Free-Form Deformation now available

January 15th, 2014

We are happy to announce that Free-Form Deformation (FFD) is now available! Being able to animate your mesh vertices can really bring your animations alive and it reduces the art you need at the same time. Now Spine is no longer limited to only using bones, you can mix and match bones and mesh animation as needed.

Spine FFD

To use FFD, first convert a region attachment to a mesh by clicking the Mesh checkbox. You can click Edit Mesh to further refine your mesh, then switch to animate mode and deform the mesh as you please. Click the key dot next to the mesh in the tree to key the mesh, then repeat at a new timeline position.

When a mesh is keyed in this way, all vertex positions for the mesh are keyed together. This works great for simple meshes, but can be a bit of a pain when animating multiple parts of the same mesh separately (eg for secondary motion). Not to worry, we have plans for more powerful mesh animation! We plan to implement blend shapes which allow multiple deformations to be combined in impressive ways. Also skinning will allow bones to deform the mesh. This makes animating much easier and provides nice deformations even when controlling the bones programmatically.

Currently spine-libgdx is the only runtime that supports FFD, because Spine is written with libgdx. As soon as skinning is complete we will be updating all of the official runtimes to support FFD and skinning, then we tackle IK pinning.

As the dust settles on the new FFD features, we are already starting on skinning. Expect to hear from us again soon!

We’ve also put up a small video to show you how to use meshes and FFD.

Spine FFD and Meshes

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