Animation 14: Adapting Skirt

Throughout this whole modelling and animation process I’ve had so many issues with the skirt – I can’t reverse the polys, it won’t change from a loft material to a polygon one, it will deform when animating, it won’t show up in unity and so on.

Today was the next issue.

Having recently added weights to the model, this refined the animation by ensuring the rig wasn’t affecting areas of the model it shouldn’t be, helping to create a more realistic and polished animation. However due to this refinement it has made an issue with how the skirt animates even more prevalent.

As the character runs it brings its leg up high due to the long eloping stride, this is an issue for the animation of the skirt, because it causes the skirt to cut into the leg or fold heavily into itself. This reduces the quality of the animation, as no fabric would disappear into a characters leg in real life. The lack of realism within the animation makes it appear badly made. To solve this issue I experimented with adapting the shape and size of skirt in several ways in order to stop the skirt deforming massively or cutting into the model.


A video showing the experimentation process I went through to adapt the skirt.



Finalised Skirt Design

Design Decisions

Removal of the front panel – Above are images of the final design for the skirt of the mode. The skirt has become more of a cape as I have had to remove the front of the skirt. I made the decision for this area to go because no matter how I weighted or adapted the shape of the front panel nothing would stop it from clipping the leg, simply due to the height the leg was raising because of the long leg stride. It was either remove the front of keep the deforming skirt that would fold in on itself and cut through the model’s legs. I chose to remove the front to ensure the model had a high finish to it, with no clipping or deformation. I put quality over aesthetics.

Shortened – The skirt has also been shortened at the back, again due to the long stride length which meant I couldn’t get the skirt not cut through the legs. With my limited experience with Maya I was unable to get it so the end of the skirt would flick out of the way of the trailing leg while the character was running. Meaning I either had to choose from a skirt which clipped the leg or a shorter skirt. I decided to reduce the length of the skirt to ensure there was no clipping and again ensure the animation was to a high standard.