Neo Soul Gamer

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TL : DR - Effekseer is awesome. I fully support the decision for MZ to use it. But that antiquated animation editor in MV still might be better for some of you. Especially for anyone looking at porting their project. Also, there is a pretty good solution to this issue talked about in this post, found here.

After spending most of the day working with MZ to see if it was worth porting my project from MV to MZ, I've come to realize that the animations are just too annoying to port for such small utility. I gave Effekseer a honest shot.

I'll explain my experience so far.

When it comes to animations... That frame by frame control is crucial. Being able to easily switch a frame, duplicate it, create your own loops of different frames, etc. etc. right in the editor for experimentation purposes is something I never appreciated until now. This is even more apparent since working with action sequences and Irina's projectile plugin, where timing and coordinating sprite movement is extremely important.

You just can't do any of that within MZ now. You make an animation in Effekseer, and save it to a folder. If it doesn't look right, you have to go back to the software to make the necessary modifications unless you only want to change the speed, rotation, scale, or offsets of the entire animation. Mind you, I'm making this sound like it's more difficult than it is. It's not that bad, really. Just a small hurdle when you want a smooth workflow. I'm jst the type of person that needs to avoid as many hurdles as possible.

I think it's worth noting that Effekseer is meant for particle animations (obviously). So we have to understand that the UI is meant to facilitate that. It's unfair of us to expect spritesheet conversion to be easy.

From what I've tried, read about, and watched... You can quickly port a spritesheet into Effekseer as a "texture", change some settings (frame height, width, count, etc.), and loop it based on the order of the spritesheet itself. But you don't have a lot of control there. I'm also not a fan of constantly fidgeting with numerical values to get the desired effect. I missed being able to quickly move a cell, change its layer, tween it, shift it, and immediately start testing it.

The way around that is, you import the individual frame(s) of the spritesheet as a texture and use that texture as a "node" (like a cell in RM). Then you work with that node (and however many others you have) to create movement/scaling/easing, etc. etc. You can get some pretty awesome animations going this route. But by this point, you wonder if you've jumped through too many hoops to replicate an effect you could have made in seconds with MV.

All this to say... Effekseer is an amazing piece of software. ESPECIALLY considering it's free. But for some of us, there may be a huge sacrifice here.

Let me also say that I'm a beginner with Effekseer, and it's likely possible that I could be wrong about everything I just said because I was completely oblivious to a feature that would've made all of this easier. Maybe this could be remedied with a plugin that comes out in the future. That being said, I think it's still worth talking about my experience in case other devs are going through something similar.
 
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kaukusaki

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I absolutely loathe it. I'm an old school spriter so hammering out animations by hand isn't a problem for me. Thinking on the 3d plane have always bugged me and having no depth perception drives me nuts. I'm still trying to understand the particle program and I feel like a brick. :vxmegane:Folks say it's easy. I'm not seeing the ease of use. Hopefully there will be a spriter pro plugin for animations...
 
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Cyberhawk

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(I'm calling it Elfkisser because It's like p early for me rn.) It's a great particle effect program. I like how the end result look but just getting there feels more tedious to me. I at the least have a buddy who likes using it. And there are some really decent sample animations too. But yeah. It's harder to control exactly what goes on in an animation in MZ. I don't find Elfkisser easy to learn. But the default animations look real pretty and smooth.
 

Seacliff

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I agree. Effekseer is a great tool and having it compatible with MZ is awesome. However, it does step on the simplicity and accessibility RPG Maker prides itself with.

I took two years of 3D animation and still had to stumble around the with tool a bit to get something remotely to what I was aiming for. But I hope a surge of community-made tutorials can help explain some things the official tutorials do not.
 

Kupotepo

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I am still confused of how to use Effekseer. The website has tutorials for the particles effects. Yeah, it is learning time again.
 

Neo Soul Gamer

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So... Update.

Copying both the data/Animation.json, and the img/animations folder over to a MZ project allows for your MV animations to be played. Complete with sound effects and flashes. You can't preview any of the animations, but you at least have the choice of using MV or Effekseer to make your animations. Which is really all I wanted in the first place.

I kinda worry that we weren't supposed to figure this out. It may be called an "error" and patched in an update. Or maybe it's just fine, and it wasn't talked about because the editor itself isn't designed to preview the old style of animations. They probably didn't want to give us the impression that there was support for this feature. Which is fair.

I'm also not sure whether or not this will cause problems with your project down the line. So use this method at your own risk.

Anyway, there is it. This is a pretty huge deal to me. It helps overcome pretty much all objections I had with MZ. I'm still going to wait before I decide to port.

