When comparing Spine vs Spriter, the Slant community recommends Spine for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D animation tools for game development?” Spine is ranked 1st while Spriter is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose Spine is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Integration libraries support most engines
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 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 Community-driven feature roadmap
Esoteric Software maintains public Waffle issue trackers to help plan and prioritize feature additions.
Pro Quick and easy keyframe animation
Animation is calculated as movement paths between keyframes, and creating a keyframe requires only placing sprites and assigning a time index.
Pro Easy configuration of character maps
Spriter makes it easy to change the character skin, and the animations persists.
Pro Free upgrade to Spriter Pro 2
Free upgrade to Spriter Pro 2.
Price is a lot less than Spine for the pro version and goes on sales often.
Pro Steam intergration
Steam integration is great for updates and tracking hour progression with the software.
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 Sluggish performance with Unity Runtime
Con This version will never have 3D mess support
Yes, there will be a free upgrade to Spriter Pro 2 which will have this feature, but it will be years until that program is read as mentioned on the official site. The issue being that they do not have a way to program this in their current exported runtime. So, for not both Dragon Bones, Spine, and Blender, are the best options it seems for 3D mesh support which really adds something to game animations.
Con No hotkeys for stepping through animation frames
Stepping the animation forward and backward requires using the mouse, extremely inconvenient when fine-tuning motion paths.
Con No curved paths
All motion paths are linear. Curves have to be simulated by hand-placing additional keyframes.
Need knowledge in animator specification of profession