View Full Version : game character animation!

03-03-2003, 04:52 AM
guys i really need a tutorial for maya with game caracter animation, with jump, walk, running positions and states, how to bind skin without errors and put it smooth...

I know how to do it, but my characters are beeing too robotic, i dont know what to do... please some body help me!

THX!!! :rolleyes:

03-03-2003, 04:57 AM
just onemore thing, i got the .md3 (quake3) exporter from maya and when I export the mesh with bones the plugin say this: "tag_head error"

What is this error all about?

03-03-2003, 06:05 AM
Hey Bugo, don't know about the error as I haven't tried the .md3 exporter for Maya.... but in regard to doing character animation loops you may want to check out my "Just Animate - Games!" training CD (I think I mentioned it before). It's for Lightwave, but the animation information would be transferable to Maya (and I do a walk, run, jump, stand and die loop).

"How to make my character alive", is one of those questions that takes a lot more to show than just a post here... in fact it takes a few CDs worth :eek: and lots more to boot! You may want to check out my Animator's Gym DVD/CD too, since it covers a lot of animation principles and how to put them into practice. There are also some good free online tutorials (Keith Lango's and Michael Comet's sites come to mind). Sprinkle all that training profusely with lots of practice and I think you'll start to get it. There really isn't a silver bullet, but you can do it...

Hope that helps a bit.

Ed Lee
03-03-2003, 07:38 AM
I just picked up this book:


It should be an addition to any animator's liabrary.

As for making characters not looking like a robot. Have u gone through any animation courses?...I ask since I went through 2 courses at a local workshop. 2 10 week courses. I highly recommend it. One of the more polished character animation for a game is one done by LucasArts..dunno exactly which title....I saw it on A|W game demo. They've used all the classic animation "technique" to bring the aliens and human characters alive.

Alot of time what I see in the game animation is a lack of secondary animation. This help in taking the robotness out of character animation.

Anyway, about your question about the error messages. I'm guessing you're outputting to PC. Have u tried baking your animation?...I dunno too much about .md3...maybe u can check with ID.


03-03-2003, 02:53 PM
Hey Ed, definitely agree on the recommendation of Richard Williams' book... along with the Illusion of Life.

03-03-2003, 06:25 PM
I dont know about these cds and books, just want a tutorial from the net, please a good one! :rolleyes:

Ed Lee
03-03-2003, 06:32 PM
Hey Lostpencil: Right on!


03-03-2003, 07:25 PM
Hey Bugo...

The way I look at a community is that it's a give and take kind of proposition. It's about sharing knowledge and techniques and it's about developing friendships. When Richard Williams wrote his book, he didn't owe us anything. Sure, he probably did it partly to make some revenue - and we all need to eat. But he also did it to share his joy of animating (that's what he said to me). I don't mind paying him to give him something back for what he's given to me.

So I create a bunch of different CDs and DVDs which communicate what I know and have learned about the tools and the art and craft of animating and 3d in general. I don't always have paying gigs - and if I did, I couldn't afford the time to create the training material. I have a family and it needs to be fed too. So the revenues from the training material funds not only my children's well being, but also funds the next CD. Amazingly it also funds the next free tutorial. I try to not only provide low cost training, but I also give things away that have taken a lot of time and effort to create. I couldn't do that if I couldn't feed my kids.

So yes, there are things out there on the net that are free, but there are also amazing resources that are at your disposal that cost something. The question is, is it an investment that you are willing to make in yourself?

I am constantly learning from free tutorials on the web and video and book material that I have purchased. If you want to be the best you can be, you can't just rely on free stuff. You have to invest in yourself.

Anyway, that's my 2 denarii worth.

03-03-2003, 09:06 PM
sorry dude, but Im from Brazil, and I will not pay too much to bring these books and cds to here... its too much money since our money is 4x the dollar.

