MMF2's picture editor is very limited compared to almost any dedicated graphics app.
However, if you use another app (such as Photoshop), you are left with the problem of how to load your graphics into MMF2 when you're done - which can be an extremely tedious task if you have many frames of animation.
Fortunately, MMF2 includes a neat feature which allows you load many frames of animation from a single spritesheet image, provided it is properly formatted.
There are only two file types you should EVER use when working with game sprites or other pixel art:
* Portable Network Graphics (.png)
The best format to use if you need to share your files with other users, and when importing your graphics into MMF2.
It is superior to .gif because it allows 24-bit color and alpha channel transparency.
* Your Application's Native Format (.psd, .pspimage, etc)
The best format to use when saving unfinished work, but not supported by MMF2 and other apps.
It's usually the only format that allows you to preserve layers, selections, undo information, etc while saving.
Methods for Importing Animation
There are a few options for doing this:
* You can create an animation file (.gif, .avi, etc) and import the individual frames from that.
* You can save each frame of animation as a different, numbered file, and have MMF2 import them automatically in sequence.
* You can create a single spritesheet image, and have MMF2 automatically extract the individual frames from it.
I'm going to focus on the last option, as I believe it is the easiest and most convenient.
Importing a Spritesheet
In order for this to work, you must follow a few rules:
* Each frame of animation must be enclosed in a box 1 pixel thick, and each box must be separated from the next by at least 1 pixel. You may use several rows if you wish - MMF2 will load frames in order from left to right, and top to bottom.
* You can (optionally) set the position of the hotspot on each frame using a single pixel of a different color, on the top and left edges of its box.
* You can (optionally) set the position of the action point on each frame using a single pixel of a different color, on the bottom and right edges of its box.
Now, to import the animation, click the "Import" button in MMF2's animation editor, and load your image file (should be a .png file).
Tick both the "box mode" and "import as animation" boxes, and pick the appropriate transparent color.
Finally, just click "OK", and MMF2 will do the rest
I've never really used the spritesheet method. But it might be good in future, especially for pixel art. I typically find making a series of numbered PNGs and selecting and dragging them into MMF works the best for me.
Thanks, this is a very good information. I never knew this feature even exists ^^
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I can see a problem with your suggestion to use png over gif as sprite file types. If you don't need alpha channels in every sprite (and most projects I see don't), using png will bloat your project out of proportions in no time compared to gif. When I make a gif and a png with the same sprite, the gif is only 215 bytes while the png is 2,9kb, which is over 10times the size. Sprite intense projects can eat up lots of HD space in no time that way and you start to wonder why it takes so long to save and load. Comment edited by Blue66 on 2/3/2012
If that's the case with your graphics app, then yes, it would make more sense for you to use .gif.
I use PaintshopPro9, which allows you to optimize the .png settings, so a palette-based .png is typically much smaller than a .gif with the same number of colors.
Blue66, GIF only supports 256 colours, which limits you in that manner. If you save your png without transparency, it won't be as large a file. Regardless of what you choose, MMF converts into its own format when you import anyway, so it won't affect your filesize.
i never import unless its a png with alhpa.
else i use select ctrl+c to copy the frame and ctrl+v in photoshop to paste it direcly in photoshop. and other way around. if you use layers in photoshop select and press ctrl+shift+c to copy all layers and just ctrl+v in mmf2 to get it in there =