Dev Blog #8: RV Animation
This is Dylan, and welcome to the second part of this two-part series. Last week I discussed my process for the RV, everything up to the animating phase. This week I will be talking about my animation process and practices.
Animating is a very tricky thing to get right. My main concern whilst animating was making sure the animations matched the style and my vision for the game. The punches needed to be quick enough to not interfere with the programmer’s magic texts, and not too fast so you can't really see what’s going on. The animations were based on Overwatch’s melee animations. The melee has a very quick intro, it has quite a bit of hang time, and quick retracts.
The most important thing in animating, if not the most important thing, is a good rig. For the arms, I decided to go with an FK (forward kinematics) rig based on a few things. First of all, the arm needed to “fold” in on itself.
Having an FK rig allows me to rotate the joints independently of the others. IK joints are made perfectly for arm movements, but for my purposes, I didn’t want the elbow and shoulder to rotate when I would move the hand. Each arm has it’s own rig, with its own control points. The most important thing I wanted to have in the rig, was proper finger joints and controllers. When we made the 1st RV Punch in college, we mentioned that we wanted the RVs to have emotes. Having the RVs emote in-game would give them so much personality. We wanted the RVs to feel like their own characters without having a racer be in the spotlight.
Animating can be very difficult when you’re making a game. The most important thing to remember is to have patience and be persistent. Animating takes time to get right. It’s also one of the most important things in a game. Animations are what connect the player and the characters. Animation brings your characters to life and seeing what you’ve made come to life, is a very magical feeling. Animators are magicians.
Thanks again for reading the blog, especially over these last two weeks. I hope you'll tune in next week as well.