I'm trying to figure out the pattern the game developers use together with game designers:

See the picture below with the independent parts:

enter image description here


1) Should I create different image parts from different body parts or keep frame by frame animaton? (I know both can be used, but I'm trying to figure what is commonly used in the industry)

2) If I'm going to generate different image parts from different body parts (which is I thing is more logical) how would I export that to Cocos2d (Vector or Bitmap)?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your first question doesn't make much sense. That isn't an "or" situation - if you're drawing 2D sprites, all your animation is frame by frame. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 18, 2012 at 1:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, the images frame by frame as a whole, not independent parts... (head, chest, arms) \$\endgroup\$
    – RollRoll
    Nov 18, 2012 at 3:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is going to be difficult to coordinate all the animations but basically i think that you should use one big CCSprite as the body and add each part as child of that body (all the parts could be CCSprites with their animations and properties). At least i how i resolve that...the you can color/change each part separately \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2012 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check out Bootdisk Revolution. The blog goes over what you were asking. Animating Wryn Hope it helps! \$\endgroup\$
    – Manuel
    Dec 14, 2012 at 5:06

2 Answers 2

  1. Different people will have different answers for you. The game programmer & artist should collaborate, to determine the best process of using sprites. OR you can design your sprites using Layers, for each body part. That way you will have an original file to refer back to, when you need to make modifications. Working with Layers allows you to save each individual body part in a separate file.

  2. Again, different people will have different answers for you. I've read several articles/blogs on the topic of Vector vs Bitmap. Best approach I have read, is designing the original in Vector. This is done because you can re-scale the image w/ no distortion, compared with trying to re-scale an image in Bitmap. Final touches are made and saved as Bitmap.

Remember OPINIONS are just that. You will have to determine the best process for YOUR game design. When you read articles/blogs remember to look at the author's background. Look for opinions from authors that are employed or previously employed by a company that makes games.


Using a plain ole sprite sheet and animating frame-by-frame works just fine. The same goes for doing skeletal animation. It's really going to come down to your specific needs, for instance:

  1. Are there any particular technical contraints that make one option more attractive than the other? Frame-by-frame animations will tend to use more memory than skeletal ones. Skeletal animations will require more complex code to implement.
  2. Are there any design constraints that make one option more attractive than the other? Do you want your character to bounce around like a rag doll when he dies? Do you need to be able to change the animation at runtime? These things will be easier to do with skeletal animation.
  3. What tools does your artist prefer?
  4. What workflow does your programmer like?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself and your team. You can probably come up with plenty more.

Whatever you do you definitely want to be exporting bitmaps for use in your game.

If you're interested in skeletal animation you should check out Spriter. Looks like there is at least one Cocos2d implementation of the Spriter format on Github.


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