Horse Rider Motion guides

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Creative Mechanism
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Horse Rider Motion guides

Post by Creative Mechanism »

On Jetryl's suggestion I've started working on making some movement guides for the horse-rider images. The idea behind these images is that they would help other spriters get the movement/perspective right for the horse riding units.

I've put together a model and a simple horse-galloping animation.

I'd like to hear from anyone who might someday use these guides about what I should include in the image--how close it should be to the units, etc, to be useful. Would several variations on a gallop, death, rider (etc) be helpful, or would it be easier for the individual spriter to draw variations over the image?

I'm also interested in any problems you might have with the current model or animation, though I'd like to keep it fairly simple.

As soon as I get back some feedback I'll build a rider, some ears for the horse, and send out some of the perspective images.

Thank you for your help.
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side.gif
side.gif (5.78 KiB) Viewed 3846 times
SE.gif
SE.gif (7.69 KiB) Viewed 3846 times
Alks
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Post by Alks »

The horse is beautiful and moves very smoothly, but it is still un-Wesnotish. As a guide, it's a nice tutorial for dynamic poses of horse.
Boucman
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Post by Boucman »

that's not particularly important for that image, because the horse is a "thin and tall" animal, but you might want to draw each limb, and maybe even each articulated section in a different color so artist can easily see what part is what on more confused animations (like a rider falling from the horse)
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Creative Mechanism
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Post by Creative Mechanism »

Boucman: Thanks, that's exactly the kind of suggestion I'm looking for.

Alks: I'm not trying to make a unit for Wesnoth or a tutorial for how to make smooth animations. My intention is to create images which can be drawn over--simply a guide to help other spriters figure out perspective and complicated movement (like the galloping of a horse).
Alks
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Post by Alks »

That's what I meant. Smooth multi-phase animation, that can be kept in any moment to reflect the horse pose.
Boucman
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Post by Boucman »

here, I think a user of that anim (i.e an artist) 's input would be usefull...

it might be a good idea to keep it as a "skeleton"

if I remember how animated 3D work, you have an animated skeleton on which you attach the "meat" of the animal...

if you could show the animation with just the skeleton, some artists could comment on what type of output is the most usefull....
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Leonhard
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Post by Leonhard »

Hello Creative Mechanism!

This is a very hard work I think to animate characters in 3D, and I have personnaly little skill about that. But on another side, I have a little knowledge concerning how horses galop, and your animation is actually wrong. Indeed, animals have two ways to galop. The first one is like dogs and deers, which is the one you used for your horse. The second one is the one of horses. It is in four times. Each cycle, there is a moment where the horse is floating in the air, none of his legs touches the floor. Then :
1. The (let's say) backleft leg touches the floor, the "landing".
2. The foreleft leg and the backright leg (which always behave almost exactly the same) touch the floor at the same moment. At the moment the horse is the most stretched. The backleft leg is leaving the floor.
3. The foreright leg touches the floor, and propulses the horse in the air, it' the propulsion time. The "diagonal" (backright and foreleft) is leaving the floor.
4. The horse is in the air. It is the most contracted position, where all his legs are almost together (so that he can land several meters further than the place he took off)
and it goes on...
The faster the horse goes, the more he stretches, but the less his body moves and his head moves.

Sure it would be better with drawings but unfortunately I have no reference. I hope I made no mistakes, my knowledges about that are quiet old.
Creative Mechanism
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leonhard

Post by Creative Mechanism »

Leonhard: Thanks for your observations. Ironically, I modeled the frames for my animation after Muybridge's historic first documentation of horse's galloping. William Muybridge was the first person in the history of photography to capture the movement of a horse running (and the first time the floating in the air thing was discovered). He's also done a number of other animal and human studies, and I believe he's in the public domain at this point.

You can find his stills animated at wikipedia under horse gallop.

I am fairly positive, therefore, that my gallop is correct. Again, they are modeled frame for frame after these historic images, and since the images in Muybridge's study show two full cycles, there's little danger of me having missed an aspect of the gallop.

EDIT: This is ironic because the legend goes that Muybridge got the idea from a bet about the actual movement a horse went through in its gallop. Your observations are probably pretty right on (enough that intelligent people disagreed about it up until Muybridge). It's interesting that Muybridge's photos are still settling disputes today.

I'm really looking for suggestions on how I can make useful images for you as spriters more than critique on the quality of this animation.
Last edited by Creative Mechanism on March 8th, 2006, 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Boucman
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Post by Boucman »

creative mechanism, maybe you could post a slowed down animation, so we can see the movement better
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Creative Mechanism
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Still from the side

Post by Creative Mechanism »

Here's an example of multi-colored bones, slowed down.

I'm using biped to create the bones which means that I'm using a human head bone for the horse's. Please ignore it.

The NE and SE animations are approximations and should not be used yet. The animation also isn't quite ready. I just want to see if this is actually more helpful or more confusing than using my models.

Also: should I do a couple variations on the animations, or should I leave that to the creativity of the individual spriter?

AND: I am also going to start tweaking the proportions here. I'll warn you up fron that I don't have that much control over the way the bones look beyond changing their size and arrangement. I have much more control over the model, but that has its own problems.
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SE-bones.gif
SE-bones.gif (9.7 KiB) Viewed 3672 times
NE-Bones.gif
NE-Bones.gif (9.99 KiB) Viewed 3672 times
side-bones.gif
side-bones.gif (12.06 KiB) Viewed 3672 times
jacobolus
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Post by jacobolus »

SmokemJags
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Post by SmokemJags »

I wonder how the chocobone's gait would appear?
That might be fun to animate.
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JW
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Post by JW »

Not to be too nit-picky, the color coding is great and this is a wonderfful tool I think, but the horses head should move more backwards and forwards than upwards and downwards.
Leonhard
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Post by Leonhard »

Creative Mechanism : it's all okay for me :D . I think I saw it bad on your first animations, I thought there was a problem with one of the behind legs, looked like as if the perspective was wrong, or something like that... Well, anyway, this is not really important since your new animations are real good (IMHO)!
Creative Mechanism
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Post by Creative Mechanism »

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I've made some small alteration to the movement of the head, but I'm going to wait to make too dramatic a change in the animation until I make sure there's no more major changes people request in the way the images are put together.

JW, Leonhard: I don't think it's nit-picky at all (!!) to suggest changes in this animation, it's just that there's a reasonable chance I'll have to do all the changes over again if I need to change the model. I just ended up redoing so much work with the wolf-rider I thought I'd save some time and wait with this one.

If there are no new suggestions before tonight I'll start making more dramatic changes.

SmokemJags: I'd be happy to animate the chocobone's gait if you would use it.

QUESTIONS FOR EVERYONE:
(1) Should I make variations in the animations that you can choose from (different gaits and rider movements) or would you prefer to do that when you paint over these? It's really easy for me to do it with the model (at this point), but I'd hate to take these decisions away from spriters--they seem like the fun part of the animation
(2) Is the bone view preferable? No one prefers the horse model I made?
(3) Is there anyone seriously considering using these guides at this point?
(4) how does the perspective in these images look? I'm using the new perspective that came up in the Wesnoth Perspective topic.
(5) Is there ANYTHING else I can do to the model (not animation wise) that would help you?
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S.gif
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N.gif
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NE.gif
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