Firstly, we will take a look at animation timeline to explain you all the sections in this area.
At the top is the Main Toolbar, where the user can manipulate key frames with the following buttons: Go to first frame, Go to last frame, Go to previous frame, Go to next frame. Also, there are the buttons that helps you to play your animation: Play and Loop.
In the right side are Key, Cut, Paste, Delete buttons that helps you to set and edit key frames.
All your character’s bones, images and the animation timeline are downside. Key frames are indicated by blue dots and helps you to define different movements, positions of your character in time.
How animating can be fast and easy
Next, we will try to animate our character. To easily animate anything with Marionette Studio you must have a fully rigged character. We will open our saved rigged figure with the Open button and we will load it in the canvas.
After loaded the scene, you will see the character in canvas and all used images and bones in Scene Explorer. Before starting the animation you can customize the working area (close animation timeline, element properties or Scene explorer) for a better view or you can resize your character to see more clearly the body parts.
When you animate any character or object with Marionette Studio you have to pay attention at all body parts and to anticipate how the other parts will transform when the character makes a movement or a transition.
Firstly we will change the character position on canvas to set the start point of our animation and the first keyframe. I use Translate tool to move the character on the left side of the canvas and then I set the first key frame at 0. With this key frame I defined the start value of my animation.
If you want to see only the character’s skeleton (for a better manipulation of the bones), quickly hide Sprites in Scene Explorer tree.
To make our character to fight with sword we have to move, rotate not only the sword, but also the body parts affected by the sword transformation. I will set the next key frame at 9 and I will manipulate my character into a fight position. I use Rotate tool to move the right hand with the sword above, the torso and the head on the back and the left hand with the shield further forward. To save all these changes that I made I set the key frame.
Next, I will make some adjustments at the right hand. I will set a new key frame at 14 and I will rotate the right hand into a new position: more closer to the body. And don’t forget to set the new key frame to save all the modifications.
To see how your animation looks like so far, you can hide the Armature and activate the Play button.
You can always return to a keyframe to customize any bone, by selecting the key frame, transform (rotate, translate, scale) the desired bones and save changes by overwriting the key frame.
At the end, don’t forget to save your project. Select Save button from top menu and give a name to your work.