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Submitted on
January 19
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Aerica Sinnett idle animation by StyrbjornA Aerica Sinnett idle animation by StyrbjornA
This is my first animation work for my future game, Tranquil.

Sprite Animation Tutorial by StyrbjornA
Here is a short tutorial on how I made this.

Tranquil wp 1920x1080 by StyrbjornA
Character concept art
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zulu-eos Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Really great stuff. Glad you showed your process. I am working on some framed sprite animations for a game and this is a good insight into another process.  I am probably going overkill on the layers/frames. I have been tending to layer the arms/legs/head/torso in case I want to swap things out later, but I think I should try something more simplified like this.

Although I have been doing my frames in photoshop and later exporting the frames to either the Photoshop Timeline tool or After Effects timeline tool. For some reason the gif framed animation tool isn't that powerful and a little weird.

I was curious about what programs you are using to create and animate. Are you doing all of your work in flash?
StyrbjornA Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks for the nice comment!

Layering is a good idea if you want to create different hairstyles, clothes and other details. Rogue legacy is a good example of a game that relies on that technique.

I am using Photoshop exclusively for my pixel animation work (and most other stuff as well). It's quite smooth, even though some people seem to prefer other tools.
zulu-eos Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome, thanks for the tip. I am familiar with Rouge Legacy. I have even found that layers even help to make smaller adjustments without having to totally ease and pixel push entire parts of your image. Although I have also noticed this greatly increases the amount of memory Photoshop takes up when you have many modular parts (arms, legs, head, cape, etc.), so I think I may try something a bit more similar to what you are practicing.

As for photoshop I have been using that a lot as well for the pixel animation. I was wondering if you are using the more recent Timeline Tool, or the older framed gif animation tool?

I find it that the gif framed animation tool doesn't quite preview correctly and I usually have to save it out in order to get a better idea of how it is actually playing. Maybe a memory issue.
AnimatorRawGreen Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Filmographer
I know that Photoshop Professional has a few memory leak issues that are going ignored by the developers. I'm told that they're not present in Photoshop Elements, but I haven't bothered to go buy/try it to actually find out for myself. I remember using and liking GraphicsGale, but it's been so long since I've bothered with it.

Typically anything with layers you can use to effectively make a sprite sheet or animation.
I've used PaintToolSai to animate with before, but after all that I would export a sequence from the layers to import into photoshop for finishing anyways.
So if Photoshop is too RAM heavy for you, you could try finding other software to work in, or maybe find a way to cut down on how many layers you have to have running at the same time.
In any case be sure to restart Photoshop regularly if you're using the newer versions.
zulu-eos Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I appreciate the helpful feedback!

I have a feeling I may just be pushing too many layers in my files. Currently I'm running a core i7 iMac with 8gb of ram. Although I will try restarting photoshop regularly as I tend to leave it on all the time.
5930320 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
hah nice work ;333...for me it's better than Battlefield 4 ;)
taufanakt Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014
this one is really smooth
i wonder how long it takes to make this idle stance :| (Blank Stare) :| (Blank Stare) 
StyrbjornA Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you :) it took a few hours
AnimatorRawGreen Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Student Filmographer

I often see tons of indie games or sprite attempts where the Idle stance has no movement at all, this pleases me.
Not sure if you have the same animation terms as I do with animation, so I'm dumbing this down just in case.
I highly recommend having some "double frames", where the duration of one of the pictures would be that of two pictures.
However even small frame duration increases work really well if you don't work directly on a timeline with a set Frames per Second.

While you might think it would add an awkward pause to the animation, this would be somewhat true if you used it on only one frame.
By using it on several frames you can change the pace at which the viewers eyes receive the change in image, making a slowing and quickening in the movement, you could really emphasize on the bouncing of the character in their idle stance- giving the character more weight and a lifelike characteristic.
And while the difference at a glance is subtle it changes the impression of how a lot of people receive it when they first look at it.

I've made an example of the possibilities for your own viewing, here:
zulu-eos Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Really good insight here, thank you for sharing. This came very useful for a project I am working on involving sprite animation.
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