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Old 06-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmoore3d
Unity is definitely the way to go if you're a single indie developer, and I agree, it's very good for building a quick prototype just to test out an idea. When I originally came up with the idea for Pole Force One almost two years ago, I threw together a really quick prototype using a test model I animated and some stock city assets, just to see what it might take to build a 3D side-scrolling game. I wouldn't consider this at all a representation of what I will be making, but it's definitely good to make these little prototypes to test out an idea and see if it's feasible.


As a side note, I would actually consder this game significantly easier to make compared with my other project, Soliloquy of a Madman (SoaM). However, I want to make all my mistakes with SoaM before I move onto developing this project, because I feel there is more commercial potential with it and I want to get it right. Going to be a couple years before I get there though, so I'll need to have patience!



That is the way to do for prototyping, you can get a real quick feel for the game and how you want it to play very fast, which in turn, will save you a lot of time on the art side of things as well. You will then see what you really need and what you don't. I have tendencies to do a lot of the art assets first sometimes and then test it after, which is not always good because I find myself spending time on things that is not always necessary. Quick question, I saw you referenced Unity in your reply back to me, but was the protoype that you just posted done in Unity as well?
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:12 PM   #17
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CONCEPT NAME: NeverEndingPrincessStory

CATEGORY: Animation
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Harry Potter Meets Dallas
WIP THREAD: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Neve...ry/210744261421
WHAT WENT RIGHT THIS WEEK: I have been spending some time updating my websites. I was able to upload a website successfully to Azure using VWD12 Express so this was great. I will have to play with the database end of it to make it work but it was certainly encouraging.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Seems like I'm continually fighting with new software, this is annoying. Looking forward to having a new development environment for all this.
SHOW AND TELL: If you have not checked out the youtube clip/update please do at:
http://youtu.be/MyYvpBlArW4 I moved forward a bit on this but spending more time on webs than 3d this week.

have a good one...
 
Old 06-24-2013, 09:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rez007
Quick question, I saw you referenced Unity in your reply back to me, but was the protoype that you just posted done in Unity as well?


Yes, I've been using Unity for the past few years on a mix of personal prototypes and client work. I've used other game engines before - Torque3D, Unreal/UDK and XNA - but have found Unity the easiest to just get started and make something. Over the years it's become quite powerful and the cross-platform features are fantastic. Definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get into game development on their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCastle
Seems like I'm continually fighting with new software, this is annoying. Looking forward to having a new development environment for all this.


You have to version-lock! What that means is, once you are ready to go into actual production you stick with whatever versions of software you have until you have completed. It's really difficult because you always want to play with the latest and greatest toys, features, etc.... but constantly trying to keep up mid-production is a waste of time. For example, I've been working on a client project in Unity for the past year and the entire time I have been using the same installation even thought it's a major and several minor versions older than the current.

You absolutely need to version-lock and just push through until completion to be productive as an individual. Leave the upgrades, experimentation and learning for when you've hit a major milestone and are ready to incorporate that into your project, until then, just work on the IP.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:41 PM   #19
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Hello Grant,


Very impressive Unity demonstration.
How long did it take to put together this prototype?
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:59 PM   #20
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Maybe I missed it but is this IP thing available for 2d computer animation or 3d only?
 
Old 06-25-2013, 12:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malcolmvexxed
Maybe I missed it but is this IP thing available for 2d computer animation or 3d only?


Hello Malcolmvexxed,

Roberto has the IP Club open to anything and everything, I believe. Please join up, it is always cool to have new people and projects.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
Hello Grant,

Very impressive Unity demonstration.
How long did it take to put together this prototype?


I think that prototype took me a couple months in my spare time to put together, but I was also learning Unity while making it. I would probably be able to throw something like that together in about a week now, using stock art. It was a good exercise just to see how it would feel which helps put things in context when designing it on paper / brainstorming.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:58 AM   #23
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PRODUCTION BLOG: Culture Siphons Blog I suppose

the first animation I really want to do is for my space goblin cooking show webcomic that I just started - http://www.coalminds.com/webcomics/...asstoves01.html . But realistically I need to start with something smaller scale before I tackle stuff like giant goblins cooking people in air conditioning exhausts tied to oil tankers. The main advantage with that would have been that the Goblins were going to speak in a gutteral mumble with subtitles and the humans are largely sedated, so it would have been easier on that level. Instead I'm going to do a short story I've wanted to tackle.

CATEGORY: Animation (Flash/Keyframe/Rotoscoping with IK/manually rendered ocassionally)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

'Blood Runs Dry' is a short horror/drama film (~10-12 minutes) about two black men in the South in the 1940s. One is the aimless son of a former abolitionist, drifting through town. The other is an impoverished sharecropper at wits end. While hunting for rabbit the sharecropper is hypnotized by a demonic force which consumes him (not a full posession) through his anger and marks him in a way only the other force will be able to see. The other man, while saving a life, is exposed to a calming force and lets go of what anger he had. They're drawn towards each other for a confrontation between their opposing viewpoints and experiences. Very little action, although there is gore in it and weirdness.

