Do we need to make ANIMATIONS great again?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 100.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15

Milennin

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INTRODUCTION
I was first going to post this in the existing Effekseer thread, but I then I found I had more to say about the overhaul of the Animations menu than ranting about Effekseer, so I'm making a thread for this instead.

This thread is addressing the issue I have with the Animations menu in RPG Maker MZ. We all know they dumped the old system to be replaced with Effekseer, which is nice if you're into using particles for your animations, but anybody wanting a more traditional pixel art look to their animations and not be limited by using a single sheet is losing with this change. And no, being able to import from MV is not a viable excuse for it going away, and it's also not the point of this thread.

SUGGESTION
First, we need the original Animations style menu back. It'll be fine to keep Effekseer compatibility and have it accessible from a separate menu, but we need a place for using sprite sheets (yes, we do).

We need a bigger window. There is no reason the menu window takes up barely 50% of my screen, and I'm on a 1080P monitor. Make the entire animation menu a pop-up that is not afraid to use up more screen space. For the animation preview window, we need to be able to switch to a full battle background to see how the animation looks on the actual game screen. When selecting the position to target the screen, the preview window should zoom out so we get the entire game screen to work with, rather than the animation simply upscaling to match the full screen.

We need layers, and we need them badly. 8 layers, meaning we still work within the confines of the original RPG Maker restrictions (imagine still being limited to 8 pictures at a time in 2021), but all frames are active during the entirety of an animation, meaning we can stick a series of images on a single layer and not have them shift around like the cell numbering from MV does when the number of cells per frame changes (which can make it very difficult to keep track of individual animations within the main animation).
During editing, we can hide layers, or make them semi-transparent so we can see the layers underneath them. By selecting a lower layer, we can actually grab cells on that layer, even if upper layers have cells that overlap with it.
Having stuff stick to layers will make the editing in bulk function way better too.

We need an option for cells to snap to the previous frame's location. Dragging the frame by mouse allows for very precise placement, but it's virtually impossible to stick to that exact same location for every following frame because the window is so tiny and you'd have to move stuff pixel perfect to get it right. Moving cells with the arrow keys is good to get it to snap to every 16 pixels, but not when you want it to snap to a custom location that isn't part of the 16 pixel grid. This is why we need an option in place that we can click on for when we want cells in follow-up frames to snap to the location used on the previous frame.
Additionally, it would be nice if we could customise the size of the grid that the arrow key placement follows. Like, making it a 4x4 grid would help a lot with animations that do require more precise placement without needing to go full pixel perfect.

For options, we need so much more than what's currently available to us. First, (and yes, I'll repeat this point however many times I need to until they do bring it back) we need a shake target and shake screen function again. There is no reason why this feature was taken, and it has been sorely missing ever since. How are you making your attacks make an impact without a good shake? You don't. That's why we need this back.

We need an option to display animations at 60 FPS, 30 FPS or 20 FPS. The default should be set at 60 FPS, meaning each frame in the editor is 1 frame on the screen. Selecting 30 FPS will slow down the animation playback by half, and 20 FPS by 3 times.

We need an option to move the target sprite's location around (including options to mirror the target sprite, and to turn its angle). The target sprite animation would go on a layer, separated from the sprite sheet animations. This would allow us to make animations that push the target backwards, for example. Or to have the target do a 360 roll during the animation. After the animation finishes playing, the target sprite would naturally be placed back to its original location.

We need to able to create animation templates. Templates would consist of single sprite sheet, single layer animations that we can then paste onto a layer in a main animation. For example, there's a slash or an explosion you have that you re-use in a bunch of different animations, then being able to paste in a template for these would save a lot of time.

I'm sure we could think of more things that we need, and I'll gladly listen to feedback and potentially add more suggestion later on.

FAQ

Dude, what do you have against Effekseer?

It doesn't fit the pixel art aesthetic of RPG Maker, and importing sprite sheets does not offer nearly enough functionality to even the current MV Animations menu when you want to do anything more than a single cell, single sprite sheet animation.
Additionally, Effekseer is also more complex to use, requiring an extra step to start working on animations, meaning less people are making custom animations for their games. It doesn't affect me just as developer, but also as someone who plays RPG Maker games.

But you can just import from MV!
I'm very well aware of that, and it's the only saving grace for now, but we don't know what the future will hold. What if the next RPG Maker version can do Effekseer only? What then? Being able to import from MV is also not a viable solution for people who do not own MV, so there's that too. You also cannot edit or preview the imported animations once they're brought over to MZ. It's just extra work and inconveniences that shouldn't be there.