Wigaru Wiyamoto
03-04-2003, 02:42 AM
Originally posted by bugo
I dont know about these cds and books, just want a tutorial from the net, please a good one! :rolleyes:

:rolleyes: :scream:

This is about as close as you'll get to a "tutorial" on character animation: http://www.keithlango.com/popThru/popThru.html

03-04-2003, 02:55 AM
Originally posted by Wigaru Wiyamoto
:rolleyes: :scream:

This is about as close as you'll get to a "tutorial" on character animation: http://www.keithlango.com/popThru/popThru.html

that's quite an extensive tutorial - and funny animation too - good to know why there are ten commandments and not more

03-04-2003, 02:58 AM
Yes, Keith's tutorial is a great start (and Michael Comet's site has some good information too) - both of which I mentioned previously. There are free tutorials out there, but in my estimation they are just the tip of the iceberg if you want to excel and improve your animation skills.

Wigaru Wiyamoto
03-04-2003, 05:47 AM

03-04-2003, 03:43 PM
Thx!!! It really rox! :airguitar

03-04-2003, 11:24 PM
if one want to expand their own way of modeling or any way they express their art, it's all about training.
training don't cost a dime.
and i'm sorry, but i don't feel obliged to give away my money on something that can be found for free or through conversation with other people on the net or in an IRL group.
Either it's that I'm cold hearted, or I'm just plain economic, but I won't pay $20 for a CD and then $10 for the shipping, just to wait a week to get it here, because during that week I can pick up exactly the same amount of information on the 'net, without loss of quality, since the quality of the work comes from inside and not from a Training CD.
I'm not saying that a Training CD is a bad way to go, it's just not economically sound for someone outside the country where it got published.

Sorry. :shrug:

03-04-2003, 11:51 PM
First, let me clarify. I'm not claiming that you *must* buy my CDs or you won't excel.

What I am claiming is that the more training you get (free or otherwise) will help you excel. Books contain techniques and workflow that you may never consider. You just can't get that out of a few conversations. Moreover, you can't make the following statement with any confidence:

"during the week I can pick up exactly the same amount of information on the net"

The only way you could, is if you evaluated all the training material that you can purchase (including conferences, classes, CDs, books, etc.). So unless you buy them all, you just will not know what you are missing.

Also, training does cost. It costs time and energy. And that can be directly related to cost in money. You are either costing your employer money (if you are a trainee, or a poorly equiped employee), or you are losing money because you aren't generating revenue as you train, or someone else is showing you how to do it (and that costs them time and energy). Either way, it costs someone. I suppose you just don't want it to cost you.

I do not call 'one expanding their own way of modeling' as training. That's experimenting. You may end up learning something, and that's great - and you should experiment. But training is a transfer of art and craft. You can't do that in a vacuum.

Lastly, comparing an IRC chat to a detailed video of a technique or hands on class is like comparing apples to oranges. One will get you through the learning curve much more quickly than the other. There is simply nothing compared to watching an experienced individual go through the process. You can talk all about it, but seeing it makes a lot of difference.

Almost all my training material that I have ever purchased has come from the outside of my country. So I have to pay more, our dollar sucks too... but it's all about investment.

Wigaru Wiyamoto
03-04-2003, 11:53 PM
three, you're free to learn any way you want, but no one owes you anything. With your pompous attitude I certainly wouldn't be in any hurry to help you with anything.

03-05-2003, 12:01 AM
Lost Pencil, it's not that I don't respect your opinion, or that I try to take down your CD's. I bet they're super! :beer:
I can only talk out of my own experiance of learning CD's and books, compared to the conversations I've had. And I'm not talking about an IRC communication, it's all Real Life communication.
And all other training don't work for me, I need a conversation, and ongoing conversation, if I'm ever going to learn something. And by just watching a skilled person do something I've tried to do for weeks, that just brings me down, especially if I can't understand what the person means on the CD. Therefore:
For me, a discussion between 2 persons give more than one-way-communication with the screen and the mouse.

I've bought books and CD's, I'm up to about $140 in Learning Material, and not one of them have taught me more than the conversations and tutorials I've taken.

