Tools for 2D skeletal animation?

I’d love to get some recommendations.

I’m not an animator, and am looking to create some extremely basic animations. So nothing super fancy necessary.

Preferred criteria:

  • Open source
  • Has editor that runs in Linux
  • Must support skeletal animation
  • OpenFL peferred, but also open to other Haxe libs & frameworks

I have done some research, and I’ve listed what I have come across so far below. For the most part they seem to be a year old or more. Let me know if there are more tools/ libs out there that would fit the bill!

(forum doesn’t let me post more than 2 links at once, so I’ll add them in the comments)

I’ve also asked this question on Reddit:

    • Looks really promising in that it is actively developed, open source, and run on Linux
    • Not sure how to go about exporting to a format that one of the Haxe libs can use

There’s a lib to use spriter with openfl


Thanks! It looks like the added benefit is that this tool doesn’t need to pre-render frames, as this lib plays back the animations natively!

I’m currently trying to improve the library. Check out the dev branch, you should have better performance than the haxelib version. Also I’ve added some nice features (macro to parse the scml, etc.)

Excellent! That’s great to hear. I think I’ll give Spriter + your SpriterHaxeEngine the first go among these options.

I’ve been checking out some 2d skeletal animation tools recently, and have serious issues with every one I’ve tried.

Dragonbones - installing the design panel for the latest version of Flash proved difficult. Once I got it going, over the course of an hour Flash crashed twice.

It appears the new standalone editor doesn’t serve any good purpose either. I can only edit an animation in a very limited way. It’s difficult to explain, but it appears to be a bug. I can’t find any documentation for the new editor that isn’t written in Chinese/Japanese.

Flump - I tried for quite some time but never was able to get past the error ‘non-symbols may not be in movie layers’. I changed all the relevant Movieclips to Graphics but then I got another error - ‘unrecognized library item null’.
I tried everything I could think of to resolve the issue but couldn’t work it out. I could find no documentation for this particular error.

Spriter - Crashed every time I started it up. Fortunately Windows troubleshooter managed to configure it so it would run. It didn’t take long though for it to crash on me again though. While it was intuitive and relatively easy to use I found it buggy and unpolished. It was constantly doing weird and unexpected things. All of a sudden the images would disappear from the hierarchy view, or the images would freeze and only the bones would move when testing the animation, requiring me to restart the program to resolve it.

I’m very disappointed with the free tools out there, is there anything free that isn’t buggy?

Hope your problem with Spriter will be fixed on the next release (Spriter 2.0). I don’t know when it will be released but hope it will be soon enough.

A bit out of context question, Have you tried BabylonHx?

That’s a shame, looks like all those tools have plenty of room for improvement!

Nope, I just had a quick scan of the BabylonHx page, and it looks like there’s support for “bones” but when I clicked on the links nothing really happened. Also, does it come with an editor for the animations, or would the animatins have to be hand-coded?

Spine may not be open source, but it certainly runs on Linux, I’ve used it several times on Linux.

Thanks - I’ve updated my post!

Hello !
You can use Skeletoraxe. It’s a free library developed 2 year ago which works perfectly.
I used it to developed GhostSplash
You can download it right here
And here you can find a little tutorial.

Good luck !