Silverlight spritesheet animation preview tool now available
3/5/2012: The tool is temporarily down on account of some maintenance. This post will be updated when it is again available
Ever wanted to just quickly see what a spritesheet's animation looks like without dragging it into a test harness or app? Have a graphic designer that doesn't get around code so well? Here's your solution: our spankin' new sprite sheet animation preview tool! I wrote this yesterday after I had a meeting with Mike, who's doing the graphic design for Infestation. He's been having a devil of a time getting the animations for the spider *just right*, and so I offered to put this up there for him to hopefully help him work better.
(click to see an enlarged version)
Here's how it works: go to the tool page and you'll see the tool. Select a sprite sheet (png only for now) from your local file system (don't worry, nothing is being uploaded anywhere), and specify the frame dimensions and animation speed. The values in the boxes are pre-populated with numbers that we've been using on our projects, so you'll likely want to change them to suit your specific environment. Select whether you want the animation to loop, then click Start. The box to your immediate left will show the animation, while the yellow-ish box on the far left will give you a view of where the current frame is on the sprite sheet. Use the pause/play buttons if you want to pause/resume animation on a current frame, in case you need to take a closer look at something. Feel free to modify the values in the text boxes as the animation runs -- changing the Speed value will speed up or slow down the animation accordingly without having to stop the animation.
I'm not going to go into specifics on how I spent more time trying to get the xap deployed to Azure, but suffice it to say that Orchard, Azure, and Silverlight don't play very well together. I ended up throwing up my hands and just placing the generated test html page into my theme's content folder, and linking to that. If anyone is interested in the specifics of how the application is built, or how to deploy SL to Orchard in Azure, let me know.
Standard disclaimer: use the tool at your own risk; I've tested it for what works in my environment, and that's it. Note that the preview rectangle will get wonky if your frames aren't square in dimensions.
If enough people are interested, I wouldn't mind adding new features and fleshing it out, but for now it suits my needs.