Battle Animations, Map Sprites, and Class Cards: Totally reworked!
The previous Graphics Repository was hosted on Google Drive. It had so many issues that I really don’t want to list them out, but at the forefront were:
- Extremely slow upload times. I can upload the entire Github Repo in 2 minutes, but it took me a full day just to upload one category of animations (swords) into the old GDrive’s Battle Animation section.
- Slow downloads. If you wanted to download a bunch of animations from the old GDrive, you had to wait for Google to zip up all those folders and files, which took forever and often failed, and then you had to actually download them. It was like downloading them twice in terms of time needed. Yikes!
- Cluttered as hell. I made the original GDrive Repo for the sake of Shin’s Emblem Anims site. That’s why folders looked like this instead of this. Shin needed keywords to tie into folders so they would show up properly on the site, but this made the folders themselves practically unreadable.
Anyway, let’s look at the many changes and improvements I’ve made to the Repo.
Readability and Navigation:
I cannot stress this enough; the new Repo is much easier to navigate.
How to navigate the Github Repo (Spoiler)
Start from the top-level of the Repo:
These are the folders that hold all of the content. You guys are probably familiar with everything outside of the Battle Animation section, since BA’s are what have changed the most. Let’s take a look at what I revised.
When you first enter the Battle Animation Index, you’ll see a list of Categories/Archetypes. Visit one to see their contents. Additionally, at the top, there is a folder called
[AAA] - RANDOM MAP SPRITES +APDATA which possesses map sprites that do not fit into any of the existing Categories. These are mostly just random villagers, ‘dead’ units, and non-FE stuff.
The APData stuff is just for rom modders so their map sprites will work. If you use Tactile or Lex Talionis, you can skip it.
Inside the Category folders for animations, you’ll find the following:
As you can see, at the top of every category there is a Class Card and a Map Sprite folder. The FE8 Lords (currently) don’t have Class Cards, but that will probably change if/when people make a few. Note that there are ‘Generic Lord’ Class Cards in the FE6-7 section, so those can work as generics for FE8 too.
You will also notice the folders labeled ‘Hero-Base’ and ‘Hero-Reskin’ and other such stuff. What the heck is up with that? Base? Reskin? Why did I include those terms?
Well, simply put, 90% of all FE animations are edits of existing ones in some capacity. As such, I had to classify everything in standard ways so they would make sense.
Animation Folder Suffixes (Spoiler)
Base-Suffix: This is an animation that either is a vanilla animation/vanilla +weapons, or a vanilla animation repaletted for other uses.
Reskin-Suffix: Identical to the Base animation in terms of movement, but it looks different stylistically. Typically character reskins or heavy artistic modifications that retain the original attack and movements are considered Reskins.
Variant-Suffix: These are animations that have motions which deviate from the vanilla movements. For example, Eliwood slashing instead of stabbing would qualify as a Variant. Variants can also be Reskins, but Reskins cannot be Variants.
Custom-Suffix: A totally custom animation, such as the Greil Lord, would count as a Custom suffix. Note that there can also be fully custom animations that mimic the style of other animations. For example, Nuramon’s Ephraim Infantry is a fully custom animation based on Ephraim’s character design.
Style-Suffix: This type of animation apes another. For example, an Eliwood-Style Berserker would be a Berserker that tries to look or fight or act like one of Eliwood’s Lord-type classes.
Type-Suffix: Some animations are really weird, like the Sword Brigand. This is a Brigand animation that only possesses a sword, not an axe. Since this is technically a Sword animation, but it uses the Brigand as a base, we call this a Brigand-Type.
An issue people identified a few months back that the Repo now also works to solve: Removing meaningless and sometimes confusing/contradictory terms such as “Improved,” “2.0,” or other such animation names.
Regarding animation names and titles (Spoiler)
Regarding Repo's Naming Convention
At this time this issue was posted, I took issue with the general tone and the fact that this was a minor thing, but in the end it is something the old Repo suffered from, so I remedied that.
