Free skeletal software

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Power_Michael

Guest
Great news guys! I have a conversion tool working and ready for you to try!

Presenting... DragonBones to Spine Convertor :D


Download:
http://bit.do/dbspine


Instructions:
Simply load the two DragonBones files for your sprite and hit 'convert', then save each file.

To load a Spine sprite into GameMaker (this is not specific to the converter):
  1. All 3 files (sprite_name.json, sprite_name.atlas, texture_name.png) must be in the same directory.
  2. The .json and .atlas file must have the same name
  3. Go to 'Load Sprite' and choose the .json file (GameMaker will load the others itself)

Current Progress:

Loads Skeleton
Loads Animations - Translation, Rotation and Scale of bones
To do: mesh support (may work already, untested)
Props to you for making this program so quickly...talk about supply and demand. Anyways while I am not only happy that it works, I am actually curious how you made THIS program :D
 

JimmyBG

Member
A notice to everyone regarding this project

I am currently suspending development of the convertor, as there are a few potential licensing issues and I prefer to tread carefully.

Reason being (short version), you can't use spine animations in GameMaker unless your own spine, no matter how you obtain them.

Instead I'm looking at implementing a DragonBones extension to load DB animations directly (not guaranteeing any public releases).

Sorry for the late reply, hopefully that clears up people's questions (and hopes).
 
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Eldritch

Guest
Blender's Cutout Animation tools are another free option for skeletal animation ( COA Tools ). They recently came out with a way to export bones from Blender to Dragonbones, although Dragonbones has some limitations with IK constraints that Blender does not.

I'm not that familiar with GM's 3D options, but perhaps a 2D animation made in Blender could be imported into GM with one of the various 3d model to game maker scripts.
 
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Mylon

Guest
I am currently suspending development of the convertor, as there are a few potential licensing issues and I prefer to tread carefully.

Reason being (short version), you can't use spine animations in GameMaker unless your own spine, no matter how you obtain them.
This is absurd. Why do I need to own Spine if I'm hiring an artist (one that owns spine) to create assets for my project? I don't need to own Visual Studio to operate programs made on it. I don't need to own MS Word to open documents made with it. No other software works this way. YoyoGames has a license to use the Spine libraries and that includes the ability to create derivative works, eg games.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
A notice to everyone regarding this project

I am currently suspending development of the convertor, as there are a few potential licensing issues and I prefer to tread carefully.

Reason being (short version), you can't use spine animations in GameMaker unless your own spine, no matter how you obtain them.

Instead I'm looking at implementing a DragonBones extension to load DB animations directly (not guaranteeing any public releases).

Sorry for the late reply, hopefully that clears up people's questions (and hopes).
A file format cannot (in Europe) be patented or copyrighted.
So in Europe, it should be fine, right?
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
A file format cannot (in Europe) be patented or copyrighted.
So in Europe, it should be fine, right?
The discussion isn't about the file format, it's about the runtime - aka a sub-program that actually renders the sprite.
 

JimmyBG

Member
The discussion isn't about the file format, it's about the runtime - aka a sub-program that actually renders the sprite.
Correct.

GameMaker uses the c++ runtime provided by Spine and thus is bound to the runtime's licensing agreements.
 
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Mylon

Guest
This was bugging me so I contacted Game Maker support over it. According to them, there's no conflict with licensing. To quote:

To use GameMaker: Studio you only need a GameMaker: Studio license....

Our standpoint on Dragonbones is that:
Whilst we have no issues with this, we cannot support it development wise.
If there are any issues with it, you would have to speak to the owner.

It is the same stand point as Virtual Machines, we know they are there and can be used but we will not help you with it.
There's no requirement to own Spine to use skeletal animation files, so dragonbones files formatted appropriately for Game Maker to load are fair game.
 

rIKmAN

Member
There's no requirement to own Spine to use skeletal animation files, so dragonbones files formatted appropriately for Game Maker to load are fair game.
GM is loading them, but it's the Spine runtimes that are doing the magic, and those runtimes require a Spine licence to be used in your game to render the sprites/animations.

