Here in the studio, we’ve started playing with some new tools and a new workflow for animating 2D sprites with 3D geometry. “Why would you do that?” you might ask.

By using 3D meshes to animate our sprites, we can achieve some really nice animations across the board. We can squash, stretch, skew

and deform to achieve very smooth animation cycles without having a ton of geometry or sprite sheets. We also aren’t limited to basic boned animation which tends to look very primitive and puppet-like.

You can check out how this was done with Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime in this really awesome time-lapse video. So here’s how we found out how to get it to work with Autodesk Maya LT and SceneKit.

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We are still playing around to see if this is the best workflow for us but it looks promising, to say the least. We’re all excited to see what kind of polish we can achieve in our animations with a process like this.