Merman Warrior Attack Animation

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artisticdude
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Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by artisticdude »

I considered posting this in the 'new animations' thread, but thought it would get more attention in a thread of its own. If that was bad judgement on my part, please move it to the appropriate location. :)

As per tsi's advice, I added in an additional extension frame to facilitate the motion blur, and I've begun to shade. But please note that none of the shading in this version should be considered final, since there is still much I have to do in that department. I also haven't added the motion blur yet; that'll come once the extra frame has been approved and everything's shaded. Right now I just want to make sure the anatomy and motion of the animation is acceptable, and that the additional extension frame works.
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warrior.gif
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Last edited by artisticdude on August 14th, 2010, 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Golden_Soldier
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by Golden_Soldier »

first thing I notice is is that he is probably holding the spear out too long I feel that it should be a quick stab
the tail whip is probably unneccessary but I find it cool anyway :wink: (in other words you should keep it)

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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by revenant »

It seems to me that the right hand is sliding down the shaft of the trident as he extends his thrust. I doubt that if in a real fight he would do that.

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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by Trilby »

:D I'm very happy to see someone else working on the Merfolk animations as well. If only to reference the work myself. :wink:

I think the motion you've got is all there, I like it. I would be tempted to increase the duration of the furthest wind-up frame to 200ms for use in the config file. It's long enough to emphasize some extra power for the following attack, and not so slow it ruins the fluidity of the tail motion.

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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

Make sure the lengths of the spear are constant throughout, and the rear hand remains in place - the front hand can slide, but the rear should stay still. Otherwise, it would be a good idea to start putting in the motion blur at this point so that we can crit where it goes, and go to shading =)
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by artisticdude »

I fixed the position of the right arm, although my opinion of it varies each time I look at it. Might just be the lack of shading... the little bit that's there is purely temporary, and will be replaced in the final version.

I've also created a motion blur for the extension frames, using Sleepwalker's excellent saurian animations as reference. Motion blurs aren't semi-transparent, are they? I didn't transparentize this one at all, because Sleepwalker didn't use any transparency in his motion blurs as far as I could determine. OTOH, the motion blur on the drake clasher's pierce attack animation seems to be slightly transparent. :hmm:
thespaceinvader wrote:Make sure the lengths of the spear are constant throughout
I double-checked, and I couldn't find any inconsistencies in the length of the trident throughout the animations (although I did spot a couple frames where the haft alignment had been messed up, so I fixed that). Any frames in particular that worry you?

As a side note, I believe this unit will require an offset to make sure that it isn't moving forward during the wind-up frames. I haven't fiddled a whole lot with the unit's WML coding yet, since my WML skills in the 'offset' area are a bit rusty.
Trilby wrote: :D I'm very happy to see someone else working on the Merfolk animations as well. If only to reference the work myself. :wink:
Actually, I used your work as some of my references. :lol2: :mrgreen:
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warrior-attack-animations-motion-blur-background.gif
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

I'll have to check it up close to be sure, but I think that his back hand moves forward on the shaft during the strike. I've got some difficult-to-describe suggestions to make anyway, so I'll give you them in a gif, and check this issue whilst I'm at it.

However, one thing that I am sure about is that the crit in your workshop thread is accurate - the animation would be improved if he turned his head away a bit during the wind-up.

EDIT: there's no solid guideline about whether motion blurs should be opaque or semi-transparent. I'd go with Sleepwalker's version.

EDIT: etc. Obviously, without the artefacts left behind by my clumsy movement of chunks of frame around. I don't normally work with anims like that. I use replace, and just have the whole frame in there.

Most important points: the trident lengths WERE changing. Specifically, the distances between the grip point of his rear hand, and the end of the trident. The lengths sticking out behind his elbow were pretty constant, but the elbow covers part of the haft. They were also fluctuating slightly during the angle changes, which I've tried to clean up.

The other major point is that during the thrust, the distance of the trident head from the body should change.

It ought to go thusly:

First motion blur frame, trident is still going out. Biggest motion blur on this frame. Sleepwalker inserts another frame of blur before this I think. Image
Second mtion blur frame: trident moves forward, blur decreases and goes out.Image
Third blur frame: Blur remains where it is, dissipates. Spear pulls back a bit. This adds snap to the motion. In some cases, the spear keeps moving forward for this frame, but I feel like this isn't as good as moving it back a bit.Image

What's most important is that the spear MOVES during the motion blur. Even though the unit moves due to the game sliding it around, the spear needs to as well.
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warrior-attack-animations-motion-blur-background.gif
warrior-attack-animations-motion-blur-background.gif (13.44 KiB) Viewed 2927 times
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by artisticdude »

thespaceinvader wrote:However, one thing that I am sure about is that the crit in your workshop thread is accurate - the animation would be improved if he turned his head away a bit during the wind-up.
I agree wholeheartedly. Here's an attempt at turning the unit's head a bit, although I haven't yet made any changes to the head positions in the animation. I'm not really sure what the cheekguard on the right (our right) side of his helmet is shaped like though… I presumed it was symmetrical with the cheek guard on our left, so that's the way I portrayed it in the rotated version.
warrior-head-revolution.png
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thespaceinvader wrote:Most important points: the trident lengths WERE changing. Specifically, the distances between the grip point of his rear hand, and the end of the trident. The lengths sticking out behind his elbow were pretty constant, but the elbow covers part of the haft. They were also fluctuating slightly during the angle changes, which I've tried to clean. up.
You're absolutely right. At first I though I had somehow overlooked them, even though I was certain I had fixed them, but upon further inspection it turns out that I posted the wrong version of the animation (one that still contained the screwed-up trident angles) in my last post. :oops: My bad, sorry. Now, the changing spear lengths I missed entirely; I'll have to be more careful about that in the future.
thespaceinvader wrote:The other major point is that during the thrust, the distance of the trident head from the body should change.