Now, you will no longer find animations with 2.0, Improved, Revamped, or etc unless they are an edit of an old animation made by the same creator. Instead, I use v1, v2, and v3 to show animation ‘increments’ over time. A v2 is not necessarily better than a v1. The ‘v’ could mean Variant or Version. If you see something is listed as a v2 or v3 animation, don’t just use it, but instead consider whether it fits your needs. There are a surprising number of animations with v2’s that lack weapon types from the v1 version, or they lack other improvements the original version got but the second didn’t.
My goal with these new animation names is to remove confusion, improve readability, and equally important; to cluster ‘types’ of things together. It is very important to me that nobody looks at an animation and asks “What makes this animation different from that other one? Are one of these better than the other? Does it even matter?”
To see the previews: Just scroll down inside the Animation Directory folders! That’s all! Just scroll down!
I’ve had enough people complain that these are ‘missing’ for me to think this is worth repeating. We have them!
If, however, you click the blue link that should take you to the animation’s folder…
It actually doesn’t work correctly. It gives you this URL:
When it should give you this one:
It duplicates the
%5BCustom%20Drag%5D%20%5BU%5D%20Dragoon%20by%20Mercenary%20Lord/, so when you click the link, delete everything after the second-to-last slash and the link will work.
Credit Files and You:
Inside every Animation Folder, there is a CREDITS.txt file. This section will explain the features of those files.
First, these files are incomplete. There are animations I had to perform guesswork on. If the community could help me identify and improve crediting, that would be great.
Here is a typical CREDITS file.
Here is an ideal CREDITS file:
Do you see the difference? One of these just says “Uh three people worked on this I guess” and the other says “ALRIGHT BOYS, HERE IS EVERY PERSON WHO WORKED ON THIS GORGEOUS ANIMATION SO YOU CAN REALLY RESPECT AND APPRECIATE ALL THEIR HARD WORK!”
Be the big guy. Help me give more detailed credits to every folder.
Another type of credits file is something like this one:
You will notice that I have included issues the animation has. This not only informs the community what animations need fixes, but what issues a creator might run into when using them. If you see an animation with a note, why not pitch in and give the poor thing some love? With a good v2, you can breathe new life into old anims!
Commonly Asked Questions about the Github Repo:
I’ve heard a lot of questions on various Discord servers regarding the new Github Repo. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.
Q&A Time! (Spoiler)
Q: Why overhaul the Repo? Why not leave the Repo as it was on GDrive? I liked the GDrive Repo!
A: The GDrive Repo was so agonizing to work with for every contributor that it was not worth the trouble. Additionally, it suffered from a bunch of issues that, in order to fix, would have taken 10x the effort compared to just porting to Github. The porting process was painful, but definitely worth the price.
Q: Will Emblem Anims ever come back?
A: No. We don’t need it, the Github repo has even better preview functionality and doesn’t cost money for poor Shin to run.
Q: Why list animation errors? Aren’t these criticisms subjective? Won’t this hurt the creator’s feelings?
A: Animation errors are a problem because many animations in the repo are years and years old, made well before FEBuilder’s advent. Some of these animations simply aren’t timed correctly, or they don’t look smooth, or they have small but annoying issues. As artists, it is our job to accept criticism and use it to improve ourselves. Considering all the criticism I’ve used to improve the Repo, I don’t think I’m making a controversial statement here.
Q: Okay, but why rename animations? For example, why rename [INSERT X ANIMATOR]'s animation from X to Y? Just use the original name!
A1: Standardization is the path forward. My goal with the Github Repo is to take all the issues with the old Repo and solve at least 90-95% of them. That means giving animations standardized names, but with unique identifiers. I actually retained as many names as I could from the old Repo and only made changes to those who didn’t really have any community presence I’ve detected.
A2: Also, the same people who complain about animation name changes are still going to rename the animations once they put them ingame, so do you really care about the holy sanctified names bestowed upon them by the original creators after a whole ten seconds of thought? [Press X to doubt.]
Q: Where can people go to find out about Repo updates?
A: On the Discord.
Q: Where can people post suggestions and required fixes?
A: On the Discord.
Q: What if I find missing credits? Where can I post to tell the Repo team?
A: On the Discord.
Q: Where can I find active support for Repo issues?
A: On the Discord.
A: On the Discord.