Before starting this post, please let me apologize if I had already created a post about this software. I searched, yet I couldn’t find it. Apologies if this was the case.
First of all, what’s Pixel Spriter?
Months ago, I wrote, on my website, that we were planning on starting work on a small image-editor made especially for sprite-making. For those unfamiliar with the term, sprites are 2D images usually used in games. 2D Platform Games usually make use of these type of images, although almost all genres have used them. Pixel Spriter won’t be a collection of images, but will let users create and edit their own sprites - an image-editor dedicated to Pixel Art and the Spriting workflow.
What makes Pixel Spriter special?
This software will be open-source. Users will be able to create their own effects – such as noise-generation, lighten, darken etc… The product will only be released as open-source upon release. As for effects creation, potential developers will be able to use templates and documentation to help them. However, Pixel Spriter won’t be aimed just at potential developers of the program, but to anyone who might want to learn jME from a complete project. This software will be available for Mac, Windows and Linux users. This will make Pixel Spriter the first of such programs available on all three platforms for free and as open-source.
And features? What about them?
The first thing on our to-do list was to gather information about what users wanted from a spriting program. We are still accepting feature requests, so if you have one yourself, do tell us!
Onion Skinning – This is a process used in animating, where the prior and subsequent frames are displayed in low-opacity to let the user know how the animation would look like.
Layers – Layers will let the user apply effects on just one layer. Layers might also be used to customize a character’s attire among other things.
Tiling – Pixel Spriter will allow users to see their tiles tiled horizontally, vertically, or in a box. This would let users see how the tiles would look in-game and make them seamless quickly.
Real-Time Animation – If enabled, the animation would continue running while the user is editing, thus showing any changes in real-time.
It will be possible to apply effects on the whole layer/canvas, in a selection, and at the mouse-point.
Multiple copy-paste slots to facilitate workflow.
To help those who would want to use Pixel Spriter to learn jME or Java in general, we also aim to facilitate things:
Program Documentation – there won’t be any in-line documentation in Pixel Spriter. Yes, in-line documentation would be optimal, but since this is an open-source software, we want it to be very well-documented and explained. As such, documentation is generally detailed, and we don’t want to unnecessarily clutter Pixel Spriter with lines of detailed documentation. This doesn’t rule out the possibility of releasing the program twice; one of which with in-line documentation.
Program Design – a more general explanation of how the program works.
Program Formulae – we spent hours banging our heads on the keyboard, and we don’t want future developers to spend too much time doing the same as they try to understand what each formula does. As such, there is a document explaining the function of each formula.
The base framework is 50% ready, so we expect to have something to show for our progress by the end of January at the latest.
Want to support us?
We’re not on Kickstarter or any other crowd-funding sites. It costs us €0 to work. We don’t need the money. It only costs us our own time - time we are happily giving to see and help jME grow. As such, we demand no money. But if you really want to help, even a short ‘go go go’ comment means a lot. You can also help us spread the word via Facebook, Twitter or just by visiting our website.
That’s all there is to say for now. Meanwhile, to all monkeys, merry Christmas and a joyful new year!