Spine 2D Skeletal animation application recently added two new great features. Path animation and a Path Constraint rounds out Spine’s ability to focus on animation. Any animation application needs to have a robust set of constraints, and Spine really delivers on that.
What is Spine?
If you are not familiar, Spine is a single-purpose application for animation. Its core is 2D animation for games, using true bones/joints, inverse kinematics, forward kinematics and constraints, giving pro’s the tools they need to animate. Watch Søren Nielsen who shows off the new Path tools and how a you can use Path Constraint in a project.
In the first example, tank treads are animating with Path Animation and a Path Constraint. The treads react to the topology of the ground by point level animation. Another post shows a variation that is animating by physics rather than manual keying, thereby simplifying things.
Pretty impressive, especially if you are accustom to animating in an application like After Effects, which has zero constraints. Something like this would leave you high and dry for quick solutions.
I first turned on to Spine, with a suggestion by Casey Hupke (@darthcasey). I had been looking around for character animation alternatives to After Effects. A quick download of the Spine trial, proved to be impressive within using it for the first five minutes. Very clean, animation centric, and a fluid user experience if you have had experience with animation. Be sure to download of the Spine trial if you are curious.
By the way if you are curious about the cost for Spine, it comes in a low-cost “Essentials” which includes all basic features for $69. Spine also is available in a “Professional” version for $299. That gives you all future updates, without any additional charge. Check out Spine’s impressive list of features.