I really wish there was a timeline editor :D


After playing a lot more with animations (both sprite and properties) I’m really missing a whole timeline editor!

It would really help to:

  • keyframe sprite animation so that you can have per image timing, rather than duplicate image frames to get the same effect
  • expanding the particle curve editor, you could create custom easing curves easily (and preview those in the editor!)
  • and why not add event keyframes on a separate track, to emit messages or call functions (hello precise footstep sounds!)
  • by creating a proper hierarchy of game objects you could animate a whole character (there’s a lot you can do with hierarchy animation before having to rely on Spine)
  • guis animation would become a breeze!

It seems to me that quite a lot of this functionality (other than frame events) is already in the engine itself but the user facing part is missing.

I guess you guys should create a “rant” category, so that I can post my late night rants there :stuck_out_tongue:



These kinds of “rants” are useful signaling. :slight_smile:

What we need is either some big company to get interested in Defold enough to throw a big enough chunk of change for a dedicated Editor dev to join the team, or for enough people in the community to get familiar with the Editor code / what it is made with to be comfortable designing and implementing big features. Or both!

At the moment it seems like realistically anything major to do with the Editor has to come from community initiative.

I like some of the timeline features of Spine, it would be a good reference IMO.



That was one of the best features of Flash (RIP), and I miss it too.



I would use this every damn day if it existed. I know there have been a few attempts to make one (i just found it… impossible). I will try and learn Spine, but that doesn’t have easing implemented (or maybe i don’t understand it)



Having extensively used both Director and Flash in the past I really miss timelines as they can be more intuitive and/or efficient than scripts for many tasks/workflows. I look longingly at what Unity, Godot and GameMaker have done with timelines so far, and wonder how much of a distraction learning Spine at this point with Defold is (requires an older version + custom runtime) with Rive possibly being a better option at some point in the future.



Yeah, Rive is really cool. It would also fantastic to have an extension for their runtime. This is way above my skill level though :stuck_out_tongue:

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Spine is terrible (sorry) and not a good investment for learning if there is any alternative.

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Just out of curiosity, why do you think Spine is terrible? :nerd_face:

Did someone work with both Spine and Rive? What are the main differences? (animation, integration…)



Not sure about Josh, but for me, it’s the proprietary and mysterious UI. It’s all custom, which means it takes longer to memorise all the little quirks to be able to use it properly.



that is the same thing for me. It’s not intuitive and i can’t transfer any of my learned knowledge, and I don’t like how easing is managed. And it’s ugly :sweat_smile::sweat_smile: for me it’s easier to just manually code all my animations using go.animate()

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another opinion: Spine is awesome :rofl:



Spine is not really meant for the kind of animations you can accomplish with go.animate() :slight_smile:

Here is a playlist for the kinds of animations it really is worth using Spine (or any software like it) for


It is kind of like zbrush in that some parts of the application are more custom than standard in the sense of Adobe programs. But it does not take long to get the hang of it if you are using it in production.

The main use I have with Spine is making character animations. For in game cutscenes I do use the builtin animation stuff chained together in various ways.

We could make a simple in engine animation timeline which makes the chain based animation method faster but to do that well we would need to be able to dynamically get a list of all of the animations within an atlas I think otherwise there would be too much busy work. Maybe that could be done well enough by parsing the atlas file itself.

A timeline editor that was part of the main editor would be cool. Maybe there could be a new container type which held timeline based stuff and could be animated on a timeline animation like in the old Flash MX with animating movie clips with their own sub behavior scripts.







so is there anything new about the rive app inside the defold?



We will be able to share an update soon.