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Anim tutorial


See previous basic tutorials for more info about basic object creation, clock handling and frames.

This tutorial only covers the very basic use of animations in orx.

All animations are stored in a directed graph.
This graph defines all the possible transitions between animations. An animation is referenced using a unique character string. All the transitions and animations are created via config files.

When an animation is requested, the engine will evaluate the chain that will bring it to this animation from the current one.
If such a chain exist, it will then be processed automatically. The user will be notified when animations are started, stopped, cut or looping by events.
If we don't specify any animation as target, the engine will follow the links naturally according to their properties 1).
There's also a way to bypass this chaining procedure and immediately force an animation.

Code-wise this system is very easy to use with two main functions to handle everything. Most of the work is made not in code but in the config files when we define animations and links. 2)


As usual, we begin by creating a viewport, getting the main clock and registering our Update function to it and, lastly, by creating our main object.
Please refer to the previous tutorials for more details.

Now let's begin by the code, we'll see how to organize the data at the end of this page.
In our Update function we'll just trigger a WalkLeft animation when the input GoLeft is active and a WalkRight animation when the input GoRight is active.
When no input is active, we'll simply remove the target animation and let the graph be evaluated naturally 3).

  orxObject_SetTargetAnim(pstSoldier, "WalkRight");
else if(orxInput_IsActive("GoLeft"))
  orxObject_SetTargetAnim(pstSoldier, "WalkLeft");
  orxObject_SetTargetAnim(pstSoldier, orxNULL);

That's it! How to go from any current animation to the targeted one will be evaluated using the graph. If transitions are needed they'll be automatically played 4).

NB: If we had wanted to go immediately to another animation without respecting data-defined transitions (in the case of hit or death animations, for example), we could have done this.

orxObject_SetCurrentAnim(pstSoldier, "DieNow");

NB: There are more functions for advanced control over the animations (like pausing, changing frequency, …), but 99% of the time, those two functions (orxObject_SetCurrentAnim() and orxObject_SetTargetAnim()) are the only ones you will need.

Let's now see how we can be informed of what happens with our animations (so as to synchronize sounds, for example).
First, we need to register our callback EventHandler to the animation events.

orxEvent_AddHandler(orxEVENT_TYPE_ANIM, EventHandler);

Done! Let's see what we can do with this now.
Let's say we want to print which animations are played, stopped, cut or looping on our object. We would then need to write the following callback.

orxSTATUS orxFASTCALL EventHandler(const orxEVENT *_pstEvent)
orxANIM_EVENT_PAYLOAD *pstPayload;
pstPayload = (orxANIM_EVENT_PAYLOAD *)_pstEvent->pstPayload;
    orxLOG("Animation <%s>@<%s> has started!", pstPayload->zAnimName, orxObject_GetName(orxOBJECT(_pstEvent->hRecipient)));
  case orxANIM_EVENT_STOP:
    orxLOG("Animation <%s>@<%s> has stopped!", pstPayload->zAnimName, orxObject_GetName(orxOBJECT(_pstEvent->hRecipient)));
  case orxANIM_EVENT_CUT:
    orxLOG("Animation <%s>@<%s> has been cut!", pstPayload->zAnimName, orxObject_GetName(orxOBJECT(_pstEvent->hRecipient)));
  case orxANIM_EVENT_LOOP:
    orxLOG("Animation <%s>@<%s> has looped!", pstPayload->zAnimName, orxObject_GetName(orxOBJECT(_pstEvent->hRecipient)));
  return orxSTATUS_SUCCESS;

We first get the payload of our event. As we know we only handling animation events here, we can safely cast the payload to the orxANIM_EVENT_PAYLOAD type defined in orxAnim.h.

If we were using the same callback for different event types, we first would need to see if we were receiving an anim event. This can be done with the following code.

if(_pstEvent->eType == orxEVENT_TYPE_ANIM)

Finally, our event recipient (_pstEvent→hRecipient) is actually the object on which the animation is played. We cast it as a orxOBJECT using the helper macro orxOBJECT(). 5)

Let's now have a peek a the data side.

First, we need to define an animation set that will contain the whole graph for our specific object's animations.
The animation set won't ever be duplicated in memory and will contain all the animations and links for the corresponding graph.
In our case we have 4 animations and 10 possible links for all the transitions.

AnimationList = IdleRight#WalkRight#IdleLeft#WalkLeft
LinkList = IdleRightLoop#IdleRight2Left#IdleRight2WalkRight#WalkRightLoop#WalkRight2IdleRight#IdleLeftLoop#IdleLeft2Right#IdleLeft2WalkLeft#WalkLeftLoop#WalkLeft2IdleLeft

Now let's define our animations! =)

Previous to that, so as to reduce the amount of text we need to write, we'll use orx's config system inheritance.
We'll begin to define a section for the position of our pivot 6).
As you may have seen in the object tutorial config file, the pivot is which position will match the world coordinate of your object in the world space. If it's not specified, the top left corner will be used by default.
The pivot can be defined literally using keywords such as top, bottom, center, left and right, or by giving an actual position, in pixels.