Also. There's a MZ plugin made by Triacontane, and it comes packaged with MZ at launch. To get it (assuming you're using Steam), navigate to:

RPG Maker MZ > dlc > BasicResources > plugins > launch

There, you'll find a plugin called "AnimationMV". It allows you to create a list of assets in your img/animations folder that is kept from being excluded during the export process. Pretty convenient!

All the best gamedevs! Hope this helps!
 

Obipandawan

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it would not be so bad if Effekseer stuff actually worked, because aside from the particle DLC Effekseer files, anything i have actually made in it will not work in MZ. To make sure it was not me messing up some how i went to Effekseer website where they have free samples and tried to port one in and still nothing. wish they had did some better QC on this feature before relaseing it i would have gladly waited an extra week or two for this new editor for them to take the time to make sure it worked right.
 

Trihan

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it would not be so bad if Effekseer stuff actually worked, because aside from the particle DLC Effekseer files, anything i have actually made in it will not work in MZ. To make sure it was not me messing up some how i went to Effekseer website where they have free samples and tried to port one in and still nothing. wish they had did some better QC on this feature before relaseing it i would have gladly waited an extra week or two for this new editor for them to take the time to make sure it worked right.

Did you copy the texture files into your project *and* edit the texture setting in Effekseer to point to the file in your project folder? I didn't catch that I had to do this when I was playing with it.
 

Obipandawan

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Did you copy the texture files into your project *and* edit the texture setting in Effekseer to point to the file in your project folder? I didn't catch that I had to do this when I was playing with it.

i have it set to pull from /texture/image.png am i going to need to do the full /my doc/rmmz/game/effects/texture/image.png?
 

Touchfuzzy

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Did you copy the texture files into your project *and* edit the texture setting in Effekseer to point to the file in your project folder? I didn't catch that I had to do this when I was playing with it.

^this.
 

Trihan

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i have it set to pull from /texture/image.png

But is it the texture folder where you have Effekseer installed or the texture folder in your project? In the actual .efkefc I mean.
 

Obipandawan

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But is it the texture folder where you have Effekseer installed or the texture folder in your project? In the actual .efkefc I mean.

RMMZ folder, my project folder for RMMZ is on my desktop i don't keep it in my documents. is this a issue why? do i need to put it back in my documents and run it /mydoc/rmmz/game/effects?
 

Trihan

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As long as all textures are being loaded from the texture folder inside your rmmz/game directory it should be fine. And obviously the .efkefc needs to be in the effects folder. They both need to be done for the animation to work properly in the editor; if the textures are still being loaded from the Effekseer install directory, your game won't be able to find the files.
 

Obipandawan

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As long as all textures are being loaded from the texture folder inside your rmmz/game directory it should be fine. And obviously the .efkefc needs to be in the effects folder. They both need to be done for the animation to work properly in the editor; if the textures are still being loaded from the Effekseer install directory, your game won't be able to find the files.

i didn't think it be a issue since MZ still pulls files from there without issues, i just do not understand why they are not working. The DLC ones i got from steam worked perfectly when i plugged them in.
 

Trihan

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The free samples provided by Effekseer load their textures from the Effekseer texture folder, so they need to be redirected before MZ will pick them up.
 

Obipandawan

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The free samples provided by Effekseer load their textures from the Effekseer texture folder, so they need to be redirected before MZ will pick them up.

yeah i had to do that, a lot of the shapes in the sample packs match the names of those in MZ already i had to change a lot of the names and re route them. Found out the hard way how it would mess up all the other stuff when they got overwrite :p
 

Trihan

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I think what makes it different is whether you're starting from an .efkproj or an .efkefc. If you just save an .efkproj directly to MZ, you need to make sure the texture path points to the same folder first. If you save your .efkproj as an .efkefc in the Effekseer folder then copy/paste it, it'll retain the relative pathing for the texture.
 

Kupotepo

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@Trihan, I see the Database ConVerter MV to MZ. I think it help convert MV animation to MZ, correct? Scary to use but I think that is for.
 

The Stranger

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@Neo Soul Gamer Been trying to figure out Effekseer for hours now, but I just can't wrap my head around any of it. Even the tutorials are complex and overwhelming. lol. So, I'm glad we can use MV to create animations. :)
 

Neo Soul Gamer

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@The Stranger
Yeah. I think it's fair to say some of the hype of MZ came from being able to port projects. I've been playing with Effekseer more, and it's a lot better than I thought. But recreating all the animations just doesn't seem feasible given the lack of free time to finish my game. I'm sure there are others in the same boat. So it's just nice to know we're not at a complete loss.

@Kupotepo
That's a tool to export and import databases. Not necessarily a "converter". You don't even need a converter. Just open the Help file in MZ, and search "Conversion". It'll tell you step by step how to convert your project. It also cautions against converting the animations. Probably because the editor doesn't support them. But they'll still play in-game. And you can still choose different animations based on your list.
 

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