So Ive been thinking of getting into animating some units, but find the whole COB thing a nightmare. I would like to know if anyone has found a more streamlined/visual approach to animation.
I also am baffled by all the movements being at constant speed. I would very much like if I could use constant acceleration instead of constant speed. I believe it could offer much more realistic animations.
Also, Im in search of some kind of method to rig the models; in my words, it would mean that I loaded up the model in 3d, and maybe set each joints degree of freedom and movement limits, and if I push and pull a peice, it would move the peices. Kind of like if i dragged the left foot forward, it would also adjust calf and thigh positions to accomodate for that movement.
Please offer any advice/experience you have in this matter.
I animate by building the key frames in UpSpring, writing down all the numbers, then building the animation steps, then adjusting the timing via a constant. It's the easiest way, really- it rarely takes me more than an hour to do animations for simple stuff like a typical robot with walkcycle and firing animations.
You don't need to use constant speeds. What you need to do is to have constant time.
There's no rule saying that during a period of 1000, one rotation event can't take 700, another 300, for example. Using constant time means that you have a value that everything else is relative to, and lets you adjust timing for the whole sequence by changing just one number. If you want it to be faster, divide the constant in half, and now it's 350 / 150, for example.
Getting fancier than that is pretty expensive. The cheapest way to do true acceleration would probably be to build a series of move-now / sleeps and use smoothAnim interpolation, but I avoid it like the plague, because it's relatively expensive. Even fancier than that would be a ratcheted move-now that did true acceleration per gameframe with interpolation... you don't want to know how much that will cost, though. It's something you could use for a super-unit or a demo.
As for rigging, UpSpring is about as easy as you can get.
The rest of what you're talking about is building an IK system, and it'd just be a waste of time. If you build the keyframes, they're by-definition within your constraints; so your only trouble is if tweens go outside said contraints (happens frequently with double-twist rotations) and the only real cure for that is a tween key that fixes the issue (this happens all the time even in systems with IK btw).
Last edited by Argh on 28 Sep 2010, 09:19, edited 1 time in total.
I also fire up the model in Upspring, do the translations and rotations there and code those values into the script. In contrast to Argh I wouldn't call a walkcycle "simple stuff" and I especially object that this is the easiest way...
It's very hard to get a smooth and believable walk cycle. I spend most of the time looking at things ingame and then changing things as I see fit. That's why I think that there's a huge need for a WYSIWYG editor for animations where you immediately can play the "keyframes" you added in and are able to see if everything runs smooth and believable. The Blender export plugin might be such a solution but I have to admit I've never really tried it...
I would like the current constant speed infinite acceleration move to be replaceable with a varying speed constant acceleration move.
That may be possible with Lua as a new command. It's certainly not possible with BOS- if you want acceleration, you need to code it yourself.
I don't really think you want this, though- the cost of it will be rather high per Piece, as that's going to be the equivalent of a move --> speed command for every rotational Piece every gameframe. Faking it adequately with good keys is a lot easier and cheaper
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