What question did you ask support to get that answer?

I'm guessing it wasn't "Can we use converted DragonBones files, imported into GM as Spine sprites, so that we can use all the Spine functionality in GM without paying for a Spine licence?"

If that was the question, I'm very surprised by the answer.
 
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Mylon

Guest
The question was,

Thanks for your reply. I don't think this concerns Spine. The 2d skeletal libraries are part of Game Maker and my understanding is so long as I have a valid license any assets I use (including 2d skeletal ones in json format) are valid.
The community has expressed interest in using Dragonbones to produce 2d skeletal assets for Yoyo games but people don't want to touch it with a 10 foot pole because they think there is a licensing conflict. As explained by community, this perceived conflict would also affect hiring an artist to produce assets. My assumption is that Game maker operates like most software and the license Yoyo games has with Spine includes the rights for Game Maker end users to export projects that utilize spine libraries.
So the question is, do I require any additional software to publish a game that uses these assets or is Game Maker plus the associated release licenses sufficient?
So yes, I specifically brought up Spine. Though the support rep did not discuss the details, Game Maker's license with Spine clearly extends to its end users, much in the same way that my players do not need to purchase a Game Maker license just to play my games, even though html5 games come with the source code of Game Maker's publishing platform. Dragonbones files are allowed, but they cannot provide official support.
 

rIKmAN

Member
Though the support rep did not discuss the details
Well that's a shame, because details are exactly what you need to confirm this one way or the other.
Your question to support seems to have skirted around the issue a little and mentioned "creating assets", which is not the issue here - the issue is you using the Spine runtimes to render your animations and distribute them.

If someone wrote a DragonBones extension that would be fine, if someone wrote an extension that rendered .json files from DragonBones or even Spine itself which didn't use the official runtimes - that would also be fine (although owning Spine and then not using the official runtimes would be an odd choice)

As I said the issue is using the Spine Runtimes (which GM does) to render your animations and distribute your games without a licence to do so.
Game Maker's license with Spine clearly extends to its end users much in the same way that my players do not need to purchase a Game Maker license just to play my games
Of course not, because nowhere in the GM EULA does it state that a GM licence is required for an end user to play a game made with GM, the Spine EULA clearly states that a Spine licence is required to use the "Runtimes".
Dragonbones files are allowed, but they cannot provide official support.
Yes, DragonBone files are .json, they are allowed, and I assume they mean they won't offer any support for DragonBones and/or getting DragonBones files working with GM.

What isn't allowed is using the Spine Runtimes to render the .json files and display your animations in your game, without a Spine licence.

There is a post regarding this on the Spine forums here, where Nate clearly states as much.

I'm a Spine Pro user, so if you would like me to email Nate and get it confirmed one way or the other then let me know - Nate is a good guy and I'm sure would have no problem responding and clearing the issue up.

Might also be worth mentioned some of the YYG staff to maybe chime in, as at the end of the day nobody will know except them and Nate.
It's possible they have some kind of deal where a licence to use the runtimes is included in your GM licence, and although I doubt it I'm happy to be proven wrong.

I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just thinking about it logically - but if you want to risk all the hard work you might put into a game for the sake of saving $69 then that's up to you.

PS. Spine is awesome, I highly recommend it.
 
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Chim

Guest
but if you want to risk all the hard work you might put into a game for the sake of saving $69 then that's up to you.

PS. Spine is awesome, I highly recommend it.
If it's only $69 for the pro version, it's the essential, pro version costs about $299. :(

I don't doubt it that's Spine is awesome, but for some people too much money.
 

rIKmAN

Member
If it's only $69 for the pro version, it's the essential, pro version costs about $299. :(
The essential version does everything you need if you are just creating things for fun, a hobby, to learn or even games without advanced animation features.

