Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reusing 3d animation and rigs for games - research report for university

One of the university modules in this semester had for an (optional) assignment the research of reusing character rigs and animation to be imported to a game's engine.

I was given a deadline to write a greenlight pitch, a research paper (almost 30 pages!) and then create a technical demo video.

 It's pretty much do it yourself sort of a thing set by university(just as many other things).
In this case before even delving into reusing animation clips, I decided that it's more important to find out what exactly are the best practices in character rigging and animation for game engines - where the data has to be created in a specific way that will make it friendly to use by the programmers and the engine.

In the research paper I used for sources the excellent presentations on animation in Uncharted 2 by naughty dog, among  other things.It was a bit rushed so It got me 64.4% .

For the video, I used kdenlive to put together a quick overview of the findings of experimenting with some of the tools in Maya:

That got me 85 % .

The paper and the video focus on the work that is done in the animation package rather than the game engine. I have in the past done character modelling, rigging and animation for Unity 3d. That first experience was a bit of a trial and error - the animation data needed to fit with how the character actor is scripted.It's something that I will keep fo a future post, until there is time to put together a demo of that game.

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