Having taken time out from animating to do some character design, I thought it was time to get back into it and sort out the skipping and broken rig.
Opening up Maya I was expecting to be presented with the same broken rig as I was a few days ago, though surprisingly I wasn’t. It was working, but how? It had been broken every time I opened it since it happened and now its suddenly back to normal! Whats happened?
I have no idea why the rig has started working again. I haven’t re-downloaded Maya or opened the file in any different way, its just worked, its certainly very confusing. It would’ve be nice to find an issue that I could’ve solved and then I would know what had caused the issue to avoid it in the future or be able to solve it again. But there was no solution, it just worked.
I’m certainly thankful that the rig is working exactly as it should be and now I can get back on to fixing the skipping issue.
I discussed this miracle with Adam and he thinks it could be a network issue that caused the rig to stop working. All the computers are networked, meaning we can access our own data from any machine in the University, however this seems to cause issues with programs
In the future I will never use Maya on a networked machine again. I don’t want to have to go through all the stress and panic of rigs not working, just for the privilege of using any computer in the building. Though there is no proof that this was the issue, the fact it suddenly started working again is a clear indicate that it could be. Even if its not the cause, I won’t be taking the risk.
Animation – Leaping Walk
Previously I had created a skipping style animation to use as the base walk animation for the characters. In my reflection of this, I expressed my concern that the skipping wouldn’t work with the overall concept of the game. Characters are desperately trying to heal each other, they shouldn’t be skipping joyfully, they should be sprinting around the world, to represent the fast paced nature of the game.
To solve this I decided to scrap the skipping animations altogether and go back to the drawing board. Looking over my initial walk experiments once more, I chose a walk/run which I felt
I like the arm positioning of this run, as I feel having my arms spread behind me while running, will help to exaggerate the speed at which a character is running. As I feel a character’s arms would only be back like that if they were running very fast that the wind was so forceful they couldn’t move them and if the wind is that strong, they would be travelling fast. So I believe this arm position will be effective in expressing the fast paced nature of the game, through the animation of the characters and it will be used within the next
I also like how I have leaned forwards into the run, as I feel it gives the movement purpose and would make a character look determined to run over to another player quickly to heal them. I believe this makes the character look more streamlined and so a character must want to run fast if they are streamlined. Therefore I also plan to place this leaning body into the run to help emphasis the speed players are moving.
I am unsure about the short sharp runs in my run above, as I feel like
A video showing the long strides intended for the new run animation – Upper body need to be added
- Long strides – Showing the character is trying to cover a large surface area quickly – Indicates they are in a rush – fast paced
Refining The Run
Animation in Unity
Editing the eloping stride above, I added into the leaning chest and spread up arms into the animation. With it now complete I then tested it in Unity.
Below is a video of the updated running Animation that I put into Unity. The video shows that I experimented with different animation speeds, as I was trying to get the animation to visually match the speed the character was travelling.
Speed 3 was ideal – not too fast not too close
- Much better than the skips – I think with the long strides and forward pose of the character, you certainly get the sense the character is sprinting around the game – Much stronger sense of rushing and panic than the leisurely skips – legs are moving faster and covering a larger area – indicates the player is trying desperately to run from place to place – Suits the stressful fast paced nature of the game
- Keep this running animation!