Furcadia - The Second Dreaming!!

Animating with KitterSpeak

This page will walk you through creating an animated object.

First you will need to open up the fsh editor in any of the usual ways (probably the easiest being to click the "Patch Editor" on the C tab in the cient).

The patch editor button

Then open the file that you want to edit. Just like with non-animated patches, avoid editing any patches in your "default" folder: these are the files for the client to show will show you in all areas that do not have patches.

Instead, work on a copy, and save it to a folderother than the "default" folder.

  • "Item4.fox" and "Floor2.fox" come with a few example animations, but you should make your animated items in "iteme". So in this tutorial, we'll be working with a copy of the "iteme" file. The easiest way to do this is to use the new "Open copy" feature.

    Opening a new patch

    Once you have your patch file opened in the editor, select the shape number that you want to edit, and add a graphic, either by drawing it, or by importing an image from the file menu.

    So far, so normal-use-of-the-fsh-editor.

    But now, to add another frame of animation to that shape, click the "Animation" menu at the top, and select "Insert Frame". It works very much like inserting a new item.

    Insert frame

    Keep doing that until you have all your animation frames created.

    In this example, we will be making a ball that goes several times around a furre, and then flies under the furre's feet, raising them up, and then repeats.

    Since it's a nice simple shape, we only need two frames - a regular ball, and a squished ball for when it's under the furre's feet.

    If you want to see what your animation looks like so far, you can open the Animation Viewer from the "Animation" menu.

    Here we can see that the ball just goes flat and then round again - not terribly exciting.

    Squishy ball

    So, we need to open the Animation Editor from the Animation menu. We can see there are three "steps" of KitterSpeak: a default delay (the time that each frame will be shown for) and two frames being shown in turn.

    The initial steps

    We want more steps than this, so in the Animation Editor, we click "insert step", and select to insert several copies of the "Show Frame 1" step (frame 1 is the round version of the ball, in our case).

    Animation Editor

    Still, that's not very interesting: the ball still just stays in one place.

    Then we add two steps before each frame to move the ball around: one to set the "X position" (how far across the screen it is) and one to set the "Y" position" (how far down it is).

    Animation Editor

    We also add one to make the first section of the animation (the orbiting) happen three times. For this, we use the "Loop" step type, to loop back to the first step three times.

    Another two steps before each frame move the furre around: one to set the "X position" (how far across the screen it is) and one to set the "Y" position" (how far down it is).

    Then we add two steps to get the "orbiting" effect: "move frame in front of the furre", and "move frame behind the furre".

    Our animation is now almost complete, but there is a final question to ask. When a furre is moved by the ball, do we want the furres to remain in the middle of their own screen, with the "world" moving down, or do we want them to move up, in the traditional manner when sitting on pillows and such?

    Keeping the furre in the center of their own screen allows for extremely smooth "ride" animations, by having ten frames of the furre moving sideways in an animated floor, and DS to move them on to the next floor every second.

    But for this animation, we would rather the furres move up on their own screen, so we add the "Set camera to follow furre" step to the beginning of the animation and set it to 0.

    Finally, we come to save the file. The FSH editor will ask us if we want to save the file as a .fox file, and delete the old .fsh version - and since .fsh files cannot hold animations, yes, we definitely do!

    Using FBJ properties

    The other way to have done this would be to create a separate frame (with the same ball graphic) for each position the ball would be in, and move each frame to the right place in the "shape position" window. To "bounce" the furre up, move the furre to the right place for each frame in the "furre position" window.

    This would mean the animation was much "simpler", since you could avoid all the steps to move the furre and the frame.

    But using the method above, we can reuse frames just by moving them with steps in the animation editor.

    Which one you choose to use is entirely up to you.



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