But layers means you can go over the 2 sprite sheet limitation! You are hacking the system!
Well, it's 2021. It's about time we can use more than 2 sprite sheets for an animation, no? The engine can already display multiple animations at once just fine, I don't see how this would be an issue at all. Plus, it's merely an optional function. If you find it tanks your performance, you can choose to not use it.

Why do you always suggest a shake target and shake screen function for battle animations, anytime RPG Maker suggestions are brought up?
Because they should never have been removed in the first place. I want them back, because they are good to have, and there is no reason why they shouldn't be there.

Bro, you are an engine too late with suggesting stuff to improve the Animations menu!
Lol, had I known they were going to implement something worse than what we've had before, I would've done it sooner...
 
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Archeia

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This is not going to change. Sadly.
 
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Aslanemperor

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This is not going to change. Sadly.
But that's the problem. It's already changed. There was a perfectly good system that no one was complaining about and it was removed in spite of being essential to make a quality game. It makes no sense to require that people purchase another version of the same product or download sketchy third party software in order to do something that every previous version of the software could do. When you make new products, you're supposed to ADD functionality, not remove it.
 

Trihan

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But that's the problem. It's already changed. There was a perfectly good system that no one was complaining about and it was removed in spite of being essential to make a quality game. It makes no sense to require that people purchase another version of the same product or download sketchy third party software in order to do something that every previous version of the software could do. When you make new products, you're supposed to ADD functionality, not remove it.
Just to address your suspicions that there was some kind of ulterior motive to the change, it wasn't originally planned and was made because of a request.
 

Aslanemperor

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Just to address your suspicions that there was some kind of ulterior motive to the change, it wasn't originally planned and was made because of a request.
I call BS. Nobody suggested "You know that animation editor? You should get rid of that." You can claim there is no ulterior motive, but the official suggestion posted by the Mod just now was, to paraphrase their quote "buy the previous version if you want to make animations."
Please explain how that can be interpreted any other way.
 

Trihan

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I call BS. Nobody suggested "You know that animation editor? You should get rid of that." You can claim there is no ulterior motive, but the official suggestion posted by the Mod just now was, to paraphrase their quote "buy the previous version if you want to make animations."
Please explain how that can be interpreted any other way.
Actually someone did literally suggest that (well, they requested the Effekseer support; they probably didn't want the original editor gone entirely but c'est la vie). :p Believe me or not, but it's true.

That's also a pretty disingenuous way of interpreting that post. Archeia said nothing of the sort. I'm not going to pretend making animations with Effekseer is something you can pick up immediately, but people are making some really awesome-looking animations with it (and it supports spritesheet-based animation as well if you don't want particles).

I understand not wanting to move to the new way of doing it. I completely get you wanting to stick with VX Ace. And I'd be over the moon if they reinstated the original animation editor for those who don't want to use Effekseer. But to say you "can't make animations" is simply untrue.
 

Aslanemperor

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Actually someone did literally suggest that (well, they requested the Effekseer support; they probably didn't want the original editor gone entirely but c'est la vie). :p Believe me or not, but it's true.
That is so not anywhere near the same thing. Suggesting "can you make the program more compatible with this third party program" is not "can you remove the super easy to use animation editor and force us to either buy a new product or download third party software in order to make a functional game?"
 

Trihan

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That is so not anywhere near the same thing. Suggesting "can you make the program more compatible with this third party program" is not "can you remove the super easy to use animation editor and force us to either buy a new product or download third party software in order to make a functional game?"
I have no idea why Ojima-san chose to do things that way, but there must have been a reason behind it. I've invariably found that any time I ask "why was this done? You could have done X, Y and Z instead." the answer given has been that they wanted it in but ran into some kind of issue that made it more hassle to have than not. I'm not saying MZ doesn't have issues, but in my estimation it's the best version of the software available right now. Not everyone agrees, and they use whichever one is best for them. There's room for all of us here.
 

Aslanemperor

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There are certain improvements I like. I like the idea of the sideview battle being made standard, for instance (I remember when you had to get scripts and special plugins to make it work, and it was still glitchy), but having improvements doesn't negate the negatives. Personally the animation issue isn't the only one I have issue with, just the one that bugs me the most (most of the other things can probably boil down to not being used to the new layout), and it happens to be one that is a deal breaker for me.
 

Trihan

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Well I'm sorry to hear that, but if you don't like it you don't like it.

I do urge you to at least personally try Effekseer for yourself before you write it off though. If you're concerned about it installing something other than itself and nothing more, take a look at the source code or install it on non-permanent storage first, but it would be a shame to dismiss it out of hand if it's something that turns out to be usable for you.
 

Aslanemperor

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Actually someone did literally suggest that (well, they requested the Effekseer support; they probably didn't want the original editor gone entirely but c'est la vie). :p Believe me or not, but it's true.