It ought to go thusly: …
Thanks a lot, that little tutorial helps me immensely. :)


I refined the .gif tsi posted above, and I've completed a rough version of the tail shading, just to see if the texture works for the unit. The base frame seems to have a smoother and thinner tail than the Merman Fighter, but the tail isn't visible enough for me to be certain. :hmm: I still have to animate the hanging TC loincloth-thingy in the extension frames, and I want to give the feathers on his helmet some movement when he attacks so that the head blends in with the animation better and doesn't stick out as a separate element. But for right now I'm concentrating mostly on the tail shading.
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

Looks pretty good to me. I'd maybe tone down the highlights on the tail a little, or blend them in a touch better, and put the turned head in, it looks fine. Nice work.
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by Major »

Sorry for the nitpick but as he lunges it looks like his torso detatches along the line of the spear and moves forward with it. :hmm:
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by artisticdude »

thespaceinvader wrote:I'd maybe tone down the highlights on the tail a little, or blend them in a touch better
Hmm, I see what you mean. Should be fixed in the .gif below.
Major wrote:Sorry for the nitpick but as he lunges it looks like his torso detatches along the line of the spear and moves forward with it.
Heck man, don't apologize for honest critique! :) Actually, I was thinking the same thing earlier, and I tried to fix that issue in the version below.

This version:

-Fixed the shading on the tail, hopefully it works better this time around
-Added the rotated head to frames 2 and 3. Should I add it to frame 1 as well?
-Made the small side fins towards the end of the tail more prominent in the 4th frame, since they were undersized in that particular frame
-Added some more motion to the bottom half of the armor, as per Major's observation above. I think I'm going to have it move even more though, since imo the motion of the lower half of the torso still doesn't match the upper half as well as it could/should.
-Moved the feathers in the helmet a tiny bit in frame 4, which isn't really noticeable but should hopefully help the overall result
-Fixed up the shading and movement of the loincloth-thingy
-Refined the shading in a number of places throughout the animation
-Fixed some transparent pixels that were appearing in his right ear in a couple of frames
-Elongated the center tail 'spine' a bit in the last 2 frames, since it was a couple pixels shorter in those frames than in the previous ones


If there are any issues I didn't catch or problems already pointed out that I haven't fixed completely, please point them out. :) Or if this is fine, I'll go ahead and add the shadows and tranparentize the background. Which brings up another issue:

The current Merman Warrior base frame has a shadow that is pure black. Is that intentional? What color should I use for the shadows in the animation?
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

One thing missing through the head-turn frames (and I think throughout the animation) is the metal spine running up the front of the feathers.

The wiki page on making shadows is up to date - follow the guidelines there.
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by Trilby »

I looked at this GIF in GIMP, one frame at a time. After the attack, he pulls back further before he returns to standing. This is good, but his head turns slightly, it causes a twitch which is throwing off the fluidity a little. I think that part could be ditched in favour of keeping the default head. The head turning during the wind-up works well, but not later.

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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by artisticdude »

thespaceinvader wrote:One thing missing through the head-turn frames (and I think throughout the animation) is the metal spine running up the front of the feathers.
You mean this (first is the original image, second is the spike outlined in red):
Metal Spine.png
Metal Spine.png (4.03 KiB) Viewed 2397 times
? I actually did include the metal spine in the head-turn frames, but maybe it isn't obvious enough? As for the rest of the animation, the head is straight from the base frame.
thespaceinvader wrote:The wiki page on making shadows is up to date - follow the guidelines there.
Cool. :) I just wanted to double-check and make sure the shadows weren't pure black for a reason. So I updated the baseframe shadow as well, to match the current standards.
Trilby wrote:I looked at this GIF in GIMP, one frame at a time. After the attack, he pulls back further before he returns to standing. This is good, but his head turns slightly, it causes a twitch which is throwing off the fluidity a little. I think that part could be ditched in favour of keeping the default head. The head turning during the wind-up works well, but not later.
Hmm, I agree. I would have done this before, but I was hesitant about adding two more frames to the already seven-frame animation. Anyway, I decided to go ahead and add the extra two frames, which can be seen in the version below.

This version:

-Fixed the baseframe shadow color up so that it matches the current standard
-Added shadows to the entire animation
-Minor shading adjustments throughout
-Added more motion to the lower torso at the longest extension frame, which should hopefully sell the movement better
-Added two recovery frames with the default head, as Trilby suggested above
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Re: Merman Warrior Attack Animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

Looks great, pngs please. Feeling like trying the south version?
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