I'm starting to design a game for iOS and I want to use a style similar to the image below:


The game will have a few animations for the player, what program can I use to do that? I couldn't find a way to make animations like that in Illustrator, maybe I overlooked them. Any way to do it?

  • 1
    Have you tried this question in gamedev.stackexchange.com ?
    – nine9ths
    Nov 14, 2012 at 17:45
  • No I thought because it was about graphics and graphics programs here would be the best place, I will post it there.
    – Jordan
    Nov 14, 2012 at 17:50
  • 1
    It's not clear from your question if you intend for the animations to be ultimately used inside the iOS app or if you're just trying to do mockups. If it's the latter I'm sure you'll find help on this board, if it's the former, gamedev will probably be able to better advise how to get the animations into the app. P.S. Illustrator used to do animation but I'm not an expert on that someone here will probably be able to advise though.
    – nine9ths
    Nov 14, 2012 at 17:54
  • I know how to import them for my iOS app my problem is finding out what to do the animations with, not mockups but the final art. I'm normally a programmer but with lack of team and extra time on my hands I'm going to do my best :D
    – Jordan
    Nov 14, 2012 at 22:46
  • Not sure why this got downvoted...
    – Jordan
    Dec 17, 2012 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


For that style of artwork, Adobe Illustrator is probably the best choice, at least for the initial line work. The only issue with using Illustrator is that it's not really an animation tool, so there's very little in the way of onion skinning and other features normally used when animating.

However — given you're a programmer — if you set up your Illustrator document to be a sprite sheet, you could export the entire sheet and do animation playback testing with a little bit of code. You'll probably want the final sprites to be set up as a texture atlas anyway.

If you wanted some more powerful painting features, you could do the initial line work in Illustrator, then take all the paths over to Photoshop for some extra colour work and effects.

Another option would be Flash Professional. It is an animation tool, but not one I like. I'm less familiar with how you'd get all the final assets out of Flash.

So... Illustrator for the bulk of the work would be the way I'd approach it.

  • Fireworks might be better, as it does have animation tools. Also, Flash CS6 can export sprite sheets. Nov 15, 2012 at 2:38
  • Photoshop has animation tools as well — a lot of things can be mocked up to test animation cycles in Photoshop as well. Nov 15, 2012 at 2:53
  • Photoshop doesn't do vector very well.. Nov 15, 2012 at 2:59
  • That's not true at all. Photoshop does vector brilliantly, if the output is as a bitmap. In fact, Photoshop's vector rendering is better than Illustrator and Fireworks by quite a big margin (antialiasing, gradient quality, masking). Nov 15, 2012 at 3:50
  • I'm going to accept Marcs answer before this turns into a discussion post :D but I think that he is right, Illustrator to make it and maybe photoshop to animate or add effects. Thanks everyone for your help.
    – Jordan
    Nov 15, 2012 at 9:34

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