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Basis is a 2d animation program for skeletal, sprite, and game level creation. Its efficient design promotes swift, high quality work.

DOWNLOAD BASIS

Download the latest version of Basis to try it now! In the main menu, see File->Open Example for samples.

Example binaries included for Windows, Linux, Amiga, Wii. Reference source code examples for: 

More will be added as they are implemented and/or contributed.

WHAT BASIS PROJECT IS

Basis is a 2d animation program designed to ease the workflow and productivity of video game animators. Sprite art, skeletal animation, and even whole worlds can be built and brought to life.

We have made incredible progress very fast, and hope to continue at this rate until it is fully featured and stable. This kickstarter will simply decide how far we can go developing as a part or full time job, before we have to turn it into a side project only getting a few lucky hours a week again. This will depend entirely on the amount of funding we get. (Note this is said in the "risks and challenges" section, but it was suggested we put it here, too, so people don't get the wrong impression about our motivation for funding.)

WHY USE BASIS?

Our intention is to create a powerful animation tool that is capable of handling many types of animation design. This has been a project in development for over 2 1/2 years now and our goal is for the workflow to be efficient and the usage to be limitless. But we want you to be the final judge so try it out for yourself!

WHAT MAKES BASIS DIFFERENT

When Basis began, there were no other accessible 2d skeletal animation programs. What did exist was crude and incomplete, and "bare bones". During development, a couple other awesome animation programs were released which finally filled that niche, (or potentially may in one case). To be honest, if either was out 2 1/2 years ago I don't think Basis would have ever started.

Yet, these have helped inspire us to continue development and take our animation program to the next levels of high performance and usability. We have developed a very open workflow to make the entire animation process even easier for everyone, and a simple yet effective interface that both beginner and professional can use to start creating animations that connect with their video games with quality and ease. 

We believe we have solutions for some animation problems that are not  solved in most available 2d software (tails/bends, repeat command on all keyframes, texture autodetect, to name a few), and we realized early on that these same tools can benefit pixel art animation, skeletal animation, and even level design and animation.

FOR BONES, SPRITES AND... LEVEL DESIGN?

That's right! Basis is designed to be used for all kinds of art content pipelines such as skeletal animation or traditional animated sprite design. And don't forget level design! We are actively working on tools to bring your characters, worlds, and other creations to life!

IT'S FREE

Yes! Basis is going to be a free to use animation program. We want to give it to you and make it available for everyone, from the hobbyist to the full time professional.

WHY ARE WE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP?

We fully intend to complete Basis for release regardless. That being said, Basis has become a huge project to undergo and it is basically another job on top of our current employment. We are asking for help so that we can continue to focus on its release without sacrificing the current rate of progress (as well as get input and inspiration from the community).

MAIN FEATURES OF BASIS

IK (Inverse Kinematics) - IK simplifies the animating process by allowing you to move unlimited chains and hierarchies of bones together, including locking position of any connected bones. This creates natural movements and a more efficient workflow for your animations.

IK example
IK example

Z-ORDER ANIMATION - Z-Order allows you to layer your selected images permanently or to change the order between animations so that an image may appear to be in front and then behind at different points of the animation.

Z-Order example
Z-Order example

BACKGROUND MODE - Background mode allows you to preset an image in the background so that when you are in build mode you can trace on a completed image for accuracy and efficiency.

Background mode example
Background mode example

EXTENDED TIMELINE - The Extended Timeline is used to visualize the entire animation on a per-bone basis, allowing you to edit the between-frame interpolation curves, as well as the timing per-bone. Bones can have different numbers of key frames, so they are not dependent on one another.

Extended Timeline example
Extended Timeline example

REPEAT FUNCTION - The Repeat function will save an incredible amount of time and tedious work. Any action which you make can be repeated on all other key frames or even all animations. If your entire animation was a little off, or you forgot to add something, or you need any other tweaks or changes to your animation, you only have to do it once, then "Repeat".

Repeat function example
Repeat function example

TAIL MODE - Tail mode is an awesome new tool that allows you to not have to create separate images and bones to try and make a realistic looking animation on pieces like tails or even articles of clothing. You take one image and one bone, turn it to tail mode and it will allow you to flex and bend the image to give you a much more natural and lifelike animation.

Tail mode example
Tail mode example

ATTACHMENT BONES - Attachment bones have multiple purposes. One is to connect 2 (or more) images and it will appear and act as 1 image but you still have the freedom to layer and separate in other animations or key frames. They can be used in-game to dynamically attach objects and accessories to your animation. Another purpose during the animation process would be to, say, attach wings to a main skeleton, without the wings' bases being easily movable.

