5 best tools for the game animators
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5 best tools for the game animators
2 April, 2015

Animator and game-developer Ilia Prokudanov picked up five irreplaceable tools necessary to create cool animations for social and mobile games.

Adobe Flash


This is an ideal editor for 2D-animations: classical frame-by-frame animations and tween animation. Flash gives you different cool tools to build nice 2D-animations. There is everything an animator will ever need in Adobe Flash. It’s a nice tool for people working with social and casual games. Flash is also a nice tool for making simple animated films and ads.

Adobe After Effects


This software was not developed with game developers in mind. This is more of a video-editing tool. However one can definitely benefit from this thing while making special effects. There’s a whole bunch of plugins for this editor. It’s a nice choice for animators who work with cut-scenes (adventure games, anyone?) with scripted character actions.



“Bare” Unity without any additions is not that useful for animation. However: there’s an integrated particle editor named Shuriken. This thing is invaluable for the VFXs-artists. The tool gives you means to create any effects fast and easy: fire, fairy dust, nuclear explosions – anything is possible. The coolest thing is that the editor is completely visual and you can almost instantly see every effect. No rendering and no pre-compilations necessary. Easy.

Spine Pro


Personally I’ve learned about Spine not that long during their Kickstarter campaign. This startup got very popular and a lot of my colleagues are using it to build complex character animation for Unity. You can use assets from Spine Pro in engine without any additional conversion. The system has skeletal animation tools with the optional inverse kinematics. There’s also a nice mesh-deformation tool. The whole software is pretty simple to work with, so even a complete newbie could do it. Developers are updating this product constantly adding new functions and tools.

Autodesk Maya


Everybody knows and loves Maya. So do I. Seriously though this is the best tool for game developers, filmmakers and animators. Modelers don’t like Maya that much, because there is nice alternative – Autodesk 3DS Max, but for 3d-animators this is the best tool there is. You get a nice toolbox, which can be expanded with different plugins. Maya could be used to create complex animations with hundreds of objects. A lot of Unity developers are using Maya right now. It has amazing tools to work with low-poly animation and it is very easy to export the animation for low-poly characters into games.


Ilia Prokudanov is a well-known Russian game-designer and game animator. He worked on a number of big Flash-games including Legend: Legacy of The Dragons and Draco.


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