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Anima 2D vs Unity 2D Animation Package

Find out an in-depth comparison between Anima 2D and Unity 2D Animation.

Animations have been an integral part of the games since the 1970s. It can change the feel of your game instantly and could make your game livelier. With rapid development, today 2D Animations have become a lot easier with a streamlined workflow. Unity has been constantly strengthening the 2D features including 2D Animations, 2D lights and so on. With the in-built 2D Animation Package of Unity, You get all the power of creating your custom Animations in the Unity Editor itself. From rigging the 2D Sprites to using the Inverse Kinematics, Unity has got all the dynamic features to create custom animations in the Editor.

But it becomes difficult when you have to choose between tools for the 2D Animation, like Anima 2D or Unity 2D Animation package. You can find Unity 2D Animation in the package manager, However, Anima 2D is available in the Unity Asset Store as a Free Asset to use for your Projects. They definitely have the same use but it varies with the operations you perform. Here are a few points you should consider while choosing between two tools before starting your project.

Anima 2D

Introduced first in 2017, Anima 2D has been a powerful tool for the 2D Animations for Unity. It supports Skeletal Animations, Automatic Weights, Sprite to Mesh Creation, and so on. Famous for its advanced features like Spring Bones, Anima 2D is completely free for all. However, it lacks flexibility when it comes to the workflow. Anima 2D allows you to create bone animations and doesn’t support any Sprite Animation in the Editor. It works great till 20-30 Game Objects Animating at the same time but then eventually it starts to consume more memory. Also, it restricts you to rename the asset file after you make your animation. These issues further constraints the Development process and hinder the smooth workflow.

Unity 2D Animation Package

Loved by all the Unity Developers, Unity 2D Package has got some really powerful features to boost up your Animating Skills in one go. With the ability to create your own custom animation using the Bones, now you get the flexibility to add custom weights and can use the Inverse Kinematic as well. It supports Sprite Sheet Animation and Bone Based animation at the same time while easing your workflow by interchanging it in the timeline according to your needs. The PSD Importer helps a lot in getting the layers of your artwork directly, further, you can rig it and add weights for more natural animation. You can also adjust the key-frames in the Animation Panel for the Sprite Animations according to your needs. With the support of Mechanim, all the bone animation states can further blend dynamically in the runtime. You can also change the sprites of the bone animation in the runtime without programming it separately. But somehow it lacks few major features. You cannot animate the Parent bone without affecting the Children, which limits the usage of bone components. It also tends to work weird if you import the sprite improperly. Also, you cannot animate the vertices which limit the usage of the package. So it becomes a bit harder to make your animation feel more organic.

These 2D Animation Tools have their own Pros and cons, however, it’s completely a matter of choice for the developer to choose between these tools keeping the desired output in consideration. Although Unity 2D package is a bit advanced than the Anima 2D, still Anima 2D has a great feature that Unity 2D Package lacks, that is Spring Bones. Unity 2D Animation package is still ranked as the most used and loved animation tool due to its robust features and ability to animate Sprite Sheet and Bone Animation in the Editor itself. There are a bunch of exciting updates to be coming soon. Definitely using Unity 2D Animation Package instead of Anima 2D would be a great choice, but we would further recommend all developers to use and test both the tools to suit your needs.

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