Hello everyone! As I promised a couple of weeks ago, it’s time go back to Hexels one last time. Today I’m going to showcase a new feature which is only available for the beta version of Hexels while I’m writing this: 2D animation.
First of all, animation in Hexels is still in beta and there are some bugs, so take care and save the project regularly.
From layers to frames in one click
The title of this section is pretty much a summary of how animation works in Hexels: once animation is enabled all layers are now frames. Using layers as frames is simple and easy, but that means that is not possible to use more than one layer for each frame.
Animation is enabled just by one click, enabling “animation mode” in the layers panel.
When animation mode is enabled, more options become available:
- +: add an empty frame.
- -: remove selected frame.
- FPS: frames per second, or the speed of the animation.
- First frame background; if this option is enabled, the first frame will be the background of every other frame, but it won’t be in the animation loop.
- Last frame foreground: same as the one before, but in this case the content of the last frame is going to be over every frame.
- Play and loop: preview tools to see the animation according the current speed. If loop is enabled, the preview runs the animation continuously.
Setting up a new animation
The animation mode doesn’t allow layers. That’s way after drawing the background I clicked on each layer to merge them down to use only one. Please consider not using less opacity than 100% for any of the layers, because merging all layers into one means to use the same opacity for all of them, changing the way it looks at the end of the process.
Here there are two ways to go after enabling animation mode as seen before: if the animation has a common background for every frame, just enable “first frame as background” and then create a new frame as the first to be the first frame of the animation. If not, the existing frame will be the first of the animation.
Animate frame by frame
Ready? Ok! Now it comes the easiest part to do but the hardest one to succeed. From here all it’s about creating new frames, copying an existing layer or an empty one, and draw the new shape to create an interpolation. In my case I draw some frames for the drive motor, and the copied it several times to fit the number of frames the bad shooting guy needed
It’s easy to export your work from Hexels. Just head to File menu, and select “Export Animation” to reach 3 options:
- Spritesheet: creates a Spritesheet ready for any framework. Just be sure to use png/jpg as extension.
- Gif: creates a gif with all frames. Just check the file extension is gif.
- Folder of images: every frame is exported under a folder.