Guild Wars Wiki:Projects/Skills animations

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Skills animations project


This project is designed to record all skill animations in Guild Wars, convert them to .gif images, upload them to the wiki, and link them through the skill infobox on each skill page.



Recording the animations[edit]

  • Many external software may be used for the recording, such as Fraps. See Appendix 1 for a small guide on how to configure Fraps.
  • For skills that target only the self, such as Faithful Intervention, the skill may be recorded on the Isle of Wurms. By asking any Canthan Ambassador to see the island, the characters arrive directly in front of a black background. Taking a few steps back ensures that the character is completely surrounded by darkness. Then the camera may be turned 180 degrees, in order to capture the animation facing the character, such as seen here.
  • For skills that may target an other ally, such as Orison of Healing, ideally the animation would show both the caster and the target. This may be done on the Isle of Wurms with the help of a hero or a friend. With a hero, simply moving back to the black background will make the hero follow, without the need to use the flags.
  • For skills that target foes, such as Blades of Steel, the recording may be done on the Isle of the Nameless, against one of the training dummies. Favorable options are the rightmost dummy in the row of armor dummies (the one with 60 armor) to the northeast of the entrance (seen here) and the "In the area" dummy seen on the Area of Effect collection of dummies, to the northwest of the entrance (seen here). The former is better for most skills, the latter is better for the ones with white visual effects, such as signets. For the sake of consistency, these animations are taken with the enemy to the left and the character using the skill to the right. It may be a good idea (but it's not necessary) to use TexMod with a mod provided by Kurd (available here) in order to give the Isle of the Nameless a black background. This is very useful to reduce file size, but it's not required.
  • Remember to capture the entire animation, by recording from a distance far enough so all of it is visible, and for a duration long enough so the entire animation may be captured.
  • It may be useful to turn off some interface elements. The Mission Map, the compass, the health bar, the energy bar, the experience bar, the weapons window, the chat and others may be turned off by pressing F11 and using the Interface tab. You can also use Shift-Ctrl-H to hide and show the entire interface.
  • Record profession-linked skills with their specific professions, for example by using monks to record monk skills.
  • Favor recording skills using each profession's main weapon. For example, ranger skills while holding a bow as opposed to holding a staff, monk skills with a staff or a scepter with an offhand instead of holding a sword, and etc.
  • Ideally, skills with specific conditions would be captured under ideal circumstances, showing how they are more likely to be used. A skill that requires the caster to be enchanted could be recorded with the caster under an enchantment, for example. This isn't required, and isn't always possible.
  • Remember to make the damage indicator numbers to as small as possible using F11. This keeps them from being a distraction in the animation.

Converting to .gif files[edit]

  • Many image processing softwares may be used for this goal, such as Photoshop, GIMP (part of the GNU Project) or Jasc Animation Shop, a freeware software. See Appendix 2 for a small guide on using JAS.
  • Cropping the images is important, in order to lower file size. Many screen elements are not necessary for the .gif files, such as the skill bar. It's important to show the entire animation, with a small border so users know no part of the animation has been accidentaly cut.
  • Remember to balance image quality, so the details of the animations are visible, with file size. File size should not be an issue, however, since the wiki's upload limit has been increased to 15 megabytes since the start of the project and there have been few problems with the 2-megabyte limit.


  • The images are to be uploaded following the format: skill name animation.gif (example).
  • When uploading, add the code {{ArenaNet image|video}} in the summary, in order to proper categorize the images.
  • The skill article will be automatically updated to show a link to the animation. This may take a while as the server catches up with the changes.
  • Images with more than 2 mb currently cannot be uploaded, so remember to keep file size below that limit.
  • For PvP versions of skills with a different function/animation (such as Unyielding Aura versus Unyielding Aura (PvP)) talk with the Master of the Isle to change the Isle of the Nameless to a PvP mode for recording.
  • For PvP versions of skills with the same function/animation as their PvE counterpart, make a redirect on the PvP version.

Note on viewing animations[edit]

In some browsers, such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8, the speed of the animations in this project may appear to be moving in slow motion. Please note that this is an inherent issue with the browsers and not the animations. Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 (which is no longer available for download from Microsoft) seem to display at the correct speed.

