I started with Spine. Getting into the flow was easy since I had been using it for a while.
It is easy to export the animation for Unity. My opinion about Spine is that it is a very lightweight software, it loads fast, it’s easy to pick up, and the quality is out of this world. There are lots of Spine animators out there and it is not hard to find someone to help out with your games.
I tried using Anima2D because I read about some runtime issues for Spine. The animation data from Spine has to be exported to JSON to import into Unity. (Hmmm… isn’t it similar to other 3d software? Exporting to FBX with all the data?) Anyway, Anima2D is a great tool and it was very well integrated into Unity, I tried rigging a character and did a quick animation test, everything feels good. And I heard that the guy who developed the tool was hired by Unity. Check out the screen capture for rigging the tail.
And finally, I installed Unity’s 2D Animation package and explored around, and followed their online documentation. To my surprise, the tool worked very well for me. Even though it’s still a “preview” feature. Thanks to the talented team at Unity who are still catching bugs and improving the software while I’m writing this post. The tool is similar to Spine and Anima2D, and the development flow seems to be more integrated than Anima2D. You can check out how I set up the character’s sprite, bones and rig below.
After testing out the 3 different tools, I felt that there’s not much difference between Anima2D and Unity’s 2D Animation. Although Spine a more powerful tool and it’s easier to find animators who know how to use Spine, I decided to go with Unity’s native 2D Animation.
Reason being, I’m not a real programmer. I chose a native tool, so I have lesser things to troubleshoot when there are Game Engine upgrades. But these were just my personal opinions.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to send me an email. 🙂