I hope this explains something for Wigaru as well. I'm not pompous, I just have another view on learning than some of you others. I'm not trying to put anyone down or anything, just trying to express my opinion, I'm sorry Lost Pencil if you took offence, that was certainly not my intention.

Take care.

03-05-2003, 12:20 AM
Hey Three, I'm not offended. Different people learn differently that's for sure. What I was responding to is what I read from your post. It seemed to be saying: everything found in material that you can buy (books, CDs, etc.) can be found for free - so why pay for it...

Thanks for clearing that up! Happy training and animating!

03-05-2003, 12:31 AM
Could be my english, I've noticed I've got some problems of getting emotions through in my texts.


03-05-2003, 03:03 AM
My take on books. Is first read them in the store if you can. I don't have all the money in the world, and my experiences with books is the ones I've bought on a whim SUCK, and the ones I've bought after spending about 5-10 minutes flipping through them to make sure that are good have been excellent. If they have any info in them that is relevant its good to own. I have ATT Broadband (now ComPost) and if anyone else has their shit service you'll know that the damn little cable modem KNOWS when you need to transfer or use to download something important and will shut down. A good book beats having to flip between windows on your computer. As well some tutorials out there are great and extremely valuable. I print them out...too many times I'll go to a website only to forget the link and forever lose that information. As for communicating over the web, I use it for quick questions, and technique. Schooling is by far the best option, but sometimes classes are WAY too much money. And you can wind up in the classes where they have 2-3 people in there that shouldn't be in there and it slows the entire class.

My advice, learn as much as you can whereever and whenever you can, teach the material you learn to others as it helps solidify the information (it does for me at least), and ofcourse practice practice practice. Don't be cheap, invest in yourself. A book might cost you $50 but you don't have to sit by a forum for 2-3 days and hope to god that you get a valuable response. If you consider time= money like I do. A book pays for itself over and over. Especially when its written by a professional. However, watch out, a bunch of books out there will be just rehashes of beginner material, in some cases direct rip offs of free tutorials on the web.

Anyways sorry that I digressed but I hope this helps.

03-08-2003, 10:18 PM
sorry guys, im not trying to hurry anything here...
If I would live in US, maybe i would buy all those great books and everything...

I have never been helpt more than in this forum, all you guys are such m8 and generous here... Im really thankfull and sorry for thinking that I was in hurry or anything else, and sorry for my english too ;)

03-08-2003, 11:47 PM
Mario Ucci, BKA Loganarts is a Brazillian Lightwave artist who used to mod at Renderosity. He did not seem to have much trouble getting anything although all situations are different.

I wrote a walk design tutorial for Lightwave last year. It was rather unconventional being that I used expressions heavily. In fairness I also used the default models and rig found on the CD so everyone could read, follow understand and not download anything. I got good responses from the tut & NO I didn't receive a dime for it, that's not why I did it. I did it to help others but what happens more often than not and I'm sure others have put up with this as well is you take people so far, Guess what? they want you to take them further. The tut was there to build a foundation to expressions in Lightwave. Then on top of that, the a few warez kiddies wanted me to send them the scene file, clouding my mailbox with all kinds of nonsense. I wrote them back telling them where to find the scene file on their CD, guess what!? "My CD is broken!", "The disk is corrupted!" etc.... etc.... etc.... I write them back telling them to take it up with Newtek. Then on top of that, there's one guy who wants me to convert the site to German. I said sheesh man this shit is free, why do you want me to bend more than I already have.

In the end I feel that many true users of Lightwave went far with the tutorial but some needed to be hand fed, were not geniune or simply didn't have the mental capacity to do it in the first place and bugged the hell outta me for their lack of understanding because they didn't RTFM or downloaded a warez copy with no manuals or content files. I say BRAVO to lost pencil for making a tutorial CD. Whether you're getting paid for it or not, you're providing a service to the community. At least however when you run across someone who wants you to bend over backwards ten times over, you've gotten some compensation out of it. I on the other hand have gotten mostly headaches from writing a free tutorial. Because of this, I don't write any more free tuts and only my personal friends recieve my aid whom all have a foundation working with Lightwave.

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