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Too many blueprint functions, not enough info

I have been trying to get a Paper2d character running for about a month now, but can’t figure out what to do. Flipbooks are easy to make, but adding all the animations in a Blueprint is proving too confusing. I don’t know what any of the things in Blueprint do, or why I need to do them.

Before you say it, I have watched all the videos from Unreal, and others, with only limited help. I need to to know what I’m doing, and why I need to do it.

Is there any place on the web that can tell me what all the functions are? Am I still trapped in the endless loop of needing to know what these C++ functions are?

I’m in a similar position and figure that due to the beta nature of Paper 2D alongside the constant development, that the documentation as always will lag and we either choose to wait or get our hands dirty and adopt the try, learn, succeed approach.
I did notice Zak Parish mention in his lift video that the setup could be used in 3D as well and figure the reverse is likely true in many cases, with much of the blueprint / function info applying to Paper 2D.

Following the tutorial videos from Unreal is simple enough, but what if I want to do something a little more advanced?

Rather that rotating the flipbook for the left idle and running animations, I wanted a new flipbook for them? Say for example my character has a watch on the right arm, but not the left. The flipbook would have to be different for the idle, running, jumping, and crouching. Left and right versions would need to be displayed based on the direction the character was facing at any given moment.

So the question is; what makes such a thing happen, and why? Really, I want to learn.

The only real documentation so far is shown here: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?17609-Paper-2D-Documentation-for-4-3-Preview

But keep asking questions, and make sure the title of your thread says Paper2d in it because Michael Noland (UnrealDev who is creating Paper2d) is active here on the forums during the week and should be able to answer any further questions. Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

While I did site a specific instance of blueprint inquiry, Paper2d is not the crux of the problem. The wider issue, at least for me, is not understanding blueprint in general.

I fear the same would be true if I were trying to add something new that wasn’t specifically covered in one of the instructional videos. Something that would take a deeper understanding of how blueprint does it’s job.

That’s what I’m really after. The C++ holy grail, for those that don’t know a thing about C++ commands or functions. Help for artists that don’t know what: bool, float, or string means.

There is no such Holy Grail. You need to learn bit by bit.

Start at the beginning. What are you trying to make, a 2d platformer? So start by making a sprite. Then figure out how to make it move. Then more complex movements. Then animate those movements. Then put some powerups in the game. And then at some point go back and redo everything you have already done because now you know of better ways.

My map generator started by carving a hex tile static mesh out of a cone brush and then figuring out how to put 200 of them side by side. I still don’t know a hell of a lot about blueprint, but I learn each piece as I go.

A 2d platformer would be ideal to start with. The semi complex animations I see in my head, don’t translate into such words as “variable” though. Especially when there seems to be no end to the term in blueprint.

Lets say I wanted my character to somersault backwards, if I was facing right and pressed “left” and “jump” at the same time. This seems very out of reach at the moment, but there must be a way to accomplish this.

The blueprint would have to know what direction I was facing at the time, and that that I was requesting these actions.

Simpler still, using a unique flipbook for left and right idle animations, then have the “jump” action know what direction the character is facing and use the appropriate flipbook based on that previous information.

Sadly, all I can say for myself at this point is, I don’t know why I need to make an UpdateAnimation, or what a AnimationStateMachine really is.

All I’ve managed to do so far is take the info in the tutorial videos, and mess things up beyond that.

I really don’t want to be a pain in the ***, or ***** a lot, because I know these are super tools. I just wish there was an easier way to “understand”.

Mostly something like that is just complicated for our human brains to wrap around because it will require a lot of branching. Start by figuring out how you can track the player direction. You can probably just use a bool or an int to track this with say 0 = left and 1 = right. Then, anytime your character performs any movement or rotation action, you have to remember to properly set this variable. Then, anytime you do anything that requires knowledge of direction, you check to see what that variable is and branch for the difference conditions. The same thing with pressing left and jump at the same time. You press jump, and it checks if you are also pressing some other key. For each condition you have, your blueprint will branch to execute those separate conditions.

If X+Y+Z, then execute A Animation and B Movements. If W+Z, then execute B Animation and C Movements.

Keeping it straight in your head is the hard part.

It sounds like you are trying to wrap your brain around the big picture without knowing how to handle the smaller bits first. The easiest way to understand would be to focus on each tiny bit. Figure out how to simply change animation states at a key press. From Walk to Run, Run to Jump, etc. Get all of your transitions down. Then later you can work out conditionals. Don’t worry about backwards left facing somersaults until you can do all the basics first. :slight_smile: