The Road to Mithril Hall

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Friday, March 16, 2007

IGN: The New Generation of Animation

I came across an interesting article on IGN talking about Nex-Gen animation techniques. Check it out:

IGN: The New Generation of Animation

This article is interesting because it brings up the point of how visual elements in games are advancing rapidly and how animation must keep up. However the article mainly focuses on animation of realistic humanoid characters,which goes in hand with the new trend of high realism that many Nex-Gen games are aiming for. I feel that some of these tools will be very valuable for realistic games and of course sports games. I have been very impressed by the motion capture techniques displayed in recent games such as the latest Fifa Soccer and Madden Football. It is obvious that motion capture and real-time, physic driven reactions are perfect to capture the realism of the sports that these games are emulating.




My main concern however, is how these tools will work and be implemented (if they are even used) into future instalments of games such as Devil May Cry, Zelda, and God of War, which feature many characters that are not humanoid and can often have a cast of bizarre creatures and Monsters that are not bipeds. How would these techniques and tools enhance a stylized game such as Ratchet and Clank or Okami? How will their implementation enhance or hinder the gameplay experience? We shall soon see.
Honestly I have yet to see a game in which Rag-Doll physics looks better than Canned reactions.

5 comments:

potato farm girl said...

Yes, I still like Zelda, Mario, and weird characters. It's just another tool to use, not a replacement.

EKG! said...

those fools need to flip paper FIRST and then realize that the technology is just a tool. tell them whatsup Bruno!

Bruno Velazquez said...

I'm with you guys in that technology is just a tool. It is all about what you have to say or what kind of feeling you want the player or viewer to feel. I've been checking out your blogs, you guys are doing some great work. I wish I had time to draw again......

Nick said...

we are using motorized rag-doll with our canned reactions and it can look really good but it is not easy to get to a perfect bar.
There is a hell of a lot of tuning that has to be done for it to look non spastic and smooth.
With our engine (unreal 3) they never thought to make a tool that an artist can use to tune the variables so it has to be left to the programmers which adds another hoop for the artist to jump through to make it look acceptable.
We have been looking at Euphoria and the first implementation i saw of it was the Indiana Jones Demo at E3 (Lucas Arts) and it looked less than stellar to say the least. I think as well as with Moto Rag Doll it can be a good augmentation but as you stated it should never be used as a replacement for good animation...

Just reading through blogs and thought i would put my two cents in...

thanks

Bruno Velazquez said...

Thank you for your response Nick. It is unfortunate that UE3 doesn't have an interface for the animators to tweak the values. I am sure that a plug in is on the works, or most likely you guys are developing one. I had a chance to wrok briefly with Matinee in UE3 I it looks like the engine has some great potential (Gears of War). I am very interested in what kind of results Moto rag doll can produce. I'll keep my eyes open for High Moon's next project!