Stable Release of 0.2.0 is Now Available
After several long (and painful) months, finally the stable build of 0.2.0 is available. This also means updated demo versions, which should be a good news if you're still on the fence about supporting Mannequin's development because you aren't really sure if the app is actually in active development or not (it is, just rather slowly).
For the 0.2.0 release, Mannequin has been essentially rebuilt from scratch (hence the long wait) using new Electron instead of NW.js. Everything is new, from user interface, file structure, and the rendering method. But let's spare the technical details and go into the fun part about what's new in this release:
Starting from this version, you can switch from basic coloring mode to advanced coloring mode, which will allow you to choose a specific color for base, shadow and highlight.
Revamped Art Style
Painstakingly redrawn from scratch, the default template is now far nicer than before. Combine this new art style with advanced coloring and you can get an output that's nearly on par with established illustrators' works.
Multiple Faces, Hairstyles and Clothing
Across the storyline of your video game project (or maybe non video game project) most likely your character will express different emotions, or change his/her appearance. By using multiple face, hairstyle and clothing presets, you can make a lot of variations without the hassle of making another character file.
As a complement to multiple faces/hairstyles/clothing feature mentioned above, our new batch export mode enables you to export all character variations into a single folder with a single click.
Edit multiple characters at once using the new tabbed interface. With this, one instance of the app is enough to handle all of your project's characters.
As Mannequin is still under development, some things are bound to be incomplete or buggy. Here are some niggles that are known so far:
- The tab interface will overflow to the side if you're opening a lot of file (this will be determined by your display space).
- Changing clothing components, undo/redo, and switching files is very slow.
- Old files (from 0.1.x) is not compatible with this version. Keep your files, though, as we're going to add some kind of compatibility layer.
Now that the base is laid out, finally we'll move into something that has been requested (and planned) for a long time: Male Template and Custom Components. These two will be the big focus for 0.3.0, and here are our current considerations for these main objectives:
- Male clothing templates that will be available for 0.3.0 will more or less match the current female clothing templates, which means school uniforms and several basic modern clothing.
- The components will appear gradually in the nightly release, starting from naked base,
- Several requested clothing templates will be used to test the custom components feature. I've seen several requests for traditional Japanese clothing, for example.
- For now, our plan for the mechanism of custom components will involve downloading and extracting some ZIP archive to a specified folder. Hopefully this will be replaced by a mechanism similar to DLC in the future (items made by us will be free, of course). This store feature at least has been considered by the itch.io dev team.
Other than that, some fixes and refinements will of course be present, such as faster rendering, refined tab UI for multi-file editing, faster undo/redo, faster tab switching and faster export times.