Looking at my mods’ usage statistics, I found that SplashAnimation in particular seems to be included in many modpacks, but very few actually seem to utilize its feature of adding an animated image to the beginning of the loading process! As such, I think you may appreciate this short tutorial on how to make use of it.

You will need the following:

  • SplashAnimation 0.2.0, available from the download page,
  • A recent version of FFmpeg. It should be packaged in most Linux distributions, Windows/Mac users may find builds here,
  • Command line recklessness.

First, prepare your animated image. It can be in GIF or video format - up to you!

Next, create an “animation” directory in the root of your Minecraft instance directory, then use the following FFmpeg command to convert the GIF or video file into individual .PNG files:

$ ffmpeg -i my_animation.gif instance/.minecraft/animation/%d.png

where my_animation.gif is the filename of your animation GIF or video and instance/.minecraft is the path to the root of your Minecraft instance directory (the folder which contains config/, mods/, etc).

That’s it! At this point, turning on Minecraft should display your animation at the beginning of the game’s loading process. However, it is not unlikely that you may want to tweak it further.

To do so, open config/splashanimation.cfg. The options inside it are documented and commented, but I’ll focus on a few:

  • If your animation image files have transparency, set areFramesSolid to false.
  • Set backgroundColor to match the background which your animation should be surrounded with, in hexadecimal RRGGBB format.
  • If you want your animation to scale with the display instead of being centered, set enableScalingUp to true.
  • Tweak fadeOutTime and frameDelay to taste.

As a hint for configuring frameDelay, you can use

$ ffprobe my_animation.gif

Stream [...] Video: [...] 24.00 fps [...]

to get information about the animation’s frames per second. The value of frameDelay you should use to match is 1.0 / animation_fps, but feel free to tweak it to liking!

Now, not everyone has an animated image in GIF or video format. Here are some tricks you can use:

  • Instead of using FFmpeg to convert the image, you can simply provide your own numbered PNGs - 1.png, 2.png, 3.png, etc.
  • If you cannot create an animation, you can “cheat” and simply provide one image and copy it a few times so it stays up for a few seconds, while setting a high frameDelay (= low FPS).

I hope you’ll enjoy adding that little extra touch of personality to your modpack with SplashAnimation. Have fun!