Attachment bones example
Attachment bones example

COLLISION DETECTION - Collision detection is really going to allow your animation to "feel" other animations and/or environments. For example: by selecting a certain piece or image at a time in the animation, you can change its state to a "Hot" or "Normal" state, and if the Hot state comes into contact with another type, it will allow for animation changes, reactions, or any other possibilities.

Collision detection example
Collision detection example

AUTO DETECTION AND TEXTURE PACKING - Auto detection and texture packing allow you to upload your work into Basis and it will automatically detect your separate images and allow you to skip the step of manually having to do this yourself. Basis also features texture packing of any textures and separate images together to 1 or more pages of packed textures, saving on image size, ram usage, gpu context switches, file fragmentation, etc.

Auto detection example
Auto detection example
Texture packing example
Texture packing example

TILING - Tiling is a feature helpful to level design. It allows you to take one image and "tile" it at any orientation or scale, so that you can create giant backgrounds, consistent worlds, etc.

Tiling example
Tiling example

MORE - Download Basis and discover its potential for yourself!

STRETCH GOALS

$5,000 - WE DID IT!!! 

Basis 1.0 release!!! Fix all known bugs, Icons refurbish, IK polishing, Per bone interpolation curves, Finish repeat feature, Finish tails feature, Finish micro-timeline, Scrubbing, Pin/bone types for orientation and position tracking, More implementation examples and plugins, Contributor example animations, Help documentation. (Phew!)

$9,000 - PIXEL UPGRADES

(1) Easy alignment of sprite animations (2) Added options for texture auto detection

$14,000 - SPRITE UPGRADES

(1) Implement a detailed sprite export from prototype in File->Export (2) Improved texture browsing with custom-grouping for frame-by-frame workflow

$20,000 - GAME READY

(1) Hash out collision detection options including AABB, OBB, convex hull, low-res map (2) Events system improvements (3) Possibly other community feedback (4) Some more reference implementations/plugins

$28,000 - TOOL EXPANSION KIT

(1) Squishing images along bone axes (2) Tinting and alpha animation (3) IK constraints (4) More direct support for re-skinning

$34,000 - GIVING THE EDITOR LOVE

(1) Complete color theming (2) Installer (3) Auto updates (4) Copy and paste feature where it makes sense (5) Translations to some other languages (Finnish, possibly Japanese, hopefully others)

$41,000 - ALL ABOUT THE WORKFLOW

(1) Optional multi-monitor optimized workflow (2) Texture mode improvements (default bone orientation, default AABB map, etc.)

$53,000 - IT'S NO DIFFERENT CREATING WORLDS

(1) Layers with properties (2) Really flesh out and complete tiling (3) 2d clipping portal (4) World mode with animation instancing

$64,000 - THE BLENDER

(1) Hardware accelerated renderer (2) Mixer and animation blending (3) Procedural animation graph (transitions, FSM, blending)

$73,000 - EASIEST OF THE 2

Port to Linux

$87,000 - DEFINITELY NOT THE LEAST

(1) Port to OSX (2) Distortion meshes

$96,000 - MORE WORKFLOW, MORE!

(1) Simultaneous multi-frame selection editing (2) Onion skinning (3) Project files

$103,000 - PLUGINS I

(1) I/O plugin interface (2) Export to certain other 2d skeletal animation formats

$124,000 - MUCH MORE THAN A REFERENCE

(1) More reference implementations for frameworks/libraries as needed/requested (2) Optimize many implementations using DOD, SIMD/GPGPU (3) Ensure generic implementations (C/C++/?) have console-friendly design

$160,000 - PLUGINS II

(1) True extension plugin interface and scripting (2) Full theming capabilities with complete skinning and layout customization

WHAT ARE BONES AND SPRITES T-SHIRTS?

Bones> T-shirt
Bones> T-shirt
Sprites> T-shirt
Sprites> T-shirt

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Honestly, we fully intend to implement all features mentioned eventually. This kickstarter will simply decide how far we can go developing as a part or full time job, before we have to turn it into a side project that gets a few lucky hours a week again.

The core of Basis has been revised three times now to get it to the point where we are at. Many times in the last 2 1/2 years it has been a side project with very slow development. During the last 3 months we have made incredible progress at amazing speed, and would like to continue at this pace until it is fully featured and stable.

I suppose the only real challenge we will face after funding will depend on the amount of funding we get. For any stretch goals not reached, it will definitely be challenging to complete those remaining features without spending another whole year on it all.

FAQ

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