When it came to animating our now rigged characters we were assigned to animate the characters in the shopping cart for Billy Goat Entertain although we were not told specific animations which made the job a little harder to guess what would be appropriate for the game considering we had only known that it is a basic A to B objective video game – with that i conducted a list on what we could potentially animate to go into Unity.
- Idle Animations (For when the player is not making the character move)
- Out of cart idle animations (For the character select menu)
- Jumping animation (Maybe if the developers introduce a ramp gimmick in future)
- Victory animation (For when the player completes the level)
These are the only things i could think that would go with what the game offers at this point an time and without guidance from our client there ran the risk of creating wasted work while it would prove beneficial for the showreel, it would not have use for the company (Yet?). After talking through this with the team we decided on the tasks on hand:
Myself will animate and report any bugs along the way.
Jakub will be continuing to refine the rig as i report any problems to him
John and Claire will be working on building the levels with appropriate prob assets though anyone of us will be more than happy to spread the work load along the way!
When playing with the rig i had found that the hands rig was not bonded compared to the rest of the body and reported this to Jakub immediately – i found it helpful that he was always easily contacted to lend a hand when i had a problem, truly a great asset to the team considering the work he put into the rig itself. He had resolved this problem ASAP and got me on the road to animating again (Thanks Jakub x).
The facial rig setup was so fun to play with, Jakub did tremendous with Claire’s base model! Only problem i had with the face setup was the upper lip how the middle seemed stuck when the mouth opened although in hindsight im sure a simple paint over with the skin weight tool would have fixed that.
Here are some points about the facial rig i had jotted down in a book:
- Fun to play with
- Easy and manageable for animation
- Works with the style of the character
- Could use a little more refinement in the weights
- Perhaps unlock some of the controls to open up possible emotions
Potential Tutorials For Myself In Future (Free Time Stuff)
This was my first attempt at animating the rig properly after playing around with it for about thirty minutes or so, for this test i decided to follow SEGA’S mascot Sonic The Hedgehog and that iconic foot tapping he does when the player has not used the controller in a while (Usually around 10-30 seconds), Operating the rig into the key poses was easy enough and proved simple other than the FK joints in the arm causing some extra key frames being needed to avoid the character contorting or clipping through itself – the extra frames proved beneficial in the end as it added the weight i wanted when the crossed arms rested on the characters body.
For the Gothic girl rig when Jakub had transferred the skeleton over and had painted the weights for her i decided to do two animations with her which would blend into one another in game if it were to be used. I wanted to give her the intimidation appeal that goths typically are given in pop media such as Sam from Danny Phantom.
I had fun trying out animation her although i feel the animation was a tad slow so i simply sped it up by selecting all the frames on the graph editor then scaling them closer to each other giving it the necessary speed it needed for improvement, i was quite proud with the sense of weight she had when going back into her idle pose key frame though!
Looking at the teen character i wanted his idle animation to have a cool casual approach so again, i looked at Sonic The Hedgehog cause hey, he’s cool – to me. Making idle animations are easy as they come so i wont go into this too deep but simple rotations of the joints made this subtle loop animation.
Look at that cool guy! ^
I was asked to get my intended trolley animations done before doing animations such as idle so i chose one of our finished rigged models which ended up being the mum character and i wanted to do a idle animation on the Trolley as well as a jump animation as if she had went over a ramp in a level.
When i got feedback everyone was happy enough with her animation although she was too slow and her air time dragged out a little, so the speed was too slow essentially – an easy enough fix for the character and when i look back on it now i see how the animation dragging out too long could be a problem for the in game mechanics and physics for the environment!
After fixing up the animation i feel this version is better than the last, she could defiantly be shorter with her air time although this can easily be altered with the time editor on Maya.
Every cart themed game has a victory animation at the end of the level, look at Mario cart, Crash racing or Sonic all stars – all characters have a victory animation when completing the level, i only thought it would be natural for the characters in Super Market Shriek would react when completing the chaotic levels! This would only be a pitch for the client though, i am unsure on his views on this sort of thing for the game – i am completely unsure what he would like animation wise although here is hoping we get that much needed meeting during the week~
Here are all the animations i wish to pitch ideas to our client, the best thing about these animations with these particular models is that they can be recycled with one another for efficiency in the base game! I hope they prove useful for the team and that the animations are decent for the game.