Animation General Discussion

Developing the 3D models, environments and animations of Heroes and Villains

Animation General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:35 pm

As requested, an animation thread for a general discussion of the topic.
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby Pie-ro » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:44 pm

Okay so this is the animation thread. We bring stuff to life.

Do you need a unique animation for a mission you're working on? Post it here.

Do you have one of those ...."Can we do that?" questions about animation? Post it here.





If you want to join the animation team and help in that capacity, but have never done any animations, and don't know where to start, here are some tutorials:


Animation Principles:

http://www.3dworldmag.com/2012/05/04/free-3d-training-disneys-12-classic-principles-of-animation/

While these examples are geared toward cinematic movies, the 12 principles of animation can be applied to any form of animation.

For our game the most important ones will be:

Follow through and overlapping action
Slow in and slow out
Arcs
Secondary action
Timing

But it is a good idea to have a solid understanding of all 12.


Hero Engine Animation tutorials:

http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Animating_Characters_Tutorial

http://hewiki.heroengine.com/wiki/Category:Character_animations



How to animate a walk cycle in Maya

Because the character must always return to its idle state in a game, animation "cycles" are very important. The character must always begin and end an animation in the same pose. Here is a tutorial about how to do a walk cycle in Maya:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er9QczYsfOI

I chose Maya because I am most familiar with it, but honestly having tried various different programs, I personally feel it is the most robust when it comes to animation. You are of course (as of right now, to my understanding) free to use any program compatible with Hero Engine.
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:47 pm

Pie-ro wrote:Slow in and slow out


I'm guessing here, but does that cover the lead in to an animation and the "cooldown" as it ends?
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby Pie-ro » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:39 am

Golden Girl wrote:
Pie-ro wrote:Slow in and slow out


I'm guessing here, but does that cover the lead in to an animation and the "cooldown" as it ends?


What you are asking is a specific technical question. The principles of animation are broad guidlines to help make characters appear lifelike.

Yes, slow in and out can be used in the example you brought up. But it is also applicable for any time a character ever moves....ever.

Slow in and slow out refers to the act of an objects (ball, character, projectile, arms, legs etc.) movement accellerating and decelerating.

Example: No one swings a sword at full speed from frame one. There is slight aceleration from a standstill/idle state. There are of course exceptions if the character is a superspeedster or somthing.

But as a general principle of animation all movement accellerates and decelalerates.

Forgive the typos my phone wont let me spell check for some reason, will fix when I get home.

Hope this helped! :)
Last edited by Pie-ro on Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:41 am

So would that mean that we could have better walking/running animations, so that we didn't come to a sudden stop when the movement power was turned off?
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby Pie-ro » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:28 am

Golden Girl wrote:So would that mean that we could have better walking/running animations, so that we didn't come to a sudden stop when the movement power was turned off?




That is purely a timing thing. And also can be effected be coders and the game engine itself.

What I would do is ....when the travel power or movement button is deactivated an animation would play.

This animation would be what I refer to as an in between animation, and would not be a cycle like the idle or walk animation. It would begin with the end of the running animation and end at the beginning of the idle animation. This is of course dependent on how the game engine works with animations, which I still have not had a chance to dive into.

The character would be running, and when the button is deactivated, continue to move move forward slightly. Perhaps take a couple "slow down steps".

If you've ever watched someone sprint and then try and stop quickly, there's a few of those steps before they come to a stop. All we would have to do is have that animation play when the travel power is deactivated.

Coding/game engine afaik would determine how quickly the animation played from when the button is deactivated.

The animation itself of the extra slow down steps, is not the "Slow in Slow out" in and of itself. Its just an animation. The slow in and slow out would be in reference to the movements of the characters legs, IN said animation.

If this is not making sense or I am just doing a crap job of explaining it, take a look at the link I posted with the 12 principles and go to the slow in and slow out section.

:)

EDIT: !! Okay so take your arm and hold it in the air above your head. Now bring it down onto the nearest surface as fast as you can without smacking the surface....See how your arm decelerated before it reached the surface. That was slow in and slow out. Your arm went from no movement, gradually accelerated until it was moving very quickly then decelerated before it reached the surface. It is almost impossible to go from stand still to full speed to stand still, with your limbs.

If you incorporate this idea into animations, combined with other principles such as limbs naturally rotate in arcs, you get realistic movements.
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:12 am

Something like that would be ideal to avoid the "snap" from one animation to the next, which was espeically obvious in CoH when players transitioned from walk/sprint/super speed to the idle stance,
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby strawberryelric » Fri May 17, 2013 6:43 pm

Could we use the Maya Student version? I believe it's free for three years if I'm correct. (I've started using Blender, despite what I've heard of how 'terrible' it is).

And would it be bad if perhaps a couple of the animators could talk to people interested in helping with animation? (I figured, if people were sincere in learning the programs on their own time to help out, it would be nice to get some help from someone with more experience). We're all putting some sort of effort into this if we can.

I'm considering in helping if I can learn how. I know it's not easy, but I figured with one of the main heavy-duty things in the game. It would be nice to have an extra hand.

(I may be taking 2-D Animation on as a future career, I figure this could help, ya know, 3-D stuff is pretty cool).
Last edited by strawberryelric on Fri May 17, 2013 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Now it feels like it's my turn to help out the Coh community.
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby LSRagnarok » Fri May 17, 2013 6:48 pm

Just going to say things that need saying.
Multiple & customizable idle animations
Ability to interact with objects (Sitting in chairs, working at a computer, playing pool at a pool table)
Emote animations while seated
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Re: Animtion General Discussion

Unread postby strawberryelric » Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Would it be a bad idea to start going ahead and listing all of the ones we may need, for future reference? o.o
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