Blender: 3D Animations to sprite sheet

Version: 1.0

Last Date Updated: 16/09/2013

THIS ADDON IS ONLY TESTED ON WINDOWS

INTRODUCTION

This addon allow you to render a set of 3D animations defined in the dope sheet, and put each 2d frames on a sprite sheet.

INSTALLATION

Activate the addons:

    • download render_spritesheet
    • unzip the archive
    • copy paste the folder ‘render_spritesheet’ to the addons folder of Blender
    • open Blender and go to the user preferences (File > User Preferences…)
    • in the filter type ‘render sprite sheet’ to find the addon and enable it

Dependencies:

Python 3 lacks of an image manipulation library, so we have to use an external python lib.

    • download and install Pillow: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/Pillow/2.1.0, there are installers at the end of the page if you use windows. Choose a 32 or 64 bits installer depending if you use blender 32 or 64bits, take the last py version available.
    • If the installers say to you that you cannot install pillow because it doesn’t find python 3, then you have to install the last version of python first (python), and then run the installers.
    • find the installed package named ‘PIL’ and copy paste it to the Blender lib folder (…/Blender/2.68/python/lib). If you use an installer ‘PIL’ package will be at the location C:/python3/Lib/site-packages.
    • You can then immediatly uninstall python 3 if you don’t want to keep it.

HOW TO USE

Model and animations:

    • create a model and attach an armature to it.
    • select the armature and create animations using the dope sheet in action mode if you don’t know how to do that you can google it for help: ‘blender multiple animation dope sheet’

help_01

Setup the camera:

This is how I setup the camera but maybe there are propers ways to do that.

    • open the render menu, and choose the render resolution for the 3d animations you can change it later, the important is to choose a proportion between the width and the height of the resolution. If you change this proportion later, you’ll probably have to redo the following operation.
    • select the camera
    • the camera has to look at your animated model, you can press ‘numpad 0’ to be in the view of the camera, choose a translation and a rotation depending of the view of your 2d game (sideview, top down view…)
    • in the camera menu, choose an orthographic lens and set the orthographic scale, the camera render rectangle has to contains all the animations of your model.

help_02

Sprite sheet settings:

The sprite sheet settings are accessible in the render menu.

    • column count: The maximum number of columns in the sprite sheet.
    • frame width/height: The final size of a frame in the sprite sheet. If the render resolution and the final frame size are different, the images will be scaled. If you use some effects (Edge for example), it give better result if the resolution is higher than the final frame size.
    • animations list: In this list, you have to choose the animations of the final sprite sheet (order is important). The name of the animation correspond to the action names defined in the dope sheet. If you choose a non existing name, an error message will pop out.
    • start/end frame: The first and last frame of the current animation
    • frame count: The 2d frames count for the current animation in the sprite sheet.
    • create sprite sheet: Use this button to launch the sprite sheet process. You have to select the good armature before launching the process.

help_03

Output:

    • go in the output panel of the render menu.
    • you can choose whatever you want like if you are rendering a basic image (image format, color mode…)
    • the sprite sheet will be saved at the path choosen in output.

help_04

LINK

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