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Animation assignments


Domarius
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If you're keen on replacing the movement cycles, I can upload all the reference footage I took of my brother. He's a black belt in Jujitsu and very big and athletic, so he makes a good guard.

 

The footage includes; walking, walking with sword, running, running with sword, searching, searching with sword, and for each of those it has side view walking past, side view following, front view walking towards, and perspective view walking past.

 

My holiday is nearly done, so on Monday I should be animating again. I don't want to step on anyone's toes - but if you guys vote for oDDity to take the walk cycles, I'd like to do them myself as well, as a learning experience. Of course if there's an animation that urgently needs doing and you'd rather I do that, than double up the walk cycles right now, that's fine, just let me know. I do want to do the walk cycles but I don't want to impede the mod development.

 

 

The animation assignments sticky thread has a good list in it, but it's divvyed up to animators that are no longer with us :) I can pick the next most important one from that thread.

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I don't know what I'll be doing yet. I'm going to take a look at all the existing animations and see which are placeholders and which are good enough for the final game.

Certainly the reference footage would be useful.

We can both do a set from it, and they'll turn out different, but we are going to want some different animations for say, the regular guards, and the elites/captains/builders etc.

The way I see it, the regular/amateur guards will be lazy, slouching fuckers, who don't really want to be there, and show it.

The elites and captains and builder guards, are well paid and well motivated and go about their business in a more strict and regimented fashion.

Also I'm goign to have to tweak the rigs on some of them to start with, since the knee and elbow joints are not very accurately placed, in the city watch regular at least, which is making the limbs look awkward to start with.

Also, looking at it with a fresh eye, the lower legs ARE too thick, as some of you tried to tell me, so I'm going to fix that.

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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Ah yeah, varieties of animations will be ideal; I like your ideas for the guard types, and I really want to get onto that, it'll be fun to animate.

 

But I'm thinking Spring will want basic anims in place for now, and then come back and revisit varieties after the core useful anims are done.

 

Though doing two different sets each might be a nice way for us to both do walk cycles and lessen the chance of making something redundant. Plus it's fun to talk about. I can imagine even the idle anims would be different between the guard types. Amateur guards would show lack of attentiveness, scuffing the ground, looking around being bored. Regimented types would barely move, except for sneezing, or yawning quietly, and calmly glancing around.

 

For the future, I have a set of female specific animations planned for the noble lady, the servent lady, and hopefully (if someone models it) the burly dish washer type woman. I have a friend who's studied some acting, been to deportment classes, and is a prolific fashion designer. She's going to be my model for the anims, and she demonstrated how a noble lady in a corset and huge dress would walk from the hips and take long strides and how she would cower by standing upright (can't bend at the waist) but covering her face with her forearms (it all looks very feminine), and how the servent lady would flirt with the noblemen, and how the burly woman for one of her idle animations, could violently shake out her apron, causing a cloud of flour dust.

 

It'll be good cause in T3, they all had the same walk cycle, wether it was a guard patroling, or a woman in a gown, and it just look like they were puppets walking along.

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Cool, it'll certainly be useful to have video footage of various movements, it's almost as good as mocap really.

No, I think it's past time for getting 'basic' or 'core' animations done.

Let's just do the finished and final animation sets properly from now on.

If the worst comes to the worst, and we run out of time/manpower/whatever, at least we'll have two full sets for guards, which are the ost important ones, and they can mostly be shared out for the other characters anyway.

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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No, I think it's past time for getting 'basic' or 'core' animations done.

Let's just do the finished and final animation sets properly from now on.

I'm cool with that, if no one else has any major objections :)

 

The video footage of my brother is intentionally generic, there's no emotion in the walking or running, we can add that ourselves for the different guard types.

 

It's 3:30am now, so tomorrow or the next day I'll compress the footage and upload it.

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A lot of the core animations are already done. In fact, back when I was still handing out assignments I was starting to run out. There are far more animations completed than are called by the code right now, and even more animations that haven't been actually applied to the various AI types.

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Yes, there are a lot, but how many of them are good enough to be used, that's the question. Most of us admit (me and ascotk anyway) that our animations were mainly intended as placeholders.

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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Well, I was never happy with the walking/running animations (mainly the builder forger and the thief) . . . maybe I'm not happy with any of the animations I did :laugh: except maybe the belcher anims, and maybe the tweaked spider.

