There's so many, it's hard to list them all. We started making a collection some time ago, though it may not have tips from the latest versions. There's also the tips page, of course. Those are mainly workflow type tips rather than UI tips.
We recently rewrote the entire Spine User Guide and added lots of callout boxes to cross link and give little tips for things. You could browse the user guide and review the callout boxes to collect the delicious tip tidbits there. For example, for CLI export there's a box tell about `
, so if you are exporting many projects you don't need to specify
/-m` for every single one.
Some tips are in the User Guide text. Eg, the mesh page tells about holding
shift when dragging to create an edge in edit mesh mode, but this may be easy to miss if you don't read carefully. We recently improved this in 4.0, it's a lot better now!
Scaling box selection in 4.0 (needing to pause for the selection to stay) isn't much of a tip, but may be good to show.
Selection history (page up/down) is insanely helpful and I think overlooked by a lot of users.
Things in lists can often be right clicked to select the thing in the tree. This works in the animations, skins, weights, preview views and elsewhere. It also works in the graph, right click a key is like clicking that property's row. That can be useful when the graph is unlocked, when you have many curves shown but want to pick a particular one to show only that.
Right clicking a graph dot toggles it (like ctrl+left click), without affecting any other dots like just left click does.
Click the animation name in the dopesheet, don't scroll the tree!
Turning off auto frame in the graph can be helpful for long animations. You can box select then click
Frame when working with just part of the animation.
Drag mixes (and some other sliders) past the start/end. Negative mixes are powerful (eg using 2 bones that move opposite each other for perspective).
You don't always needs bones, in fact in many situations you don't and your rigging can be a lot simpler. Check out this project for our 404 page. Where are all spineboy's bones? He doesn't have any! This is also shown in this cake tip.
Syncing the dopesheet can be useful. People may not realize that placing the dopesheet directly above/below the graph will sync the timeline pan and zoom. This can be useful when using the graph primarily, as the white keys in the dopesheet can be used to easily move many keys on the same frame.
Tips about how to use the favor tool could help a lot of people.
How to lock/unlock the dopesheet/graph to match your needs as you work is a pretty crucial skill. There's some related things, like adding a bone to the current bones in a locked dopesheet/graph.
You can hover a key briefly in the graph to prioritize snapping to that key:
D to play, then
A to stop will reset you to the frame where you pressed
D. You can change the hotkeys so pressing
D twice does that.
How to separate x/y and rgb/a might be considered a tip, since it's new. Note it's per bone/slot and per animation.
Using preview as you work can be helpful for layered animations, especially with
Play current animation and
Show all skin attachments tree option is pretty great. The options to hide skeleton and skins names are a nice tip for those who use them as prefixes.
Export quality is improved when anisotropic filtering is enabled in Spine's settings. We just added a warning:
For CLI export, you can use a few special names instead of needing an export settings JSON file:
binary+pack. This lets you export data and optionally pack an atlas with just the Spine project file. Reasonable defaults are used for the data export and texture packer. Eg:
spine -i /path/to/project.spine -o /path/to/output/ -e json+pack
The output folder can be omitted too, which will output to the project file's folder.
spine -i /path/to/project.spine -e json+pack
Clicking anywhere on the launcher will disable
You can now choose a version like
Latest 4.0, so you'll get the latest patch version automatically. People really should understand Spine's versioning! You can specify the same at the command line using
spine -u 4.0.xx
spine -u 3.8.xx
The biggest tip is probably: use the damn hotkeys! It will save an enormous amount of time. Put in the effort to identify what functions you use a lot, then setup hotkeys for them. Hotkeys you use, you will remember. If you are willing to put in the effort to setup and use hotkeys and it turns out you don't use some, that's OK
those aren't functions you use often enough to need a hotkey. Not putting in the effort to be efficient and just marching on as el capitan mouse commander for all the functionality you need is doing yourself a disservice! It will slow you down a lot and greatly increase the strain on your mousing wrist when animating long hours. Take note of how Sinisa animates in the Animating with Spine videos.