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Malaveldt
11-08-2003, 09:34 PM
EDIT:I revised the timing and the walk cycle to incorporate the suggestions I received from so many sources. Thank you!

Hello and thank you. I've been working on my character animation/modeling/texturing skills and I've worked up a short animation. I'd appreciate your general impressions and whether on not you think the animation 'works'. I am shamelessly bumping this to see how the revised version looks to trained eyes.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/screencap.jpg

Walking Soldiers (938K, Divx 5) (http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/walking_soldiers.avi)

old version (952K, Divx 5) (http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/orig_walking_soldiers.avi)

This was all done within 3ds Max 5 and Photoshop 7 for my demo reel for the game industry. The textures are a combination of hand-drawn and heavily reworked photos. Is this effective? These guys are designed for real-time animation within a game engine, and have polycounts in the 3200 to 3500 range, and are designed to be modular, so one basic 'body' could accept a wide variety of different heads/equipment/weapons/extras. Do you think this approach works, and do you think that this is a valid and effective way to present game models? Thank you for looking.

Wires:
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/bald1.gif
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/bald2.gif
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/bald3.gif

OpenGL viewport captures:
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/bald4.jpg
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/bald5.jpg
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/bald6.jpg
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/helm1.jpg

Weapons:
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/ar1.jpg
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/ar2.jpg
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/panzerfaust1.jpg

Texture Maps@50%:
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/mapsmall.jpg

Texture Maps Full Size:
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/doscher/demoreel/mapsbig.jpg

HenningK
11-09-2003, 01:49 AM
The environment looks really nice to me. Im an animator though, so I'll crit that. The animation looks good for games i guess. When they start creeping around its better, but the walk is... hmm. 1) On each step they pop quickly forward and then float back some. A real walk is steadier. 2 ) Also, put some torso twist and sway in them. 3) Also, the feet lift off the ground and move forward in a rather mechanical fashion.
What kind of weapon is the second guy carrying?
I hope I have helped,
love,hen

Malaveldt
11-09-2003, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by HenningK
The environment looks really nice to me. Im an animator though, so I'll crit that. The animation looks good for games i guess. When they start creeping around its better, but the walk is... hmm. 1) On each step they pop quickly forward and then float back some. A real walk is steadier. 2 ) Also, put some torso twist and sway in them. 3) Also, the feet lift off the ground and move forward in a rather mechanical fashion.
What kind of weapon is the second guy carrying?
I hope I have helped,
love,hen

Thank you, that helped a lot, actually. The walk cycle has given me some difficulty. I think that the foot needs to roll more, now that you point it out.

Torso twist. Ah. That's the one axis I missed having them move on.

The weapon that the second guy is holding is a disposable antitank weapon from WWII germany called a panzerfaust. There's a detailed page about them here:
http://www.geocities.com/Augusta/8172/panzerfaust2.htm#use

Malaveldt
11-17-2003, 06:37 PM
Thank you for the suggestions. I revised the animation. Do it look correct now? Comments and criticism are much appreciated. :)

Volker
11-17-2003, 07:58 PM
Another problem with the walks are the flat feet. When we step forward, our toes actually point slightly up, and away from the ground. So first we have contact with the heel, and then the rest of the foot rolls down into place. There's also not very much up and down movement, especially in the first guy. There's a weird pop in the guy's arm when he lifts it into the air. Keep working, your coming along now...

~Zach

Malaveldt
11-17-2003, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by Babyhopper
Another problem with the walks are the flat feet. When we step forward, our toes actually point slightly up, and away from the ground. So first we have contact with the heel, and then the rest of the foot rolls down into place. There's also not very much up and down movement, especially in the first guy. There's a weird pop in the guy's arm when he lifts it into the air. Keep working, your coming along now...

~Zach

Wow. Excellent. THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS BOARD! :) I can see them clearly now that they are pointed out to me. Thank you so much.

IanBrightNZ
11-17-2003, 11:01 PM
This is coming along nicely. Your attitude is excellent, a good attitude to have in this industry.

Re the animation, I have some suggestions. Get the heel down first, as stated by Babyhopper.

At the moment your characters show no weight when they walk, so try to get some up and down on the bodies, and some twist in the hips and shoulders (opposing twist). Move the weight over each planted foot slightly to show it's taking the weight of the body. This is the most common error for beginning 3D animators. I just suggest to people that they try and walk like their character, without shifting their weight. They fall over :)

When the first character crouches and moves forward his weight needs to shift to his supporting leg BEFORE he moves, otherwise he would actually fall over.

Also the 2nd guy is quite jerky, you need to smooth out his movement.

You need to study some books on classical animation, or better yet apply for a course. If you want to be an animator in the game industry you will need these skills. I highly recommend a book by Richard Williams called The Animators Survival Kit. It will help you no end.

Good luck getting into the industry This will look very cool when you're done. :beer:

HenningK
11-18-2003, 12:40 AM
Good progress. Weight is SO important, listen to EonB. Of my original crit... I still think the feet could "roll" even more, as you said. The bending toe will help.
Along with the torso twist and bobbing up and down, there will also be swaying side to side slightly as weight is put predominantly on one foot after the other.
love,hen

Malaveldt
11-18-2003, 08:45 PM
Thank you both so very much, Eon B and HenningK. I am currently rendering a new iteration on the animation, incorporating your recommendations. I am finding the proper use of weight a little elusive, but I'll be seeing about some animation books this afternoon.

Your criticism has been invaluable, and encouragement from pros is always heartening. :)

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