View Full Version : Need advice: 2 minute in-game car chase

07 July 2007, 02:27 PM
Hello there dear animators! Im currently working with a game concept/demo, where my task is to animate a roughly 2 minute car chase in a large city, all of this is eventually going to be exported into our engine.
And I wonder if theres any animators here with experience of such an animation, how you approach it. Pose-to-pose, straight-ahead? and so forth. In which order do you animated the different cars (traffic, villain, you car etc), when do you begin to add details and so forth.

Currently the carchase is about a truck thats chased by the police, and you are a camera man on a car thats trying to keep up. So anything (at the moment at least) will be static.

Im mostly used to character animation, now I have so much more to take into account, traffic for one. Also I plan to use reactor when the cars crashes into boxes and morphs for deformation etc. I have began with blocking out of the animation, using a face forward maxscript i wrote, so I can just choose position and let that do the rest, but eventually I will need to kill the script and go into detail.

It would be really nice if someone could share their knowledge on this, I could use alot of help:) I have about 3 weeks to do this animation, im not even sure how tight its gonna be, but with all features, it feels as if there isnt that much time in the end.


07 July 2007, 09:59 PM
I don't know how much help this will be, but a storyboarding teacher once told me that you have to think of the cars/planes etc just as you wood characters in a movie/film/animation and the camera angles should portray the good guy and the evil guy just the same way they would be if they were people.

It would be good to make a rough overhead map of the city, draw it on paper or use photoshop. Then storyboard it using software or paper. Things to pay attention to would be angles on the cars, which traffic the two cars will interact with, what props will be used/seen.

Thats really all I can think of, I've never animated something like this but 2 minutes sounds like a long time for 3 weeks of work. Good luck!


07 July 2007, 12:27 AM
Before you make this ambitious anim, you have to ask yourself these questions:

first question...

why one earth does this car chase HAVE to be 2 minutes?

Secondly, do you already have this city that the chase will be taking place in? If not, then get it. If so... is it large enough to accomodate a 2-minute car chase scene?

Is this a cinematic? Or an in-game cut-scene?

Will objects drop-out when it crosses a sector in the level design? Perhaps you could run a test by moving a box along the same path the cars will take?

Have you got a storyboard of it? That solves 1/2 of your issues right there.

Good luck.

07 July 2007, 01:18 PM
BigMouth: Either of it, its 2 minutes because its a level in the game, althought everything is "scripted" except the player will control the camera. (maybe in a future we will add the ability to choose path to drive, and physics realtime, but for now all of those elements are in my hands)
We have a city large enough for this long car chase, we have predefined pretty well what to visit, and what to be a backdrop (for now). We dont have a storyboard, more of a flowchart. (which was my humble requirement when I put the city together, so I know which places to be visited). Art/animation directing will be done pretty much on the fly due time, but my real worries is that I dont know how to arroach such animation, atm im applying my characte animation experience to this, but im sure theres more knowledge about the subject worthy of knowing. Its so much more about timing, a whole system of traffic, pedestrians, physic sims etc.

wchristiansen: I tend to call the car you are chasing "the main character". Unfortunatly we dont have control over the camera angles as much as you would like. But its true, I should think alot more about how I want to portrait the "evil guy". Its a good point to remember when i animated the players car.

Are you really sure 3 weeks is a good amount of time for a 2 minute car chase? Btw, I just started animating this week, so time will tell:)

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07 July 2007, 01:18 PM
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