First experience with Spriter

Categories: Proof of concept, Script, Spriter

So I want to try to make my crab animation using Spriter so, first I cut out all the different parts from my Inkscape image. I did leave out all but one leg, as I should be able to scale and rotate in Spriter to make all the legs, from one set of leg sprites 🙂 So here are the cutouts.

Crab Cutouts
Crab Cutouts

I saved them all in a sub-directory in the directory I’m going to use for the Spriter project. Spriter looks to be using the same project directory structure as Unity.

I have now assembled the crab within Spriter. I know Spriter is a work in progress, but some simple features I found missing was, copy of multiple objects within the scene. I have 3 left legs, that looks a lot like the 3 right legs. Would have loved to be able to just copy them all in one go, and mirror them. Probably just me not know how. And moving objects in the Z-order windows was a drag, no pun, intended, but it wasn’t possible to select all the leg parts and drag them all at once, and as I had to drag them all all the way to the bottom, it was not optimal. It should be possible to hold ctrl+up/down to move them up and down in the list, but it didn’t work (found out, it does work, the window just isn’t updating). Well it was still easy to set up my crab.

Crab in Spriter
Crab in Spriter

Looks almost like the original. Almost.. 🙂 But again, this is just a cold run, to show how easy Spriter is to learn and use.

To add the skeleton I did have to look at a tutorial, not that it’s hard to do, I just couldn’t find out how to add a single bone.. Found out, you have to hold down the Alt key, after watching the video.. How should I know 😉

I followed this video:

Once again they have made everything SO easy. 🙂 But did had a few problems. This time it was selecting the small legs when assigning the sprites to the bones, but I did find out that I could assign sprites to bones in the Hierarchy window. 🙂 Maybe I have used too small sprites or there are some setup somewhere I don’t know of, but it worked and now I can animate… Don’t expect to much 😉

Animated Crab
Animated Crab

And that’s it 🙂 An animated crab in a bit over an hour 😀 I already know where to use it.


There where a few glitches throughout the Spriter experience, but nothing compared with the frustration of trying to work with Synfig. When exporting the animation to PNG’s some of the images had the previous frames in the background. Something that I’m sure will be fixed in future versions.

That was my first experience with Spriter, and I still like it a lot! 🙂 It’s so easy to use. There are a lot of things that could be done better and small bugs, but $25 i cheap for a tool so powerful.

Features I would like to have include curves in the animation/key frame window, being able to drag multiple objects in the z-ordering windows, spritesheet output and that’s about it.

Go buy Spriter, NOW! 😉 And then, go make games 😉

– Henning



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