That's also a pretty disingenuous way of interpreting that post. Archeia said nothing of the sort. I'm not going to pretend making animations with Effekseer is something you can pick up immediately, but people are making some really awesome-looking animations with it (and it supports spritesheet-based animation as well if you don't want particles).

I understand not wanting to move to the new way of doing it. I completely get you wanting to stick with VX Ace. And I'd be over the moon if they reinstated the original animation editor for those who don't want to use Effekseer. But to say you "can't make animations" is simply untrue.
Dude... You seem to be misunderstanding the meaning of "literally." You LITERALLY can't make animations in this program. That is not "simply untrue" it's patently and objectively true. They removed the ability to make animations in the program, requiring you to download a whole new program in order to do what the product they're selling should be able to do. The person didn't "literally" suggest that they remove the editor. They suggested more functionality with the editor already in place.
And I'm not misinterpreting what Archeia said, I'm paraphrasing her suggestion: which was to quote a post about how to port animations from MV to MZ. How else am I supposed to interpret that than: "The official suggestion to dealing with your issue is to buy the previous version of the product"?
 

Trihan

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I was addressing the fact that saying "buy the previous version if you want to make animations." is disingenuous. You didn't say "if you want to make animations *in this editor*" so I misunderstood what you meant. On that basis I was pointing out that you also have the option of downloading and using Effekseer to make animations if you'd rather not just use a previous version. It might not be the option you want, but it exists. But that's irrelevant because you didn't mean what I thought you did, so disregard that point.
 

ATT_Turan

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We need an option for cells to snap to the previous frame's location. Dragging the frame by mouse allows for very precise placement, but it's virtually impossible to stick to that exact same location for every following frame because the window is so tiny and you'd have to move stuff pixel perfect to get it right.
I agree that it should default to the placement of the previous cell, but in MV you could simply right-click the cell and manually define the X and Y position. Is that no longer present in MZ?
 

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I agree that it should default to the placement of the previous cell, but in MV you could simply right-click the cell and manually define the X and Y position. Is that no longer present in MZ?
There's an offset X and offset Y setting if you need to display the particle effect in a different location on the enemy.
 

Archeia

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But that's the problem. It's already changed. There was a perfectly good system that no one was complaining about and it was removed in spite of being essential to make a quality game. It makes no sense to require that people purchase another version of the same product or download sketchy third party software in order to do something that every previous version of the software could do. When you make new products, you're supposed to ADD functionality, not remove it.
Effekseer is a free alternative with a lot of clout. It can do frame by frame animation. It's supposed to solve the issue of RM animations being
  1. Too restrictive
  2. Allow particle effects.
  3. Fix the issue where the default system was heavy on the loading AND performance (anyone who used MV knows what it is) as well.
IF you really want the old system back, this is the solution GGG decided hence why I linked the guide just in case (To be honest the implementation took me by surprise too).
 
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Alexandr_7

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Effekseer is a free alternative with a lot of clout. It can do frame by frame animation. It's supposed to solve the issue of RM animations being
  1. Too restrictive
  2. Allow particle effects.
  3. Fix the issue where the default system was heavy on the loading AND performance (anyone who used MV knows what it is) as well.
IF you really want the old system back, this is the solution GGG decided hence why I linked the guide just in case (To be honest the implementation took me by surprise too).
@Archeia,
Ask to return the old system as an add-on to the editor. You are not prompted to remove Effekseer. I personally vote for 2 systems in the editor. Old and related to Effekseer. You still have support for old animations. Or delete old animations at the root, since without an editor, this is garbage in the kernel. But nobody will thank you for that. Personally, I don't want to learn Effekseer for the sake of creating animations, especially since it forces you to download Effekseer separately. Old animations do have limitations though. Apparently some people don't care about these restrictions.
 

Archeia

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@Archeia,
Ask to return the old system as an add-on to the editor. You are not prompted to remove Effekseer. I personally vote for 2 systems in the editor. Old and related to Effekseer. You still have support for old animations. Or delete old animations at the root, since without an editor, this is garbage in the kernel. But nobody will thank you for that. Personally, I don't want to learn Effekseer for the sake of creating animations, especially since it forces you to download Effekseer separately. Old animations do have limitations though. Apparently some people don't care about these restrictions.

Interesting for you to assume we didn't already suggested that since beta.
 

Alexandr_7

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Interesting for you to assume we didn't already suggested that since beta.
Already proposed and even made a concept:
Of course, in order not to change the structure of the animations too much. Or rather, use the same Animations.json, you need to revise the concept and the choice of which animation will be used to choose for each animation separately.
 

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