Animation Studio 1 – 13 – Titan Animation

Introduction

This is the final entry regarding the Titan Tussle project, it was a great success, and a great learning experience when it come to working with other disciplines and how to create animation specifically for games. There were a few issues that had to be fixed when it came to getting the animation to work within the game engine, but through communication and research it was solved.


 

Rigging

I made a custom rig for this character within 3ds max, I have become very comfortable with this process, so it was really fast to do. I did encounter a few problems with the arms as the Ik solvers didn’t want to work, but it was as simple as bending the bones a bit more towards the direction I wanted. I made sure it was an easy to control rig, as other people might be animating it.

crabrig

When it came to skinning it was more time consuming that I expected, as despite it being a low poly model, there was plenty of topology in the deformation areas, so I had to make sure everything had the correct weight distribution.  Other than that the next step was to actually animate the character.

CrabSkin


 

Animation

All of the animations for this character took 1 and a half full days to make between me and Vicky Wang. She made the push back, attack reaction and falling animations so I wont talk about them. With the rig set up the animation process was fairly straight forward, I did everything in stepped keys, staring with key poses and slowly breaking it down.

The run cycle was really easy to make, I had to make sure it was really exaggerated and easy to see as the character is fairly small on the screen. I used the the Animators Survival Kit as reference, it gives a fairly comprehensive breakdown of all the poses needed for a run cycle.

The stun attack was difficult to get right as it had to work both on small and large characters, so I decided to make it a forward leap. Other than that the arms were fairly hard to get right as the had to from supporting the jump to charging forward in a limited number of frames.

The dizzy animation was a nightmare, all the poses were made, but the curves were a mess. So fixing the curves for this character took about 2 hours and the process helped become more comfortable and understand better how the curve editor works.

The idle was made in five minutes as I wasn’t to worried about it because the characters are rarely still in the game.


 

Getting the Animations to Work

After getting all the animations done, the next step was to get them in the game and to make sure they worked correctly. The first attempt was a failure as each animation was on a separate file, and when the animation was copied over to the mesh within unity, the mesh would just collapse on itself. The games tried fixing this problem, but they suggested we should just compile all the animations within one file. One of my teachers taught me how to save and copy animations between files, the process was fairly straightforward. To avoid more time wasted I set up a file where everyone could type in where each animation started and ended on the timeline so the game guys could easily extract them. The next problem was informing and getting everyone to fix up their files, I effectively did this in slack and thankfully I received a response from everyone.

In regards to LO 14 I think the way I approached this complex problem was very effective, It didn’t consume to much of my time and it helped everyone solve their problem as well. Part of my effective problem solving skills is my communication skills and how effectively I can communicate what is wrong and how to solve it.

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