Pixelmate is a Photoshop CC (all versions...except 2015.0) extension aimed at helping artists live preview their animations in Photoshop as they make them.
Aimed at pixel artists and particle sheet creators, Pixelmate will allow the artist to see their changes immediately instead of having to stop their work to preview it.
Shipping with 2 different modes of preview and several scripts to help speed up/automate different parts of the artistic process.
Frame by frame/timeline animation
This saves out a gif for you as you make changes and displays it in the panel each time so you can see your changes dynamically! Lets you keep your frame delay times as well so your animation is previewed as you are setting it!
Work on a spritesheet and see your changes live as you make them.
Sheet mode is also robust in allowing you to play selections of frames in your sheet.
Want to see only frame 5-9? No problem!
Want to see the whole animation slowed down or sped up? No Problem!
Work with many rows and columns, that's not an issue for Pixelmate.
Both GIF and Sheet mode support scaling the animation so you can see it easily (for people making small animations, we can scale it up and keep that pixely goodness)
Pixelmate isn't just a preview panel though, It also comes with some extra scripts (likely more on the way as users suggest more) like:
Anim to Sheet -
Put your frame by frame/Timeline animation into a spritesheet. Allows you to set how many frames per row you'd like and also sets up guides around all the cells so you can easily continue tweaking and know your boundaries
Sheet To Anim -
Got that fancy spritesheet and want to make a gif to share on socials? No problem. Put in your frame dimensions, how many frames and a base frame delay in and Bam! Instant Animation ready to save out!
This will setup a blank spritesheet for you with guides in a matter of seconds instead of manually doing it. Say how big a frame will be, how many frames you want and how many per row and the name of the new document and Pixelmate Suite will handle setup for you!
Onion Skinning - (In development)
This is aimed at frame by frame animators (as Timeline already has it built in) It's always tedious to make an onion skin of your last made frame isn't it. Onion Skinning will add a new frame to your animation, make a copy of the visible parts and set it to 70% fill as well as make AND select the new layer for that new frame. When you're done and want to work on the next frame, don't worry about deleting that onion skin first, run the script again to have it auto delete the last skin and make a new one for you!
Who is this NOT for?
As much as I am loathe to say that this isn't for everyone, there is limitations and they are limited because of computers/PS itself. If you're someone making large animations (large as in canvas size mainly) then this is likely to be a problem for you.
I've tested it with canvas sizes up to ~800x800px and not had too much of a lag issue but I do know that above 1k it can get laggy. One way you COULD use Pixelmate is to not have it update all the time thus not saving your image out each image change. This could still be advantageous for artists that stream and want to have an easy way to show the animation without having to stop their work all the time to show it to new visitors.
Want to suggest ideas or let me know about bugs?
Join me on Discord and have a chat with me!