 

Damn it, guys! I just started my last year as a graduate student. Now you're making me want to put more time into the mod :(

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Yes, there are a lot, but how many of them are good enough to be used, that's the question.

 

Yeah, I'm in full agreement there. I just meant that you're right about not needing to think "just get the core ones done".

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Yes, there are a lot, but how many of them are good enough to be used, that's the question. Most of us admit (me and ascotk anyway) that our animations were mainly intended as placeholders.

Okay fine :P my statement is different than yours or ascottk's then, and it goes like this - My animations are not place holders but they can always be improved upon. (Ideally by me.) And some of them have a LOT more to be improved on. Okay most of them. I'm only just getting into working from reference footage.

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After checking through all of the city watch animations, the only usable ones are

Run

Run with torch

Idle drunk

Death 2

Sit

Get up

 

I haven't started any animation yet, since I'm still sorting out technical stuff like re-weighting the city watch mesh.

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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Do you mean useable in terms of quality or just whether they work or not? I seem to remember some others that were pretty good, though I don't know whether they were applied to the model or not--there was a good one where the AI kneeled down to check something out, and a few decent idle ones.

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No, they're not good enough, we can do better than that. The kneel has too much symmetry in the timing and movement and no anticipation of action at all. I suppose it could be tweaked, but I don't know who has the fbx file.

The idles are a bit too idle for my liking, and the stance is not relaxed enough for an idle.

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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I suppose it could be tweaked, but I don't know who has the fbx file.

 

That's why we have created the additional repositories. So please make use of them and upload theneccessary files, when you work on an animation.

 

Maybe they are already up there?

Gerhard

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No, they're not good enough, we can do better than that.

 

Well, I think you're being more critical than most people would be, but if you think you have the time to redo them all, then great. :)

 

As for the original files, I know that kneel was Squill's, and Ascottk may also have them.

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the idles are indeed to stiff. I'm also think the current idle pose is too static, it's not really a relax pose. I see they are placeholders but if we're going to create new idles we atleast can choose a better idle pose. It doesn't have to take a lot of time to create new idles.

 

i'm still a bit struggling with the current rig setup in Motion Builder. I started animating a walkcycle over the weekend but it's giving me a hard time. Maybe it's because i've animated a lot in Maya lately. I kinda miss having a seperate hip control, which rotate the hips without rotating the whole upperbody and the feet are not touching the ground properly.

 

With some small tweaks if possible, especially to the feet and hips would make animating a whole lot better. The source files should be on the ftp(animation folder), but it's not a problem to load them up to SVN.

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Have a look at the recent changes to the "Animation" section (accessable from the main page), and keep an eye on it - I'm going to be updating it as I go.

http://www.thirdfilms.com/darkwiki/index.php?title=Animation

 

This basic walk cycle literally took me about 10 minutes, and has the hip and shoulders rotation on a seperate layer than the actual hip position movement, so that you can edit the rotation key frames without interfering with the movement keyframes. It's not much but it's a good base, nice and balanced, from here on you can start to add personality to it, and more natural movement.

 

basic walk

Load it up in windows media player, and go to Play in the menu bar and set it to repeat, so that it loops. It doesn't loop smoothly because the curves aren't adjusted to avoid sudden stopping movement at the end, but the frames match up.

 

The animation section has a links page which links to some good walk cycle tutorials I've been looking at.

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A very good book which i highly recommend is Richard Williams "Animators Survival Kit". It's kind of an animation bible which shows the principles of animation.

 

i miss the hip rotation in your basic walk, it's that movement of the hips which gives your character weight to the walk. I would first get the hips and feet right before moving towards the upperbody and arms.

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Well personally I rough out the motion over the entire body first. The whole animation only had 4 keyframes for each limb and for the torso and hips each, so it's not complicated to change anything.

 

To me it doesn't make sense to get everything "right" on one part before moving onto the next, because the whole body affects itself, so everything has to balance out from the beginning. I take a top down approach, the same way when sketching artwork - you start with a rough sketch of the whole thing, and then refine the whole thing.

 

The hip rotation is there, but like I said it's a completely basic anim. My point is I can modify any part of it quite easily at this stage.

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