Progress Report[edit]

  • Yes - complete
  • No - in progress
  • No - not being worked on
Warrior Warrior Ranger Ranger
No Axe Mastery
No Hammer Mastery in progress by Hawkins
No Strength in progress by Gilliam Bluestaff
No Swordsmanship in progress by Gilliam Bluestaff
No Tactics
No No Attribute
No Beast Mastery
Yes Expertise Done!
Yes Marksmanship Done!
Yes Wilderness Survival Done!
Yes No Attribute Done!
Monk Monk Necromancer Necromancer
Yes Divine Favor Done!
No Healing Prayers in progress by Antioch & Master Zeki
No Protection Prayers in progress by Antioch
No Smiting Prayers in progress by Antioch & Go4the1
Yes No Attribute Done!
No Blood Magic in progress by CAJOS
No Curses in progress by CAJOS
No Death Magic in progress by CAJOS
No Soul Reaping in progress by CAJOS
Yes No Attribute Done!
Mesmer Mesmer Elementalist Elementalist
Yes Fast Casting Done!
No Domination Magic
No Illusion Magic in progress by Cursed Angel
No Inspiration Magic
Yes No Attribute Done!
No Air Magic in progress by Fenyx
Yes Earth Magic Done!
Yes Energy Storage Done!
No Fire Magic in progress by Fenyx & Master Zeki
No Water Magic in progress by Fenyx
No No Attribute
Assassin Assassin Ritualist Ritualist
Yes Critical Strikes Done!
Yes Dagger Mastery Done!
No Deadly Arts in progress by Sierra Invenio
Yes Shadow Arts
Yes No Attribute Done!
Yes Channeling Magic Done!
No Communing in progress by Master Zeki
No Restoration Magic in progress by Master Zeki
No Spawning Power in progress by Master Zeki
Yes No Attribute Done!
Paragon Paragon Yes Dervish Dervish
Yes Command Done!
No Leadership
No Motivation
Yes Spear Mastery Done!
Yes No Attribute Done!
Yes Earth Prayers Done!
Yes Mysticism Done!
Yes Scythe Mastery Done!
Yes Wind Prayers Done!
Yes No Attribute Done!
Any Common
No Norn rank
Yes Asura rank Done!
No Deldrimor rank
No Ebon Vanguard rank
No Allegiance rank
Yes Sunspear rank Done!
No Lightbringer rank
No Siege Devourer
No Junundu
No Celestial skills
No Snow Fighting skills
No Consumable effects

Appendix 1: Configuring Fraps[edit]

  • At the top of the Fraps window, click on the "Movies" tab.
  • "Video Capture Hotkey" is usually set to F9; it may be useful to change the hotkey to something else, as F9 is often used in GW to open the inventory window.
  • Turn "Record Sound" off, on the left of the window.
  • Turn "Half Size" on, in order to reduce the size of the movies. There is no need to reduce the animation size further, though.
  • Set frames per second to 25, by clicking at the top option on the right of the window.
  • Once Fraps is running, when playing Guild Wars it will begin recording as soon as the Video Capture key is pressed, and will end the recording when the same key is pressed a second time.

Appendix 2: Using Jasc Animation Shop 3[edit]

  • At the menu on the top, choose "File" then "Open". Choose the proper video to be open, and press "Open".
  • A screen will appear asking which frames to open. For now, keep "All frames" (default option). Keep "Merge identical frames into one" on. Press Ok.
  • The video will be open showing all frames one by one. Scroll to the left, seeing the animation, and take note at in which frame the skill animation itself begins and ends.
  • Open the video again, but instead of choosing "All frames", select the option to control which frames will be open, and choose the initial frame and the last frame of the skill animation. It may be useful to leave two or three frames before and after the animation itself, in order to keep the resulting image smoother.
  • Once the lenght of the animation has been determined, it's time to crop the frames. A video recording will likely contain many elements that are not necessary for the final .gif, such as skill bars, the target's health bar, etc. For cropping, select the "Crop animation" icon - it's the fourth icon from the left in the tool palette (if the palette isn't visible, or to identify it, go to the "View" menu at the top of the screen and then choose "Tool Palette").
  • With "Crop animation" selected, select an area on one visible frame by clicking and dragging the cursor. Selecting an area in one frame will select the same area in all the frames, making it easy to see if the entire animation fits within the selected area. Scroll through the frames and resize the selected area as necessary, so the entire animation fits within it. Once that's done, click on the "Crop" option that will be shown in a gray bar to the top left of the screen (between the "Options..." and "Clear" options).
  • Once the frames have been cropped, the animation is almost done. It's recomended to view the animation now, in order to check if it's working properly. Either select the "View" menu and then the first option, "Animation", or click on the "View Animation" icon on the toolbar (it's the second to last icon from the left; if the toolbar isn't visible, go to the "View" menu and choose "Toolbar").
  • If the animation appears to be in proper order, it's time to save. Choose the "File" menu, and then "Save as...". Choose the file name, and change file type on the menu to CompuServe Graphic Interchange (aka gif). Upon clicking on "Save", a new screen will appear, asking what is the desired quality of the .gif file. Select "Better Image Quality" (at the top of the options) and click on advance a few times. The image will be processed, and the resulting animation will be shown.