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What good free and widely used tools are there for editing 2D skeletal animations? Preferably, one that allows me to write custom animation exporters.

One pretty good indie tool that I know of Demina, but it's not ideal. It doesn't allow you to export the data as you want (although, it is open source, so you can change that) and I find it clunky in how you edit individual joints.

What other tools would you recommend?

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closed as not constructive by Josh Petrie, Byte56, Nicol Bolas, Sean Middleditch, Anko Jun 13 '13 at 9:27

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Spine from EsotericSoftware looks pretty good: – mcintyre321 Jun 12 '13 at 12:36
Blender is supposed to be very good at this as well. I'm in the process of researching this option for my own games. – user31796 Jun 12 '13 at 14:21
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Personally I would just use a 3D tool and ignore one of the dimensions. Something like Maya is likely going to be a lot more robust than some custom tool just to do 2D animations.

There are a handful of games that I've worked on and that I know about that have used this approach. As an example, here's an article that talks about Zombieville USA (iOS game) and how they do it. Scroll down to the first picture to see what they're doing.

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+1 That's some pretty cool info, thanks for the link. – David Gouveia Jan 6 '12 at 19:35

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