And here goes one more article about NravoKids development. In this article I will describe my experience with SmoothMoves plugin for Unity3d which is used to create bone animations. So this article is kind of an another asset review. I will try to describe its benefits and drawbacks. To be short the asset is fantastic but has some moments that might have been a little bit better. I will also tell about some tips to keep it mind while using the framework.
So below is a brief review of the asset and a little of my exprience using it.
Asset #2: SmoothMoves for Unity3D (75$)
Purpose : 2D Bone Animations
Developer Story. Our artist currently works in flash and there are lots of complex skeletal 2D animations in our project so we had to figure out how he could animate characters and not interfere with other assets. So after choosing between SmoothMoves and Puppet2D. Both assets are quite popular but after reading the reviews SmoothMoves slightly overweighted. We have also considered using UniSwf plugin but decided to use some native Unity plugin.
So when do you need this asset? – This tool is great if you have characters with skeletal animations or you have complex bone animations in your project.
What is great about SmoothMoves? Almost everything! I will tell a few thing I liked the most. The complete list of features is available on SmoothMoves home page.
Animation data and atlas data is stored as a Unity .asset file which makes it easy for artist to edit and commit the file not touching anything else. Also keeping all the SmoothMoves files in a separate folder makes it really easy to find anything. To get the animation working in your scene just add BoneAnimationcomponent to gameObject, set animation (Data field) and build it. It is as simple as that. After this you refer to your BoneAnimationthe same as you did with Animationcomponent.
Support and documentation are exceptionally good. Truth to be told it is one of the best documented assets on the Asset Store I’ve seen so far. FAQ and online PDF Documentation can help you out almost all the time. People also claim that developer support is also great.
Very intuitive animation editor. Will not go into detail here. Although it freezes for some time when you begin editing it is very intuitive and easy to use.
A grain of salt. Although the framework is very good and high quality there are some not very pleasant moments about it. I am aware that some drawbacks that I am going to tell about may be due to technical limitations or that the framework supports Unity.
- The most annoying bug (don’t know whether it’s Unity or SmoothMoves) is that when you add a new texture to your atlas and press “Rebuild all Animations” button, Sprite components in the scene are not updated and show wrong part of the atlas. (Actually they are updated, but you have to select it in Hierarchy view for Sprite to be updated). So I needed to manually click through all the Sprite prefabs in each scene each time I updated the atlas. Maybe I have missed something but the fact is its very annoying.
- When the projects gets really large rebuilding all animations takes quite a long time (When atlas is updated you have to rebuild your animations).
- When there are several Sprite prefabs in the scene and you change color for one of them, the other may also change color as well, so I had to make a separate prefabs for each color of the sprite. The thing I’ve learnt is to avoid using Spritecomponent.
- Depth of BoneAnimation objects is adjusted by Z axis value which is not very convenient.
Conclusion. The asset is definitely worth its price. I can’t imagine how much time I would have spent if making the project without it. Even though it has some minor glitches, if you are into creating a game with lots of skeletal 2D animations you might consider using this one.