Old documentation:
Bone Definition
Demina requires that the "bones" used for animation are all predefined. This removes any ambiguity about rendering order and the skeletal hierarchy. The definition file is a simple XML document that might look something like this:

<Bones>
  <Bone name="center" texture="../textures/green_circle.png" parent="" />
  <Bone name="arm1" texture="../textures/blue_rectangle.png" parent="center" />
  <Bone name="arm2" texture="../textures/blue_rectangle.png" parent="center" />
  <Bone name="arm3" texture="../textures/green_rectangle.png" parent="arm1" />
  <Bone name="arm4" texture="../textures/green_rectangle.png" parent="arm2" />
  <Texture texture="../textures/blue_circle.png" />
</Bones>

Each bone requires three pieces of information.
1) name - This is the name of the bone.
2) texture - The texture that will be rendered for the bone. Relative paths are recommended.
3) parent - The parent bone in the skeletal hierarchy. Only the root bone can have no parent specified.

Additionally, you can specify other textures to be included, as you can change textures as part of the animation.

Texture Files
In the current version of Demina, you cannot change the pivot point for the bones. They are determined by the center of the input texture.

For example, you might have an image like this:

pivot_example.png

If you wanted to pivot about the red circle toward the bottom left, you would need that circle to be in the center of the image. This can be accomplished by padding the right at bottom of the image with transparent pixels. Then it would look like this: (A dotted line is added to show the center.)

pivot_example_padded.png

After completing the animation, you can pack the textures for multiple animations up into a single texture. This process will eliminate the extra blank space in the textures, and improve rendering speed. (This option is "Pack Animations" in the File menu.)

Using Demina

Documentation is a bit sparse to begin with, but here are some basic features you should be aware of.

Keyboard commands:
F/G - Select next/previous bone.
T/R - Change selected bone to the next/previous texture.
H - Hide the current bone. (Only effects rendering. Transformations are still applied to the bone and its children.)

Mouse commands:
Click - Select a bone. (If multiple bones are on top of one another, click multiple times to cycle through.)
Middle Click + Drag - Translate a bone, and all of its child bones.
Right Click + Drag left or right - Rotate a bone, and all of its child bones.

Menu commands:
File | New Animation - Select a bone definition file and start a new animation
File | Open Animation - Open a previously saved animation
File | Save Animation - Save animation. (Asks for the file to save to the first time you save.)
File | Save As - Save animation. (Always asks for the file to save to.)
File | Pack Animations - Pack the textures for multiple animations into a single texture. This improves loading time, and rendering speed.

Animation | Play - Launches the animation viewer and plays the animation. (Press space to restart the animation in the viewer.)

Bone | Next Bone - Select the next bone in the keyframe.
Bone | Previous Bone - Select the previous bone in the keyframe.
Bone | Next Texture - Change the selected bone to the next texture.
Bone | Previous Texture - Change the selected bone to the previous texture.

Keyframe | Add Keyframe - Converts an empty (interpolated) keyframe to a real existing keyframe.
Keyframe | Delete Keyframe - Permanently delete an existing keyframe.
Keyframe | Copy Keyframe - Copies a keyframe into memory
Keyframe | Paste Keyframe - Pastes a keyframe from memory into an empty slot.
Keyframe | Set Loop Point - Sets the loop point. The animation will reset the frame zero upon reaching the loop point.
Keyframe | Move Root to Origin - Moves the root bone of the animation to the origin. This will move all of the child bones with it.

Next to the Keyframe menu are two drop down lists.
The first selects the magnification level. (This does not effect the final output, it's just to help while creating the animation.)
The second is the frame rate control. The default setting is 25 frames per second, but you can choose from anywhere between 1 and 100 frames per second.

Last edited Dec 9, 2010 at 4:11 PM by jessechounard, version 2

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