I am not an artist. I have a 2D Sprite broken up into different body parts that I want to animate. I know how to do it in Unity, but every artist I know would prefer to use Flash. I am trying to figure out if I should do it in Unity, or learn how to do it in Flash.

My understanding is that in Unity, I'd have to animate directly, or Flash would output sprite sheets.

Is there anything Flash offers for animating sprites that Unity does not? Is there a benefit to using sprite sheets over animating directly? Is there an option I should consider over Flash and Unity?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just so you know, Flash is dead. Using flash over Unity at this point in time is completely stupid. That is my opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – jgallant Jun 6 '16 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jon I did not know. Thank you. Is their animation tool dead as well? \$\endgroup\$ – Evorlor Jun 6 '16 at 23:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, you can still animate with Flash, however, browsers no longer support flash, and will block the content due to security issues. You can still learn how to use flash to export animations if you wish. \$\endgroup\$ – jgallant Jun 6 '16 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jon thanks! Based on what you've told me, I'll go with Unity (pending if anyone else has something different to say) \$\endgroup\$ – Evorlor Jun 6 '16 at 23:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah if you can learn how to utilize the Mechanim animation system in unity, you will be making animations in no time. \$\endgroup\$ – jgallant Jun 6 '16 at 23:24

We don't answer questions about which technology to use here, since it comes down largely to personal preference, compatibility with your studio's workflows, and the needs of an individual project.

There is an on-topic question here though about the differences between animating individual body part sprites versus pre-rendering your frames to a spritesheet and playing them back like a flipbook.

Individual body parts (this is often called 2D skeletal animation, particularly if you use hierarchies & constraints to help align the parts)

  • Interpolate frames for smoother animations / control over playback speed
  • Modify animations at runtime (eg. swapping body parts for character customization, blending/layering animations, using inverse kinematics to control things like looking/aiming angle, or adding dynamic animation like physics-driven wiggles)
  • Smaller file size (typically)
  • Author directly in Unity's built-in tools, or use middleware like Spine or Puppet2D

Exporting complete frames

  • Simpler setup in your game engine (typically) - all you have to do is display the right frame
  • Exact results - the frames you export are the frames you see
  • Freedom to vary the content as much as you want from frame to frame - you can even hand-draw each frame uniquely (compare to animating body parts, where you typically re-use a collection of shapes with a limited set of transformations)
  • Author in Flash or other animation program and export an image sequence or spritesheet.

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