kept as pets.
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:iconbulletsponge95:
BULLETSPONGE95 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It's so cute <3...except for the biteyness...I'd like to keep my limbs
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:iconmaniafig:
Maniafig Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
Whoa, that's amazing! o.o

It's really interesting to see Gruul moving and animated like that! It reminds me of MARDEK, but more refined, maybe.

It does seem much more lifelike and animated, rather than static and retro [Not saying retro's a negative thing though!]

How long did it take though? I'm quite curious... I'd not mind seeing more of them at all, be it Miasmon or other animations.

And we all hate tweens, damned tweens and their tween reality shows and tween pregnancy, bah. Is the twitchy right ear thing caused by that, or is it an intentional part of Gruul's movements?

And I'd be curious about your opinion on and experiences with Black 2, actually! Maybe you could talk about it once you beat the game, or something, I'd be quite curious how you think it compares with Miasmon. :o
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:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure how long it took; I wish I'd timed it or something since that would have been useful! Maybe an hour or two? Or three? Something like that. A significant chunk of today, anyway. But that was because it was unusual; if I got used to doing it, it would probably be quicker.
Doing the sprites probably takes that long *anyway* though, so while converting from pixel sprites to vectors will take ages, if I ever needed to add new monsters - which I still do - then it probably wouldn't take any longer adding them in vector form than it would making sprites. If anything, it might even be quicker!

I'm pleasantly surprised by the result, and really am seriously thinking about changing the game's graphics to be like this... Battle graphics, anyway, I mean. It seems so much more *alive* like this; the pixel sprite seems so lifeless in comparison.

The twitchy ear is intentional! I mainly dislike the new motion tweens because they're different to the ones I got used to using for MARDEK and other games.

Perhaps I'll talk about Pokemon more in the beta section... which I still need to get working!
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:iconmaniafig:
Maniafig Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
Hmm, if it would be quicker, then it could indeed spare time in the long run, especially since there are indeed still sprites that need to be added!

And I do very much agree that this is much livelier! Gruul seems much more interesting and dynamic here because of that small 'bark' animation, and t's nice if all Miasmon had some small motion like that! I very much liked the animated sprites in Pokémon for adding more personality at times, so I suppose it's nothing you couldn't achieve...

Actualy, with battle graphics, do you mean trainers too, hmm... I liked how B/W2 animated trainer sprites, so I wonder whether you could do something similar to that. I'd certainly be interested in seeing how that'd work out!
The vector based graphics also remind me of MARDEK, which are rather fond memories...

I also forgot to mention that it seems cuter too! I suppose that might make it appealing to your preferred fanbase to a larger degree?

And I'd like to hear what you have to say! And to fix the beta section, yes! o.o (I hope that it's not too much of a bother to work on...)
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:icondjezc:
DJEZC Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012   Writer
I think they both look cool, I think it's awesome to see a MARDEK-monster in Miasmon.
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:iconjaffa6:
Jaffa6 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If you want a good animating software, I recommend adobe fireworks CS5 which is really easy to use and has no nonsense, just frame by frame animation.
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:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not looking for different animation software. I've been using Flash for years; it's just changed how things work recently and I'm not used to these changes yet.
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:iconloganius:
Loganius Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
What a cutie-pie!

So, will we ever see one of your games on the iPhone or Android app store? I wouldn't mind giving ya a couple of bucks for that! :D
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:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't have a smartphone, so I'm not massively interested in making games for them. I'm hoping to get Miasmon on Steam though, at least.
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:iconloganius:
Loganius Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
Oooh, Steam! I'd definitely buy it from that! I can't wait, man. Best of luck to ya!
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:iconmadame-meepers:
Madame-Meepers Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd say that your flash animation test is a good one. Darn, with it moving like that... I think I want to adopt one soon... Anyway, I knew that animating pixelated sprites was never easy in the first place. I mean, how did they do it?! All the dots! @_@
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:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
In the Generation V Pokemon games at least, I think the animation is done sort of like how I've done here, where different 'chunks' move around to create motion, except the individual 'chunks' they use are pixelated... I almost tried doing that myself, but drawing and importing them all seemed like more hassle than using vectors.

...I bet that's totally interesting and made sense and everything.
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:iconmadame-meepers:
Madame-Meepers Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, so that's how they did it... Interesting... But it's a real pain for you...
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