When comparing Spine vs Piskel, the Slant community recommends Spine for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D animation tools for game development?” Spine is ranked 2nd while Piskel is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Spine is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Integration libraries support most engines
Pro Simplified UI allows for an easy learning curve
No-nonsense workflow allows you to create your artwork in programs much better suited for the task like Illustrator and Inkscape for example, while Spine itself focuses only on the important task of skeletal animation.
Pro Allows for easy use of artwork from third party programs
Spine's developers provide scripts which makes exporting artwork from third party programs much easier to do.
Pro Community-driven feature roadmap
Esoteric Software maintains public Waffle issue trackers to help plan and prioritize feature additions.
Pro Price high for this product
Pro Works in any browser
WPiskel is HTML5-based so it works in any modern browser.
Pro Offline versions available
The downloadable version of Piskel (built with node-webkit) is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Pro Animation support
Piskel includes onion skinning, exporting to sprite sheets or gifs, defining frame rate, and present live playback.
Pro Open source
Piskel is licensed under Apache License, meaning that the user can use the software for any purpose.
Pro Enough tools to be powerful
It has enough tools to be powerful, but not too many to put off beginners.
Pro Sleek interface
It is also easy on the eyes.
Pro Very simple for beginners
Once you get the hang of it its a very powerful tool
Pro Easy to use lighten and darken tool
With the click of a button you can create amazing shading.
Pro Has a straight foreward tile view mode
... so you can instantly see the result while drawing tiles
Con Spine Professional is expensive
Spine Essential includes nearly all features, except IK, weights, and meshes. Spine Professional is expensive, though it does give all future updates for life (Spine is updated very often).
Con No integration for lesser known engines
Spine does not directly support some game engines, such as Construct 2 or Clickteam Fusion.
Con Rotation is limited
Rotation is only made in predefined angles. Does not support variable rotations or mouse based rotation. Does not support rotating selected areas, only frames-layers.
Con Lacks a true resizing tool
There doesn't seem to be any decent tool in Piskel for an easy stretch or shrink. The only ways possible is resizing the whole image or importing and image and shrinking it from the export tool.
Con Shading by hand
Shading can be difficult.
Con Doesn't work well with drawpads
In the online tool you can't draw lines at all, yet using a graphic tablet, being in the offline version controls are pretty chunky and everytime you start drawing a line, the screen flickers black for a short period of time.