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One of the major production challenges for VFX Artists lies in making good and reliable flipbook texture sheets. We just released our Image Sequencer as an experimental feature. This tool is a base for authoring optimized texture sheets, but we plan to improve it in the future to generate other motion-based VFX textures.

imagesequencer-blog

This tool packs up a full in-engine toolchain for flipbook texture sheet authoring. It relies on Image Sequences which are Editor-Only assets containing references to input frames, a set of settings for processing image sequences, and export parameters to output one or more texture files.

A Workflow Accelerator

In the Realtime VFX industry, the common basic workflow for texture sheets involves the use of successive tools (AfterEffects, Photoshop, scripts, …) and produces large amounts of intermediate data. This slows down iteration time dramatically as the users have to switch between software, export then re-import their data, and do the same set-ups multiple times.

In the Image Sequencer, we reduced the workflow to the simplest: you import your texture sequences directly in Unity, create an Image Sequence Asset, and simply drag & drop the folder containing your sequence in the Image Sequencer window. Then you can start assemble and export your flipbook texture sheet.

Then, your pipeline is set! Once you’ve exported, you can make changes and re-export very quickly.

Features

  • Instant preview of all changes
  • One-click export update
  • Retime and change length, acceleration and dynamics of your sequence
  • Create looping sequences and adjust synchro points in a few clicks.
  • Remove background color and restore true smoke/fire color
  • Crop, fix borders and ensure consistent size.
  • Adjust color correction, remap from gradients.

Currently we have features for the 90% most common cases, but we plan to improve it over time.

Download and Get Started!

If you are interested in testing this tool, please join the experimental forum section and start downloading the package.

Download

The Image Sequencer comes in two flavours:

  • One package with the editor only.
  • One larger package with editor, templates and source assets*

* We released these assets under Creative Commons Zero license, so you can use them in your projects!

We also advise you taking a look at the documentation of the Image Sequencer.

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  1. It looks like a quite handy addition, but i think you should consider including the optimizations one can do manually as the panel suggesting to do them automatically to you.
    I mean in the Unite conference video on it there were several steps shown how one could adjust settings for further optimizations like for example it putting the textures in a power of two grid etc, several steps which one pretty much always would like to have done.
    It was nice that there is the functionality to do them, but it made me wonder why it then did not suggest to do those automatically for you/add the settings steps there automatically.
    You know, like for scripting stuff when a Unity api update comes out and the automatic script updater suggests you to update the codebase automatically.

  2. Nice to see me and my fellows are getting some love, too.

  3. Yes, thank you this is great! This is going to be so useful.
    -Jake
    http://bigrookgames.com

    1. i think is very useful too

  4. You should make this available for Unity’s 2D sprite stuff too. I can imagine a lot of people would appreciate it.

    1. Damn, definitely.

  5. This is awesome. I wish it has a way to read genArts particleIllusion 3 files too.
    There are so many available presets and the particleIllusion could be a powerful asset to use with unity.

  6. Looks like an interesting tool. The fact that it dumps the same frame to the atlas repeatedly when using the Retime processor makes me uncomfortable. In my experience that sort of thing will end up getting abused by less technical artists and blow out texture memory because someone wanted some explosions to last 3x longer. I’d rather be able to use the curve at runtime.

  7. Looks useful. Seems this correlates to the tool that was being developed for sprites to generate a sprite sheet from individual image files? Can it be used for this purpose and tie into the sprite system and create animated sprites etc?

  8. Looks cool would it be possible to repurpose the UI to make a mesh sequencer, so we could bake animations into a mesh sequence then use the instance shader to draw crowds or swarms of animated characters/NPC’s?

  9. Thaks Unity Team for making video tutorials about the new features are added in beta stage. It is very important that we learn faster what is it in the new updates without the need of searching in the forums. Big thanks!

    1. +1