Save for a little while by not having that coffee every day, that packet of cigarettes, those beers, those sweets - whatever your vice is, save that money for a month and get Spine - if you need Pro later down the line the cost of Essential is deducted from the total.

If you require Pro features then you are probably past it being a hobby / for fun and the cost would be more of an investment.
I don't doubt it that's Spine is awesome, but for some people too much money.
I agree it's not cheap for Pro, but that doesn't mean you should try and circumvent the licence just so you can use it.

Just found another post by Nate on the Spine forums regarding importing DragonBones files into Spine:
If DragonBones can export in Spine's JSON format then you can import it into Spine or use the Spine Runtimes.
Please note that to use the Spine Runtimes you need to own a Spine license.
 
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Gojisaurus_Rex

Guest
I'd use this... If Norton didn't think that the DragonBones github page was !!!DaNgErOuS!!! :mad: :bash::bash: :bash: :bash::bash: :bash: :bash: :bash: :bash::bash::bash::bash:





If only spine's trial version let you export...
 
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Mylon

Guest
It's a principle issue. @JimmyBG said he doesn't want to continue development of the tool because of licensing. Yoyo Games support specifically said that we only need a Game Maker license to make Game Maker games, including doing so using json sprite files. The issue with the Spine Runtimes only exists if you're trying to use the Spine Runtimes in a standalone (that is, non-Game Maker) project. You can either rely on someone else's license (like the license Yoyo Games has with Spine) or create your own libraries.

I want to ease the fears as Yoyo Games has said it's okay to use json sprite files.
 

rIKmAN

Member
I want to ease the fears as Yoyo Games has said it's okay to use json sprite files.
You're missing the point - it is fine to use json sprite files, that isn't the issue.
The issue is that you can't have those json sprite files rendered and displayed in your game using the Spine Runtimes without a Spine licence, no matter where you or how you created those files.

I could write out a valid json file using Notepad, but if I want to use the Spine Runtimes to read that file, render it within my game and distribute it - I need a Spine licence to do so - it doesn't matter how I created those json files.

One thing we don't know is whether the YoYo licence covers this, but I doubt it as I would hazard a guess that the inclusion of Spine support within GM itself assumes the person using the Spine functionality has bought Spine, and thus has the rights to use the Spine runtimes.

I would guess the whole point of the deal is that YYG gets more users and includes support for a "professional" animation tool, and Spine sells more licences to the GM users - win / win for both sides.
 
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psychoanima

Guest
A notice to everyone regarding this project

I am currently suspending development of the convertor, as there are a few potential licensing issues and I prefer to tread carefully.

Reason being (short version), you can't use spine animations in GameMaker unless your own spine, no matter how you obtain them.

Instead I'm looking at implementing a DragonBones extension to load DB animations directly (not guaranteeing any public releases).

Sorry for the late reply, hopefully that clears up people's questions (and hopes).
I think that you are wrong Jimmy, as ppl mentioned it above, and you should continue to develop your converter.
 
Hi guys, I'm Nate, founder of and the programmer for Spine. Sorry I had not seen this earlier, I can barely find time keep up with just the Spine forums!

rIKmAN is correct: to publish Game Maker games which use the Spine Runtimes, you must have a Spine license. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong, even if they work for GM. When you enable Spine features inside GM, GM prompts you to first accept the Spine Runtimes license. If you don't accept the license, you cannot use Spine features within GM. Assuming you make less than $500,000 USD annually, purchasing Spine Essential ($69) is sufficient for using the Spine Runtimes.

Another way to look at it is that by licensing the Spine editor (used to build your animations), you are also licensing the Spine Runtimes (used to integrate into your application to load and display your animations). If you don't use the Spine editor, you still need a Spine license if you want to integrate the Spine Runtimes into your application, which is what enabling the Spine features in GM does. If you don't want to license Spine, you are of course free to write your own "clean room" runtimes to load and render the data (but be careful not to use code from the Spine Runtimes).

