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Reusing Animations


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I think it's probably fair to say that it would take WAY too long to make separate animation sets for every single AI model. At the same time we don't want to have every character move exactly the same as they did in TDS. So where is the happy medium? We currently have mrdes animating the Builder Guard and DeepO working on rigging the City Watch. I don't know if Mike has done any work on animating the Builder Priest since he hasn't posted for two months. I know that models with different skeletons need separate animations.

 

So I guess I'm wondering, how many sets of animations will we need? What models can/should be using the same set of animations? And should we try to be modeling future AI to fit the same skeletons as existing models?

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Good point Spring. I was mulling this over in my mind myself. I'm no moddeler, so I'm just spitting out ideas here.

 

For simplicity, it is easier to share a skeletal set among your AI but this could lead to the T3 sameness that all of the AI had. It could also give us an advantage that T3 didn't take advantage of....by letting us have our animators each take a turn at creating their own set of animations for the AI and allowing the FM author to decide which set to apply to which model. Depending on how many animation sets they had to choose from, it would create a great amount of variety. This of course all hinges on using a single skeletal set but unfortunately, we already have several models using different skeletons. Also, I'm not familiar with how easy or hard it is to shrink, twist or expand a skeleton to allow for varying shapes and sizes of AI.

 

If we did decide at this stage to use a unified skeletal system, it would also allow us to more easily swap out weapons animations amongst all our AI.

 

Anyway, just shooting the breeze.

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Good point Spring.  I was mulling this over in my mind myself.  I'm no moddeler, so I'm just spitting out ideas here.

 

For simplicity, it is easier to share a skeletal set among your AI but this could lead to the T3 sameness that all of the AI had.  It could also give us an advantage that T3 didn't take advantage of....by letting us have our animators each take a turn at creating their own set of animations for the AI and allowing the FM author to decide which set to apply to which model.  Depending on how many animation sets they had to choose from, it would create a great amount of variety.  This of course all hinges on using a single skeletal set but unfortunately, we already have several models using different skeletons.  Also, I'm not familiar with how easy or hard it is to shrink, twist or expand a skeleton to allow for varying shapes and sizes of AI. 

 

If we did decide at this stage to use a unified skeletal system, it would also allow us to more easily swap out weapons animations amongst all our AI.

 

Anyway, just shooting the breeze.

 

Using one skeleton for multiple differently proportioned models is essentially impossible. The number of changes that body shape forces on the skeleton is so big that it can't be done automatedly. Then different skeletons can't have the same animations.....

 

Yeah. Not really feasible. An interesting idea, however, would be to use blending more than is really done. I've got something percolating in my head... will post if it ever makes sense.

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The happy medium would be to restrict ourselves to a few body types. Male, female, and sub-types of short&fat and tall&skinny, something like that.

 

Because fat people just cannot use the same anims as skinny people. But we can make some base body types so we dont' have to do a new anim for EVERY SINGLE character.

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It's entirely feasable to use the same animations for all models if you have access to motionbuilder (which I have) THen they just need tweaks on a models by models basis.That's what the program is designed for. It also makes advanced character rigging a 2 second job as well. The animations stored in FBX format can be shared among all the animators.You can freely download it from various sources. I can hook anyone up with it if they want it.

Still, I've already worked out that there should be one set for guard types, one set for robed characters, a set for he male non combatants, a set for female non combatants, and then all the other misc. categies like ceatures and bots.

Within those sets, various facitons will need their specific animations on top of the generic ones.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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