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Animation assignments


Domarius
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I don't mean to put them in-game if they are not ready. I meant the FBX files, which are the source files for the anims, right? If yes, they should be put in the model_src repository, so that others can tweak and improve them, even if the animator goes away. As it is, we bascially have to start from scratch, if we want to improve an already existing anim.

Gerhard

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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.

 

with getting the feet and hips right, i mean the feeling and weight. Which includes the rotations and translations of those parts. Much of the movement in a walk comes from the hips. I you got that right the rest will follow that movement. Some people start with the feet others with the hips.

 

i'm not saying you should do it this way, cause everyone has their own approach which is fine. It's just my personal view on a walkcycle. If you got the basic (normal) walk done you can go from there to any other type of walk by just tweaking the walk. I'll probably finish a walkcycle over the weekend. Do the citizens and other npc's share the same animations like the guards?

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You can't use a base walk template for other walks. Everything about a walk is unique to the charcater, from the stride length to the up and down to the amount of bend in the legs, to the timing. Everything. And of course the actual speed of the walk, which would mean adjusting the entire template.

Once you've done a walk a few times, setting it up to the level of a template is fast anyway, so there's no advantage in having a template.

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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Everything about a walk is unique to the charcater, from the stride length to the up and down to the amount of bend in the legs, to the timing.

And those are exactly the things I have easy control over in my template.

 

I basically start with 2 poses; the stride pose, and the passing pose. That makes 4 keyframes for each body part (stride pose, pass pose, then mirror them both)

 

How the character is actually positioned in those poses can be anything. I just have to go to that pose in the anim and move the body parts to a different position.

 

And I can shift those poses forward or backward in time easily, just by selecting all body parts and moving the keyframe.

 

And changing the length of time is a non-issue in motion builder. Just select all frames, and pull it to a new length - voila, entire animation is time-stretched.

 

From then on I can add more keyframes specific to the character animation.

 

The template is relatively quick to do, like you said, but I'll still save myself those extra steps, after all I'd start this way every time.

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You do the elite guard walk then, which would be more of a march, which would make it around 24 frames, I'm doing the regular guards ones, which is more of a leisurely patrol at 36 frames.

I've already re-rigged and set up my own fbx file for the citywatch guy 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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I don't mean to put them in-game if they are not ready. I meant the FBX files, which are the source files for the anims, right? If yes, they should be put in the model_src repository, so that others can tweak and improve them, even if the animator goes away. As it is, we bascially have to start from scratch, if we want to improve an already existing anim.

Oh I always do both at the same time - but yeah I will go ahead now and upload ones that are not in the game yet.

 

For example, the thief run sideways fbx is already in the repository, because I put it in the game.

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I don't think we need to be putting 'character' into the walks either. Since we're generally making a few walks to cover every model in the game, we need to generalise them a bit more.

So a patrol, a lazy patrol, a general male walk and a general female walk.

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 don't think we need to be putting 'character' into the walks either. Since we're generally making a few walks to cover every model in the game, we need to generalise them a bit more.

 

Agreed. We don't really have the time or manpower to make individualized animations for every model type. Generalized animations that can be shared across multiple models are a lot more important.

 

Don't forget that mappers can use the models in different ways, as well. I've already taken the professional guard and made a roughed-up house-guard texture for it. If it only had a 'proficient patrol' animation, then it would limit what the mapper could do with the model. If mappers can choose to apply a couple different types of patrols (efficient, lazy, drunk, etc), that's a better option.

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I've already re-rigged and set up my own fbx file for the citywatch guy anyway.

 

That reminds me. One of the things that still needs to be done to the original characters is breaking them into sub-meshes depending on the armour type. Currently they're only using two sub-meshes, and they aren't accurate at all (for example, some tunics register as cloth, even though they are over top of chainmail) .

 

Each sub-mesh can point to the same texture, but it allows us to set each material as a different armour type for the sake of determining damage. How would that affect the rigging and animating? You're not actually changing the shape of the mesh, so would that mean it wouldn't affect the rigging? Or is this something that should be done first since the animations are mostly being redone anyway?

 

I don't mind breaking them into submeshes if I can work with the original .lwos.