Considerable effort is put into developing and maintaining the Spine Runtimes with the intention that they are used with Spine. It would be quite unfair for a competitor to export to the Spine format simply to take advantage of all our hard work on the Spine Runtimes. While we provide a lot of free, open source software, unfortunately not everything we do can be made available for free. Purchasing a Spine license is what enables us to make Spine and the Spine Runtimes so awesome and to continue improving them.

As far as your IP, similar to Photoshop and other programs, you own what you create with Spine. Your Spine project file and any images, video, JSON data, binary data, or texture atlases you export from Spine are yours to sell, give away, or otherwise do with as you please.

BTW, please note that the Dragon Bones editor is NOT open source software. It is currently free, but the source code is not provided.
 
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rIKmAN

Member
@Esoteric Software Thanks for stopping by and clearing things up, now everybody knows where they stand.

As I said earlier, for people who can't afford a licence right now - save a couple of dollars / pounds / euros each day or two, you'll be surprised how quickly it adds up to be enough for an Essential licence and it's worth every penny.

Also Xmas is coming - maybe add it to your list for Santa! ;)
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
@Esoteric Software Thanks for stopping by and clearing things up, now everybody knows where they stand.

As I said earlier, for people who can't afford a licence right now - save a couple of dollars / pounds / euros each day or two, you'll be surprised how quickly it adds up to be enough for an Essential licence and it's worth every penny.

Also Xmas is coming - maybe add it to your list for Santa! ;)
Well I can't save on cigarettes, or anything cos I don't smoke, and I enjoy my beer. But yes. 70 ish dollars isn't impossible to gather.
Could be more of a problem with the youger devs there though.
 
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psychoanima

Guest
$70 for Spine version that has no IK and Mesh deformation... No thanks. Instead of having Spine pro, I bought MohoStudio, where I can draw, animate and export either as a sprites or swf that works great in Game Maker.

For people who wants free bone animation software that works with GM I am strongly suggesting to check out Optpix SpriteStudio.
 
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Mylon

Guest
I shouldn't have to pay for an animation program when I'm hiring my artist to make animations for me. That would be like buying Photoshop so I could render pretty background images someone else already made.
 

zircher

Member
I've seen Optpix SpriteStudio mentioned a few times. A monthly subscription fee does not sound like my definition of free.
 

Jabbers

Member
$70 for Spine version that has no IK and Mesh deformation... No thanks. Instead of having Spine pro, I bought MohoStudio, where I can draw, animate and export either as a sprites or swf that works great in Game Maker.

For people who wants free bone animation software that works with GM I am strongly suggesting to check out Optpix SpriteStudio.
That might be okay if you just want to make animated sprites, but a skeleton system is different in many crucial ways, such as merging animations and interchanging sprites (which would require many sprite files and waste memory).
 

Misty

Member
Now I have an actual incentive to push my own solution into the marketplace.

View attachment 3589
Not sure if *click* noice?
I don't see a download for AnimaChronic.

I guess systems using the built-in sprite rotation and trigonometry functions is the most viable solution for users that don't want to invest in a Spine license, then? I guess this means I gotta prepare some more shameless plugs to churn out~♫
I will buy this but only if it has the ability to make custom bones, for instance if I want to animate a wrist and tail.
Does this have the ability to add bones or no.

If not, I will make one that does and sell it on the marketplace for 5 bux.
 
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renex

Guest
I don't see a download for AnimaChronic.
I never packed it. None of my assets ever got a single sale and as such I'm not going to make any more assets.

No point making free assets either.
 

JimmyBG

Member
NEWS: Dragonbones now exports to spine format natively! Simply go to export and select the spine format :)
 

Misty

Member
NEWS: Dragonbones now exports to spine format natively! Simply go to export and select the spine format :)
Yes but is such a thing legal. The man said you'd have to pay him 69 dollars to use any spines.

