Spine 4.0 is here
Spine version 4.0 is now ready for production use! This is our biggest release to date, bringing you lots of new and exciting features, improvements, and bug fixes. For the nitty gritty details, check out the editor changelog as well as our runtimes changelog.
Let's dive into the most exiting new toys below!
Full control of your animations
The graph has been completely reworked in Spine 4.0! No longer are you limited to seeing the curve between only two keys. The new graph shows you the curves between all the keys at once and lets you manipulate them with a beautiful, easy to use interface.
The powerful new graph makes it tremendously easy to create, tweak, and perfect your animations, giving you maximum control over how the values in your animations change over time.
Ready to learn all about the new graph? Then head over to the graph documentation and check out our overview video.
Your new favorite tool
It's our job to give you tools that enable efficient workflows so you can create amazing animations in very little time. To do that, in Spine 4.0 we've introduced the favor tool as part of the new graph.
The favor tool quickly and efficiently creates your breakdown poses when using a pose-to-pose workflow. Adjust the slider to set keys that are more like the previous or next keys until you have the perfect blend for your breakdown pose.
You can save an immense amount of time with the favor tool: create your main poses, quickly add breakdown poses with the favor tool, and your animation is nearly finished!
Check out our favor tool workflow tutorial video and the favor tool documentation to learn more.
Separate axes for easier animating
Keying both X and Y together is convenient to keep the number of timelines down, but occasionally it can prevent you from achieving the movement you want.
That's why in Spine 4.0 we've introduced the ability to key X and Y separately! For each animation, you can choose to separately key a bone's X and Y axes for translation, scale, and shear. You can also separately key RGB and alpha for a slot.
We make great use of this ability in our Animating with Spine video series. Be sure to also check out the updated documentation.
We all spend much of our days staring at our screens. We've done our part to minimize your eye strain by reworking our entire user interface to be sharp as a knife on your fancy high resolution displays.
We've also put a lot of effort into improving the rendering quality of your skeletons inside Spine. There are many new smoothing options, including bicubic sampling and anisotropic filtering -- nerdy tech terminology for "making it look great"!
To round things off, Spine now supports the color profiles you've lovingly created for your monitor of choice, ensuring you see accurate colors. Also, if your games use linear color blending, you can now enable the same in Spine to see your skeletons exactly as they are in-game.
Check out the new settings and customize Spine's appearance to your liking.
Spine 4.0 is now 64-bit on all platforms! This means Spine is faster and can use as much RAM as your project requires, no matter how large it becomes.
We've also vastly improved the efficiency of handling large projects with many thousands of bones, attachments, and timelines. This is especially useful for projects with many skins and attachments or with multiple skeletons.
We've made tons of minor improvements across the board, from adding 100+ new hotkeys to all sorts of little polishes that are what makes Spine so nice to use. We spend almost as much time on doing these things as on the big fancy features!
To compliment all the new editor features, we've rewritten the entire Spine User Guide to describe all the new goodies in detail. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean translations are in progress.
It's been a longstanding request to be able to choose the direction of rotation and to rotate more than 360 degrees. We're happy to say that now you can!
Seeing your rotation values and other curves in the new graph gives you a clear visualization of how your movements change over time. It's super easy to see any transitions that aren't smooth and they are easy to fix directly in the graph.
We've completely revised Spine's foundation: the Spine launcher. It looks cool, starts faster, and uses our new server/CDN infrastructure to download updates. Plus you can now choose the major.minor version you want, such as 4.0, and it will automatically give you the latest compatible version.
All runtimes support all the new editor features! Please refer to the Spine Runtimes changelog for game engine and language specific changes.
A lot of the work for 4.0 happened under the hood, with only minor API changes. In most cases you will be able to upgrade your games and apps to 4.0 without changing your code! To use the 4.0 runtimes you will still need to export your files using the 4.0 editor.
Since the 3.8 release, we have closed over 320 issues, including bug fixes, API improvements, and new features. Thanks to everyone reporting issues and suggesting changes to the runtimes!
Use of the Lua and ActionScript runtimes has been declining over the years due to discontinuation of the products they are built upon, like Corona and Flash. We want to free up development resources to work on new features and new runtimes.
Spine 4.0 is the last release to support spine-lua, spine-corona, spine-love, spine-as3, and spine-starling. They will still see bug fixes and updates for 4.0, but won't be updated to 4.1 or beyond.
Our next release will be Spine 4.1, where we'll focus mainly on quality of life features on the editor side. On the runtimes side, we'll be adding support for new game toolkits, specifically Godot!
Thanks to everyone in our community who reported issues, tested the beta, and gave their suggestions and feedback to help shape our latest feature additions. Your input is invaluable!
–Your Spine Team
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