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That reminds me. One of the things that still needs to be done to the original characters is breaking them into sub-meshes depending on the armour type. Currently they're only using two sub-meshes, and they aren't accurate at all (for example, some tunics register as cloth, even though they are over top of chainmail) .

 

Each sub-mesh can point to the same texture, but it allows us to set each material as a different armour type for the sake of determining damage. How would that affect the rigging and animating? You're not actually changing the shape of the mesh, so would that mean it wouldn't affect the rigging? Or is this something that should be done first since the animations are mostly being redone anyway?

 

I don't mind breaking them into submeshes if I can work with the original .lwos.

Hmm, I thought I did that a long time ago . . .
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IF the material files are beign used to determine the surface type, then it means splitting the mesh up and pointing all the parts to different materials.

For example on the citywatch guard, the tunic and trousers are painted on the same texture, but they'll have to be pointed to two duplicate materials, just with the name and armour type changed. This will mean reweighting and re-exporting all the md5meshes.

It's not something you can do. I'll have to do it.

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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Hmm, I thought I did that a long time ago . . .

 

You did, but didn't you say that you just assigned the mesh to the material on top? For the citywatch elite, for example, if an arrow hits anywhere in the cream coloured parts, it will register as cloth and do full damage. But clearly the arrow would be hitting chainmail in most of those places (personally I'd make the boots register as leather instead of cloth, but that's not strictly necessary).

 

armour3.jpg

 

It's not something you can do. I'll have to do it.

 

Ok. Better to know now, I guess.

 

 

We're supporting 4 basic materials for AI:

 

surftype15

description "armor_plate"

 

surftype15

description "armor_chain"

 

surftype15

description "armor_leath"

 

surftype15

description "cloth" (this could also be just 'flesh'--I don't think there's a functional difference)

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It's not worth having the boots as a separate leather mesh, since an arrow would go through a leather boot as easily as cloth anyway, and melee combat isn't an issue with boots.

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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You did, but didn't you say that you just assigned the mesh to the material on top? For the citywatch elite, for example, if an arrow hits anywhere in the cream coloured parts, it will register as cloth and do full damage. But clearly the arrow would be hitting chainmail in most of those places (personally I'd make the boots register as leather instead of cloth, but that's not strictly necessary).
Oh yeah! I remember what went on. The cloth mesh is over the armor thus the metal is ignored on impact :rolleyes: We'll have to separate the legs.
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It's not worth having the boots as a separate leather mesh, since an arrow would go through a leather boot as easily as cloth anyway, and melee combat isn't an issue with boots.

 

You're right it probably doesn't matter much to the player. I was thinking of things like spiders or environmental damage like fire or something. But it's not really significant.

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Some anims so far. Some of them might be a bit jerky since I captured them using fraps just from the window in motionbuilder.

 

Casual walk

 

A drunken rendition of 'She was Only The Ironmongers Daughter...(but she knew a surprising amount about fish as well)'

 

Having a (quite literally) lousy day

 

Somebody there?

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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These are looking quite good! :) I especially like the drunken one (we'll definitely have to get a few drinking songs recorded), and the casual arrogance of the walk cycle. I noticed a bit of clipping in spots, where the hands seem to go through the legs (the angle may make it look worse than it is). I assume those are WIP issues?

 

Also, something I'm not clear on--do the mitten hands have any joints? I've never seen them move in any of our existing animations.

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They do now, but I prefer to use fk animation on them later in maya, because the ik in motionbuilder is not very good with low poly hands like these, and I have to re-weight this mesh now anyway.

I'm going to remodel these low poly hands anyway, they look a bit rough right now, badly proportioned and a bit too small for this model.

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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The animations look quite fine, ecept the peer. It looks quite stiff with the one arm, as if the guy has a wodden club and a bit overdone. Maybe it works in a dark enironment though, where you have to shield your eyes against light to see something.

Gerhard

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There's one in Thief like that though, which looks a bit weird as well, because you only shade your eyes like that in bright light, but to keep the Thief vibe, the choice is there to use it, or use a more normal one like this with no raised hand.

Peer

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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The raised hand is a little strange in the dark, but it makes sense if guards are trying to peer into dark shadows and there's a torch overhead or something.

 

That said, the new one is good too. Variety is great--even really good animations can start to look trite if they're the same every time.

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