Home | Audio | DIY | Guitar | iPods | Music | Brain/Problem Solving | Links| Site Map

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Creating Sprite Animations with Fireworks

Getting the Sheet and Making the Background Color Transparent

1) Okay, this is where the real tutorial starts. What you have to do before opening Fireworks is get a sprite sheet. A great amount of sprite sheets could be found at www.spritedatabase.net.

2) Save the sheet that you wish to use in it's own individual folder.

3) Now you can open up Fireworks.

4) Select "Open" and browse through your folders until you find the sheet you plan to use in the animation. Double click that file or select it and click "Open".

5) Now the sheet should be completely loaded up. On the menu bar, go to "View" -> "Magnification" -> "100%" or click Ctrl+1 on the keyboard.

6) Now what you want to do is get rid of the background color. On the menu bar, go to "File" -> "Image Preview" or click Ctrl+Shift+X on the keyboard.

7) Next you want to do is change the Format to "GIF"

8) Now what you do is put your cursor on the background color where it shows the preview of the sheet on the right side of the pop up. Right Click with your mouse and select "Transparent".

9) Now that the background color is gone, click on "Export..." and browse to the folder where the original sheet is found and select "Export".

10) Now close the sheet sheet that you had opened already (making sure not to save when asked) and open the new GIF version of the sheet.

Taking out the Individual Sprites

1) Okay, now that the background color is transparent, we have to get the sprites on their own. First thing you do is select the "Crop" tool on the left hand side of the screen (should be in the same subgroup as the "Select" tool).

2) With the "Crop" tool, go to the sprite that you wish to crop out, click and drag from one corner of the sprite to the next. A dashed box should appear around the sprite.


3) Now, double click inside the box. The sprite should individualize from the rest of the sheet.


4) Now what you want to do is save the sprite. On the menu bar, go to "File" -> "Save As..." or click Ctrl+Shift+S.

5) Browse to the folder where you saved the original sheet. Create a new folder and name it the name of whatever the pose is of the sprite you are saving (most sheets will have the poses already named for you).

6) Go into the folder and name the file as "1". Then change the File Type (which you will be able to do under the bar where you can rename it) to "PNG".

7) Save the file. Now, on the menu bar, go to "Edit" -> "Undo..." or press Ctrl+Z on the keyboard.

8) Repeat the process for each individual sprites in the pose, making sure to change the name of the file to the different numbers depending on the order the sprites come in. Also be sure to create new folders for the different poses.

Animating the Sprites

1) Okay, now to start the actual animation process. In the start up screen for Fireworks, select "Fireworks File" under the "Create New" heading and change the values (width, height, and resolution) all to 100. You can select a background color if you wish, but I mostly go with keeping it transparent. (See image below)


2) Now that it's open, the first thing you want to do is change the Frames Per Second rate so the animation doesn't move too fast. On the right hand side, under the "Frames" category, there should be the number "7" next to the words "Frame 1". 7 is an okay speed, but to keep the animation at a good speed, changing it to ten would be the best option, in my opinion at least. (See image below)


3) Next what you need to do is get the sprites into the animation. You should have gotten all or the sprites that you find necessary for the animation already cropped out of the sheet and saved in their individual folders. What you want to do now is, on the menu bar, go to "File" -> "Import..." or click Ctrl+R on the keyboard.

4) Browse through your folders until you find the one with the sprites you have just cropped out. Go to the folder which has the sprites for the single animation you wish to make at that moment. Double click on the sprite named "1" for that pose or select "1" and click "Open". (See image below)


5) Now click in the 100X100 block for your animation, and the sprite should show up. (See image below)


6) Next, we have to make a new frame to continue the animation. To do this, on the right hand side under the "Frames" category, click the icon that looks like a document folded at the edge with a plus sign on its side. (See image below)


7) A new frame has been made, but making placing the next frame will be difficult since you have no idea where the last sprite was placed. Well, there's a way to fix that problem. On the same bar where the "Add New Frame" icon was, there should be a upside down gray trapezoid. A drop down menu should appear, and then you should select "Custom..."

8) A pop up should come up. In the pop up, the very first box in between "Show:" and "Before current frame" should be changed from "0" to "1". Keep opacity the same and don't change the stuff for "After current frame". Keep "Multi-frame editing" checked. (See image below)


8-2) An easier way to get the oninon skinning on is to click the little white box next to where it says "Frame 1" in the "Frame" category while you have "Frame 2" selected.

9) Now that you have the the transperancy of the frame before the one you are currently on, it will be easier to place the sprites. Import the next sprite in the animation and place it so that it looks neat on the sprite before (on a non moving animation, the feet usually stay the same, so that should be how you should determin where to place it). (See image below)


10) After each sprite has been carefully placed in their own frames, press zoom out 100% and click the play button (looks just like the play button on a remote) and watch your animation skills bloom. (See image below)


[Image: GIF.gif]
(The Sprites are a little different since I already had this saved and didn't feel like making it new again)

Adding A Background

1) Okay, this is one of the simpler parts of animating. The first thing you want to do is create a new layer in the animation. In the category on the right hand side that says "Layers", there should be an icon that looks like a bunch of bullets and lines going across it. Click that and select "New Layer". (See image below)


2) A pop up should come up. Rename it "Background" and click "OK". A new layer should be formed, but the problem is that the new layer will be in front of the layer with the sprite on it, which means that the background will be in front of the sprite. What you simply need to do is move the "Background" layer down under "Layer 1" and that problem is solved! (See image below)


3) Now what you want to do is put the background in the animation. You should've gone through the same process of taking out the background color of the background sheet and saved the background itself in it's own folder, just like getting the sprites. Now find that bakcground and import it into the animation. Move it until it satisfies your desires. (See image below)


4) What you have to do now is get the background to be in every frame. This can be done easily enough. All you have to do is double click on the name of the "Background" layer. A pop up should come up where you can rename it. Instead of doing that, check off "Share across files". Another pop up should come up telling you that any images in that layer that are in other frames will be deleted if you continue with the sharing. Since you just made this layer new and haven't placed anything else in that layer, click OK. (See image below)


5) Now every layer will have the same background as the first! If you wish to make it so that the background changes from frame to frame, this will be a longer process, since the only way I know how to do this is by copying and pasting the background one by one in each frame.

[Image: Stance_with_BG.gif]

And that's the basics of using Fireworks 8 for animating! After learning how to do simple stance and other poses animations, you should be able to handle having more then one sprite per frame. Then getting them to fight should be a cinch. After time, you could be able to do stuff like this:

Oh, and don't forget, when you're making your animations, you can change the size of the canvas to whatever you want. I made it 100x100 for purposes of easy use. Enjoy, and have fun animating!


Home | Audio | DIY | Guitar | iPods | Music | Links | Site Map | Contact


Creative Commons License