Let's learn how to create animations with SpriteKit's timeline. You are going to add a taunting animation to the polar bear that will sit behind the catapult:
Build a bear
The bear will need its own
Create a new file called Bear.sks (
File > New > File) in your project:
You will need to combine two images to construct the bear, the body without an arm and a separate arm that will be animated with the timeline.
Select Bear.sks and
Zoom Out the scene so you can see the scene border.
Drag bearnoarms.png in from your Media Library to the scene, snap it to the bottom left corner of the scene.
Add beararm.png to the scene, then set the Anchor Point to
(0,1), position it somewhere that looks good.
Next in the Scene Graph view on the left hand side of the scene. Drag the
arm onto the
bear so the
arm is a child of the
You needed to set the anchor point of the arm because you are going to rotate it. When you apply a rotation to a SKNode it will rotate around the Anchor Point, the default is
(0.5,0.5) this means it will rotate around the center point. Now for the arm, you want to rotate somewhere around the shoulder, which in this case is the
Top-left corner of the arm.
You may have noticed the large scene border around the bear, seems a bit of a waste? Let's resize this to reflect the size of the bear. It's important to set the scene size appropriately otherwise it can lead to unexpected placement issues. Let's correct this.
Select Scene in the Scene Graph, in the Attributes inspector set the Size to
Custom, W to
80 and H to
78. You may recall this is the same Size as the bear asset.
If you resized and can't see the scene boundary,
You may also need to reposition the bear back into the scene boundary.
Notice that when you drag the bear, the arm also moves along as it's a child node and any movement to the parent node (bear) will affect any child nodes.
Now you are ready to animate the polar bear's arm. Let's take a look at the scene Timeline.
Ensure the Timeline is visible
Add a new action
Click on + to add a new timeline set Name to
ArmAnimation, you will notice by default it will add this new animation to
Action.sks the SpriteKit Action File included by the default game project.
Open Actions.sks, you will notice there are two actions. The
ArmAnimation you just added and one called
Pulse. Don't delete it, you might use it later :]
Building the animation
You will be animating the arm using two Rotate Actions, the first one will rotate the arm by
90 degrees and the second will rotate it back again by
90 degrees, creating a nice loop.
Drag a Rotate Action from the Action Library into the
ArmAnimation action timeline. The default attributes will work just fine.
Drag a second Rotate Action into the timeline and set Degrees to
Congratulations! Let's see this animation in action!
Open Bear.sks, take a look in the Object Library you should see your custom action
ArmAnimation near the bottom of the list. Drag this action into the arm timeline.
Next let's ensure this animation loops forever,
click on the Loop button in the bottom-left of the ArmAnimation action and check the infinity symbol.
Great job, press Animate at the top of the timeline editor and your bear should hopefully look like this:
You've learnt to:
- Create a new SpriteKit Scene for the bear
- Create a custom
ArmAnimation action in a SpriteKit Action file
- Apply your custom action to the bear timeline
In the next chapter you will be creating more game objects, ready for use in the game.
If you have feedback on this tutorial or find any mistakes, please open issues on the