The COA Tools is a set of tools in one addon for working with Cut Out Animation. These cut outs are sprites and the addon offers all the tools you need to animate them. Interesting to see is how easy it is to set up an armature for the cut outs. If you don’t have an idea what kind of animation it is, think of those animations where they take a picture of a celebrity and animate parts of the body.

While we have now grease-pencil, it seems to me that the COA tools is still pretty handy. Because the COA Tools offers everything you need in one panel, it feels like a streamlined application. One thing though, is that the addon is just (a few hours ago) ported over to Blender 2.8 and there is no documentation yet. Though, I managed it to play around with it a few hours and the video below will save you some time figuring out how to start with the COA Tools.

Getting familiar with COA Tools addon for Blender 2.8

What is in the video?

  • Create Sprite Object. (Just the base of an object, like an empty or parent).
  • Import Sprites. (Those are the Cut Outs like head, body, arms, legs, etc).
  • Create armature. This is really a convenient feature of the addon.
  • Set up camera.
  • Create short animation.

Actually super simple. The only thing that takes quite some time is to create the sprites. Creating sprite is not with the addon, but you create them in GIMP (or Blender). Once that is done, the COA Tools addon is waiting for you.

Few issues for now.

  • Not that it is very important, but I couldn’t get weight paint to work. This is only need when you add more bones into one sprite.
  • I am looking for a good tutorial on how to work with actions and the NLA editor. If you know a good tutorial for that, for Blender 2.8 let me know.

Where to download the COA Tools Addon?

You can download the COA tools on Github. You need to unzip the folder first. Then find the folder called Blender. Then zip the folder called coa_tools. In Blender you go to Edit > Preferences > Addons > Install. Browse to the and press install. You will find the COA Tools in the N-Panel.

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