Elf Animation Upgrades

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Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Jetrel » November 29th, 2010, 10:59 am

Time to get this show on the road. Let's pretend I can keep these coming at a fairly decent rate. :cry:
C&C on the kinematics is a lot more helpful with a paintover. Note that on the forum, these might be considerably slower than in game.


Blocking for shaman SE melee:
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby thespaceinvader » November 29th, 2010, 1:02 pm

It seems like her grip on the staff shifts during the animation - she looks to me like she's holding it a lot further down as she swings. Otherwise, cool. The skirts in particular are working well.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Sgt. Groovy » November 29th, 2010, 5:29 pm

It seems like her grip on the staff shifts during the animation - she looks to me like she's holding it a lot further down as she swings.


That's not necessarily a bad thing, if the animation also shows how she ends up holding it like that. She could simply throw it in the air and grab it at a lower point.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby thespaceinvader » November 29th, 2010, 6:34 pm

... it doesn't, though. She lifts it above her head and strikes with it.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Jetrel » November 29th, 2010, 10:18 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:... it doesn't, though. She lifts it above her head and strikes with it.


A common idiom in staff-handling is a sliding grip to change leverage. The momentum of the weapon in the windup pulls it through a loose grip, which immediately tightens when the hand is near the end, rather than the center.

If you're a klutz, yes, the weapon can completely slip out of your hand. But because the hand is in contact with the weapon the whole time, this isn't very hard to do at all. This is extremely common in hockey and lacrosse (and vis-a-vis is something I've seen teams full of 14yr olds at my former high school learn to do all the time without error). It's at least an order of magnitude easier than moves where the weapon actually leaves the hand, and gets grasped again (like spinning).
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby thespaceinvader » November 29th, 2010, 10:24 pm

I understand that. I just can't help but feel that a solid, immobile grip would read better as an animation. Comprehensibility > reality.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby zookeeper » November 29th, 2010, 10:32 pm

:o There's absolutely no way for me to see any detail like that when I look at that animation play. Heck, I can't even see where her arms are half of the time.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Jetrel » December 1st, 2010, 5:14 am

thespaceinvader wrote:I understand that. I just can't help but feel that a solid, immobile grip would read better as an animation. Comprehensibility > reality.


No. You're valuing the wrong things. It doesn't matter if the animation is readable - some of the best commercial animation I've seen is often motion-blurred (by hand - by deliberately drawing distorted lineart) into completely nonsensical shapes. Readability is entirely disposable, in animation, and quite a lot of the time, it's often good to distort things into completely impossible shapes. C.f. how, when roadrunner gets going, his legs literally detach from his body, and are just two floating circles underneath him. Where are his legs? Doesn't matter.

What matters more than anything is that the animation looks fluid, and in this case, looks forceful.


Theory dump even though it doesn't apply to this:
There are some things, like staying-on-arc, that are so important they might even even override anatomical correctness for real humans. Moreso when you're getting into, say, crazy martial-arts moves and such; it might be preferable to stay-on-arc and make the moves look nicely circular and smooth even if, during part of the motion, the limbs briefly pass through some rotation that's technically not anatomically possible. I've noticed this a lot with kicks and such. Obviously, gross deviations from anatomical possibility are gonna run foul, and bug the audience, but I really am starting to suspect that minor ones are actually fine - if they're done for some more important factor. I suspect the reason this might fly is that we rarely see real humans doing martial arts and such - we see them doing basic motions like sitting and walking and such all the time, but we don't see these other rarer things, so our sense of right/wrong in them is much fuzzier.

My kneejerk reaction used to be to treat animation like a series of still images, and apply exactly the same rules to the stills as to the whole product. I'm starting to think the same rules don't necessarily apply.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Jetrel » December 2nd, 2010, 6:45 am

Shaman NE frame. I'm not 100% on this, yet - need to "sleep on it" for a day or two. I think I'm quite satisfied with the skirt; I just have to decide what's gonna happen with the headgear.

It occurs to me that I've had incredibly little practice pixeling the backs of human figures. Fortunately, I have a few years practice in actually sketching larger-form drawings of them, but nothing at pixel-scale. After a while, when doing a consistent pixel-art style like wesnoth's, you develop a lot of idioms for how to handle certain body parts - it's actually kinda fun to be fishing around in the dark like this again.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby wayfarer » December 5th, 2010, 7:39 pm

Liking the other one with the larger headgear a bit mor. The other one appears to me a bit bright.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Jetrel » December 17th, 2010, 7:38 am

:doh: I really have very little experience with animating run cycles, so there's going to be some difficulty as I force attempts at it. Anyone able is encouraged to post paintovers, etc; even if you feel they're not an improvement, don't be shy. I think we'll all learn from the process.


Looking at the current WIP; the kinematics on his near-arm aren't right for an arm weighed down by a shield; they were based on a wireframe I made just trying to animate this guy with empty hands. It swings far too wildly. I opened up his leg spacing during the run, but I think I need to tighten it back up. I think the near leg needs its rear-most position in a more solid back-and-up "kick" more towards the centerline, rather than splayed out to to the side. There are probably other issues as well.




(To state the obvious, these attached images are in order of sequential progress, not "alternatives").
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby Jetrel » December 17th, 2010, 11:45 am

:doh: As this stands right now, this looks dangerously like a dance move, rather than fighting.

However, I suspect that if, instead of stopping and reversing momentum, I have her do a complete-circle instead, it will not only eliminate that "dance move" vibe, but also look quite cool to boot, since spin-attacks usually do.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby thespaceinvader » December 17th, 2010, 11:49 am

It feels to me like she should be stepping forward with the other leg - as it is, the shoulder of the blade hand doesn't actually get a great deal closer to the target.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby AI » December 17th, 2010, 11:51 am

Looking like a dance move isn't necessarily a bad thing.

As for the running, I think he's still landing a bit hard. Bending his knees further on landing might help.
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Re: Elf Animation Upgrades

Postby wayfarer » December 17th, 2010, 5:28 pm

I will save me and you the overdraw but runners tend to lean a bit forward and hops a bit up and down. The whole body works while running.
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