Pivot Sprites
Pivot Sprites
Pivot Sprites
Pivot Sprites
Pivot Sprites
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:38 PM
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Default Pivot Sprites


I was recently watching some flash movies involving cartoon sprites, and noticed that their bodies are made of modular pieces, such as upper arm, lower arm, torso, thigh, calf, head, etc. I also noticed that when they move, the pieces attached to the moving part are anchored to one another, much like pusing a thumb tack into tw overlapped pieces of cardboard. They pivot at a given point. Well, I got thinking and realized, "Why can't this be done in programming?" It's basically the bone rigging of 3d modeling put into a 2d perspective.

I don't know if this has been done before, but I like to call them 'Pivot Sprites'. All major components of the body of a sprite are made of smaller bitmaps. using a custom made editor (which I plan to start after this post) you could add "anchor points" to a bitmap, or the points that a bitmap would rotate around. For example, if you were making a human sprite using the pivot system, and you wer wroking on the upper arm, you would need two anchor points. One for the shoulder, and one for the elbow of the arm. This would allow the sub-sprite, and any sprites attached to the anchor points, to move with the upper arm. A real world example would be an old 1800's steam engine's wheels.

Now, why woudl someone do this instead of making solid sprite animations? Since each component is made of a single bitmap, I could switch the appearance, color, texture, etc. of a sub component of the model at any given time. This allows you to swap out, say, a character's armor for another set, or customize a sprites appearance. Also, you could create very high resolutoin sprites with out drawing 20 individual frames. Instead, you link the body parts together and use keyframing.

If anyone has any input on this topic, or implementation of the above said, feel free to contribute!
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:12 PM
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I've seen this done before and had a really cool physics demo from someone which used it. Not sure where it was though...
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