Join Tony Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Character versions, part of Animating 2D Characters: Harmony to Unity.
- When playing a video game, character's will have different states or moves. For example: there's idle, or hit, or kick, or even punch. In Toon Boom Harmony this is done by the "Save a New Version" feature. Now, before we get too far ahead, I want to show you, one, where that's located. This is located under file, save as new version.
Now before we get into that, I do want to actually save a different version of the file that I have right now. Now I've opened up "09_versions", but I want to go to file, save as, and I'm gonna simply name this "Nikki", after our character. Now the reason I'm doing this, it's going to come into play once we start saving out different states, like idle, or run, or anything like that.
So, I click save. So now what I want to do, is I'm going to create our "idle" animation. So, just to make sure I don't get in any trouble, I'll go to file, save as new version, and instead of writing "Nikki", I'll simply write "idle", and I'll click OK. And, now I'm gonna start working on that animation.
I'll click on the very first frame; let's insert a keyframe- simply press F6. In about frame 20, I'm gonna insert a second keyframe, F6, and if you notice, I have my stop motion keyframes on, which basically means, I don't have automatic tweens happening. To turn this on and off, simply go to animation, and come down and select stop-motion keyframe.
So what I wanna do at frame 20, is wanna zoom in a little bit here. I'm a hold my spacebar to get the hand, and I'm going to move my character just a little bit below the line, and if you notice, I have my onion skin on. To turn it on and off, just simply come down here to the bottom. But, I wanna have mine on, just so I can see what's happening with the legs here. So, select the back leg, and I'll go up to my deformation area, and show the selected deformation.
I wanna bend the leg up a little bit, and I had my onion skin on so I can adjust exactly where the feet are. So, select the back leg, and we'll do the same. Show our deformation. Gonna zoom in here just a little bit.
It's gonna distort the drawing just a little bit more. Alright, so our previous frame, she's kind of standing up, and then she squashes down. So I'll select the arm. Turn on our deformation. Select the back arm, and we'll turn on a deformation. So I'm just building a quick little idle set here.
And, I wanna make sure the leg isn't cutting off too much here. It's not hiding from the belt. And next, I will select frame one, and we'll copy this, Command C, Control C on PC, and we'll go to about frame 40, I'm gonna paste, Command V, Control V on PC, and I also wanna come here and select the stop, so it's right at frame 40.
Now this isn't the actual animation end, but this is exactly where everything will loop when I hit the play button. I don't wanna drag this back one frame though. So, I'll click on the black arrow here, and drag it right to 39, or I could simply come here and set it to 39 in the stop field. So, I'll zoom out, and I'll click play to take a look at this.
Now of course it's not doing too much right now, because we have not set our tweens, but before we do, I wanna go ahead and do something with the hair as well. Each of the ponytails has a bone deformer, so we're gonna rotate this up a little bit. So once she's down the hair would go up. So we'll select the back ponytail, rotate that up a little bit, and we'll set our tweens by simply doing command K.
Select frame 20 and do command K once more. And let's zoom out, and we'll click play. Make sure our loop is turned on. Alright, so we have our animation. Now, to do a little bit of an offset to our animation, a little bit of follow through, we're going to offset what's happening with the ponytails.
So what I wanna do, is go ahead and open up our peg here, and come down to the deformation for the hair. So I'm gonna select all of the keys for both layers. I'm gonna click and drag this forward, to about frame seven. Okay? So, I'll select frame 40 again, and we'll insert a keyframe, F6.
We'll copy that keyframe, command C. Let's go back to frame one. Now if you notice, the hair's not there. We're gonna go ahead and paste it in, command V, and if you notice it's kind of doing a little jump there right now, because it's not doing a tween. So, I'll make sure I do command K with those two selected. Now if I scrub now, we should see a little bit more of the animation.
So, that's cleaned up. We'll collapse this, and we'll play the animation again, and we should see the hair following through a little bit better. Okay. Now we've over exaggerated the hair just a little bit, just to show you what's going on. But, what I'll do now is go ahead and save, and we've saved the idle version.
Now, just to make this very simple, I wanna show you how you would save out a different version. So, I'm gonna select the hand, and I'm gonna move my cursor down here to the timeline, to highlight it, and simply press the letter "O". So it's going to show me the hand that's actually holding a sword. So, I'm gonna select all frames, and we'll set that hand to drawing one, so the sword is not there.
So if you play this animation now... Looks pretty good, and I wanna save a new version, and we'll do idle no sword, and we'll click OK. Now usually when you save a Harmony document you're gonna have a single folder, and if you save a new Harmony document you'll have a separate folder.
Save a new version is actually going to place several documents in the same folder. Now this is also a way that you can work on things, for instance, when I'm working on projects I will often save version one, version two, version three. So you can use the save a new version that way as well. But let me show you exactly what's happening. If you look at my folders here, under "Nikki, if I open this up we have idle, and we also have "idle_nosword".
In addition to this, our main file is "Nikki". So, we have three separate Harmony documents inside of one folder, versus our earlier documents, which all have their own separate folders. So by saving new versions, you're not only able to save out different animations for your characters, but it's also a way to manage multiple backups of a file.
- Setting up the scene
- Drawing substitutions
- Using bone deformers
- Prepping files for Unity
- Exporting sprite sheets
- Importing your characters in Unity