I never packed it. None of my assets ever got a single sale and as such I'm not going to make any more assets.

No point making free assets either.
May I ask how much did you price your items. I am interested in getting a career in the Marketplace and am looking to learn the tips and tools of the trade.
 
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renex

Guest
May I ask how much did you price your items.
99 cents each. I actually have a few strays with horrible listings, one published under the name of my company and about 10 more in planning stages, not sure if it's even worth investing time into though to be honest.

I guess I could just release Achr for free instead, I guess that'd be a nice way to bring attention to my company.
 

Misty

Member
I have decided that I will not be making a 2d skeletal animation system and selling it on the marketplace.

Reason being, is I have discovered it is useless for serious games, serious games have transition animations when the character mirrors left to right. A 2d skeleton system prevents any kind of smooth transition mirroring animations.

3d animation is the way to go.
 

rIKmAN

Member
Reason being, is I have discovered it is useless for serious games
One of the silliest comments I've seen in a while.

Could you explain what you mean by mirroring transition animations?
You know you can flip on the x/y axis via code using Spine, Spriter etc, right?
 

YanBG

Member
Even mirrored, other than side-scrolling, it's of limited use. For 4 or 8 directions you need 3d renders.
 

rIKmAN

Member
Even mirrored, other than side-scrolling, it's of limited use. For 4 or 8 directions you need 3d renders.
I have an 8 directional character made in Spine, using 5 source directions (up, down, left up, left, left down) and using a character controller to manage animations, mirroring, turning, direction, movement etc.

Whether you use 3D renders or hand drawn frames is irrelevant, and 4 directions definitely doesn't 'need' 3D renders, that's ridiculous.
 

YanBG

Member
Rendering the same animation in 5 angles is faster than drawing 5 different base frames and then animating them in spine.
 

rIKmAN

Member
Rendering the same animation in 5 angles is faster than drawing 5 different base frames and then animating them in spine.
It also takes way more RAM to load them into, knowledge and skill of 3D modelling software that is equal to (if not more than) a traditional 2D artist, and is in no way "quicker" to create the assets other than rendering the turnaround sheet at the end.

The 'time' point you make is also highly dependant on the artist and his skill set, unless you are making primitives. Remember there is a lot of work to do on the model (building, refining, texturing, bump mapping, normals etc) before you rotate it 4 times and hit 'render'.

Back to my original point - the blanket statement that "2D skeletal animation is useless for serious games" is completely wrong.
 

Jabbers

Member
I am with rIKmAN on this. The idea that "serious games" don't use skeleton animation systems is a very silly comment. Skeleton animation systems are fairly commonplace, and the appeal of them it that you only have to create a base set of animations, and you can then apply them to any number of character skins, and you can mix animations together dynamically.

The old fasioned draw-every-sprite technique wastes memory, and it takes significantly more time to implement because of how many combinations of animation you have to manually create. If you want to render an actual model in the game, then we are talking about a difference in visual styles, not what makes a "serious game" as though anything else must be wrong.

I suspect the reason why Misty is not making a skeleton animation system is because it would be very complex and a complete waste of time, given Spine is already implemented. Don't try to slag off the projects of everyone who is using a skeleton animation system just because you have decided you can't be bothered with it. Very rude.
 

Misty

Member
One of the silliest comments I've seen in a while.

Could you explain what you mean by mirroring transition animations?
You know you can flip on the x/y axis via code using Spine, Spriter etc, right?
The trans anim of a soldier must be 3d. Since the 2d bones are limited to a 2d plane, you can't make them look 3d.
You can only make it look 3d on a 2d space, but you cannot make the guy turn toward the camera like classic dos games.
 
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mdj.latam

Guest
Dude! That is awesome! I discovered Dragon Bones about a year ago. I didn't really know how to read XML or JSON at that point so I left it alone. But I was going to do the exact same thing but turns out you already did! Great job and thanks!
use spriter! it allows you to upload images as png. similar to Spine but its free version
 
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