J0chem

This is just a story I would like to share with you. Perhaps there are people out there who are facing a similar dilemma and they may (or may not) find this useful. It is also meant as a thumbs up for the developers.

So, a few days ago, I finally made the decision: I purchased Spine Essentials. I have to admit that it was a difficult decision, since I am a student and I do not have a lot of money to invest in stuff like this. But then again, I really wanted to pick up game development as a hobby again.

The difference in price between Spine Essentials and Spine Professional initially put me off. I really wanted the features Spine Professional has to offer, but I do not have the money for it. At first, it did not seem like Spine Essentials was that different from, say, Spriter. One of the benefits of Spriter was that its basic features were free and the price of the full version was decent, so I was considering to buy Spriter Pro instead.

Then I started to research Spine more in-depth. What I liked about Spine was that it immediately felt more professional than Spriter. Updates seemed to be more frequent as well. What eventually sold me on Spine was the ability to easily export skeletons and texture atlases, as well as being able to import them easily in one of the officially supported runtimes. I could not find an alternative that provided the same workflow -- at least not for LibGDX, the framework I am using.

I am still learning to use Spine, but it is friendly to beginners like myself, so I already managed to create some basic animations and integrated them in my application without too much effort. This is very encouraging and motivating.

Thanks for this great piece of software. Keep it up.

- Jochem
J0chem
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Nate

Thanks for taking the time to post this, Jochem! I'm really happy you are enjoying Spine. :happy: We've put so much blood, sweat, and tears into it, it's really satisfying to know people appreciate our efforts. :heart:

I think a lot of people have similar feelings at first regarding Spine Essential. The fancy meshes and other Professional features are no doubt impressive, but those are really not the core of Spine. In fact, I often feel that Professional users get distracted by those features, sometimes to the point where their animations suffer. At one extreme people are doing frame-by-frame spritesheets, and on the other there are meshes weighted to bones constrained to paths weighted to IK bones. The first initial jump from frame-by-frame to Spine Essential is a huge one and IMO more important than the jump from Essential to Professional. I really like this article, which is all done without any Professional features:
http://esotericsoftware.com/files/Gamasutra-Carlos-Cavalcante-Tips-to-create-funny-and-juicy-character-animations-with-Spine-basics
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Nate

Nate
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J0chem

I really do appreciate it.

And thank you -- that is a very useful article. I also appreciate the fact that a lot can be done without the Professional features.

Currently, I am still learning how to even create proper skeleton structures, since this determines what kind of animations are (reasonably) possible. It can be hard to create good skeletons when dealing with non-realistic creatures such as the yellow and green blobs in the article you shared. I imagine there is some kind of primary bone in the middle, with a child bone which holds the eyes as an attachment. But what direction should the eye bone be facing? What is the intuition behind bone placement when dealing with non-realistic creatures? Stuff like that I am still trying to learn.
J0chem
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Nyenna

Nate писал(а):In fact, I often feel that Professional users get distracted by those features, sometimes to the point where their animations suffer. At one extreme people are doing frame-by-frame spritesheets, and on the other there are meshes weighted to bones constrained to paths weighted to IK bones.
I cannot help but to feel slightly targeted in there haha :D Did my animations suffer? :think:

I will say that the amount of updates are insane and the fixes are so frequent one can post a bug, go for a coffee, come back and the bug is already fixed :) (not that literally but I wouldn't be surprised!)
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Nyenna
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