Pivot = (15.0, 31.0, 0.0)

Now we'll define our graphic object that will inherit from this pivot. In our case it's a bitmap that contains all the frames for our object.
The common properties are thus the name of the bitmap file and the size of one frame 7).

Texture     = ../../data/anim/soldier_full.png
TextureSize = (32, 32, 0)

Ok, everything is setup for creating all the frames.
Let's define all our frames for both right-oriented animations: we have 6 of them.

TextureOrigin = (0, 0, 0)
TextureOrigin = (0, 32, 0)
TextureOrigin = (0, 64, 0)
TextureOrigin = (32, 0, 0)
TextureOrigin = (32, 32, 0)
TextureOrigin = (32, 64, 0)

As you can see, they all inherit from FullGraphic and the only property that tells them apart is the TextureOrigin.

Ok, now we have defined all those graphic objects (they'll become orxGRAPHIC structures when loaded), let's define the animations themselves.
Let's begin with the IdleRight which contains a single frame that lasts for 0.1 second.

KeyData1      = AnimRight6
KeyDuration1  = 0.1

Easy enough, let's try the second one: WalkRight

DefaultKeyDuration  = 0.1
KeyData1            = AnimRight1
KeyData2            = AnimRight2
KeyData3            = AnimRight3
KeyData4            = AnimRight4
KeyData5            = AnimRight5
KeyData6            = AnimRight6

Not really harder as we define the same time for all the frames using the DefaultKeyDuration property.
We can override it for any frame by specifying a key duration like we did for the IdleRight animation.

We'll do the exact same thing for the left-oriented animations. Actually as we're using flipped graphic objects, we could just have flipped the object at runtime in the code.
But that wouldn't have served our didactic purposes! Let's pretend these left animations are completely different from the right ones! ;-)

There are only the links missing now and we're done!
The basic link structure is easy: we specify the source and the destination animation.

Source      = IdleRight
Destination = IdleRight

This link goes from IdleLoop animation to the IdleLoop animation. No wonder we called this link IdleRightLoop!
So basically, when we are in the IdleRight animation and we asked IdleRight animation as a target, we just stay there, looping.
Also, if no target is defined when we are there, this link will keep us looping as there isn't any higher priority link starting from IdleRight.

Let's see now how we go from IdleRight to WalkRight.

Source      = IdleRight
Destination = WalkRight
Property    = immediate

Here we have the same basic info as before but we also have the immediate value for the key Property.
This means that when we are in IdleRight animation and we target WalkRight, we won't wait till IdleRight is over to follow the link, we'll go there directly: that gives us a way to cut animations.

As we've seen in the code, we don't explicitely ask for the idle animation when we are already walking. How do this work then??
Let's see the link that goes from WalkRight to IdleRight.

Source      = WalkRight
Destination = IdleRight
Property    = immediate; <= If you remove this property, the animation won't be cut to go immediately back to idle
Priority    = 9

When we are in WalkRight and we remove our target, the engine will have to follow the links in a natural way. That means it'll favorise the higher priority links.
By default a link Priority is 8. It can range from 0 to 15. Having here a link at priority 9 means that this will be the one taken when we have no target.
It will bring us back to IdleRight.
We also have added the immediate Property so that we won't wait the end of the walk cycle to go back to idle.

NB: This is a very basic graph that shows only basic transitions, but the system is very expandable.
Let's say you want to begin walking from a sitting pause without transition.
But, later in the game development, you want to add a standing up transition for it to look nicer.
You'll only have to add this extra step (with the associated links) in the config file! Your code will remain unchanged:

orxObject_SetTargetAnim(MyObject, "Walk");


Source code: 04_Anim.c

Config file: 04_Anim.ini

1) such as loop counters that won't be covered by this basic tutorial
2) A very basic animation graph will be used for this tutorial: we did it so as to keep limited the amount of needed config data.
3) in our case, it'll play the corresponding idle animation even if our data only contains one single frame for each
4) remember that in our case we went for the straightest path, with no turning animations, for example, but that wouldn't change our code at all!
5) Remember that we use such macros so as to make sure we're casting in the right type.
6) also called HotSpot in some engines
7) we don't have to keep it constant, but usually it's easier for artists and it's even a constraint for some other engines/libraries
tutorials/anim.txt · Last modified: 2016/12/31 02:35 (5 months ago) by sausage