February 21st, 2003. 6:00pm.
Everything in the Tactics Core Demo is vector graphics, or at least was at some point. Even the background!
As you can see the stones are composed of very simple vector graphics, however there were too many vectors when I tiled the whole ground plane, so I took a screenshot and imported it back in as a bitmap. The effect of raster images on the framerate is not dependent on the amount of detail, so at some point you will have to decide what is better for you.
To create the orthographic view with the camera at a 45 degree angle, I rotated the tiles by 45 degrees, and then scaled the height by half. When animating motion on this ground plane, moving 2 pixels in the X direction corresponds to moving 1 pixel in the Y direction.
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Before the imported 3D sprites could be animated, I had to scale them all to the same size. They had to be small enough so that with all the overlapping, you can still clearly tell which unit is standing in which space (by their feet).
To link the separate poses into a smooth animation, I drew a strip across the most prominent area of motion (such as the sword or staff), and shape tweened a gradient fill across it.
The great thing about Flash is how easy it is to make gradient fills with Alpha blending. I used that in almost every single one of my battle effects graphics. For example, just take a circle, gradient fill it so that the edges fade out to zero Alpha, and you can make fire!
I actually picked up this technique from Flashkit :D
By: V2C, aka Seed
Email me at email@example.com