PROJECT GOALS:

Take an extended break from webcomics and focus on animation, find the money spot between inverse kinematics-based tweening and naturalistic animation. A music client I just built a website for is going to let me use his studio for audio recording which is a bonus.

STATUS NUMBER: 1

TEAM MEMBERS: 1

Steve Broome - all da things

START DATE: June 2013

ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE: October 2014

WIP THREAD: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...561#post7610561

WHAT WENT RIGHT THIS WEEK:

I'm getting closer to figuring out the look, which is clearer in my head certainly than on paper. Part of the issue is that I'm trying to use a vector-based program to imitate a look that's far simpler to reproduce in bitmap. Namely I want the entire thing to look like old sepia toned or black and white photographs.

WHAT WENT WRONG:

I built this automatic text parser which would have done all my lip syncing for me. The concept is that it iterates through a text field one character at a time and executes the functions, including a "space" which would count as a second long pause and another symbol which would count as half a second. Based on my testing I was able to do lip syncing very quickly with this model. Unfortunately AS3 has certain limitations that mean it would not work reliable and audio is off. Also text strings in AS3 can only react to the change event with user input. It's not that bad I just have to rewrite a lot of the if statements as individual functions, but typing one sentence for a whole lot of dialogue would have been easier. Also I included the ability to control eye functions in this but will be separating them and just animating everything on the timeline. Here is the in-browser version:

http://coalminds.com/animation/lipsync_stage3.html

I am looking into one more time saver before diving into the first scene.

SHOW AND TELL:

Will post the script and some test animations in the near future. Here's early image tests and the build for an IK test.




Last edited by malcolmvexxed : 06-25-2013 at 01:03 AM.
 
Old 06-25-2013, 03:32 AM   #24
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What's tricky there also is when chains of words form one mouth movement.

for example. When a character says "get out." the mouth actually forms ONE movement for both words in that it sounds more like a single two-syllable word: "Gitawt".

In that regard a per-character parser won't get you there, unless you have a "phrase/word pairing" analyzer that comes after.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:43 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
What's tricky there also is when chains of words form one mouth movement.

for example. When a character says "get out." the mouth actually forms ONE movement for both words in that it sounds more like a single two-syllable word: "Gitawt".

In that regard a per-character parser won't get you there, unless you have a "phrase/word pairing" analyzer that comes after.


True, for that I'd either have to write special character analyzers (which is pretty easy once you have the logic worked out, Id id it for duplicate sounds) or just do what I will be doing which is to re-type the words anyway as something that is not an exact spelling of the word but results in the mouth movements I want. This was actually a big part of the problem I learned, Flash is really inconsistent about its rendering time on issues like this. Lesson learned there. B/c of that I'm not too worried about having to re-write as individual functions. IF anything it'll still be easier to just match up each word based on the soundwave.
 
Old 06-25-2013, 04:23 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malcolmvexxed
True, for that I'd either have to write special character analyzers (which is pretty easy once you have the logic worked out, Id id it for duplicate sounds) or just do what I will be doing which is to re-type the words anyway as something that is not an exact spelling of the word but results in the mouth movements I want. This was actually a big part of the problem I learned, Flash is really inconsistent about its rendering time on issues like this. Lesson learned there. B/c of that I'm not too worried about having to re-write as individual functions. IF anything it'll still be easier to just match up each word based on the soundwave.


I played around with Microsoft Sam in that way.. just to see if its diction can be made to sound more natural. :P

A soundwave based lip-syncer that visually analyzes the wave to form the mouth might actually be better in that it also solves the breathing... and expressions like when characters go "pffffttt... " and for how long they do that.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
I played around with Microsoft Sam in that way.. just to see if its diction can be made to sound more natural. :P

A soundwave based lip-syncer that visually analyzes the wave to form the mouth might actually be better in that it also solves the breathing... and expressions like when characters go "pffffttt... " and for how long they do that.


The dupe character parser handled that by saying that if two of the same letter were consecutive to simply hold the post created by the end of the last letter, remove both from the text string, and run a delay for a quarter second. If nothing else I've figured out after months that language is too complex for what I was trying to do. Also English doesn't have enough logic behind it for this to fully work anyway.
 
Old 06-25-2013, 05:05 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malcolmvexxed
The dupe character parser handled that by saying that if two of the same letter were consecutive to simply hold the post created by the end of the last letter, remove both from the text string, and run a delay for a quarter second. If nothing else I've figured out after months that language is too complex for what I was trying to do. Also English doesn't have enough logic behind it for this to fully work anyway.


In the final analysis.. you just have to figure out if, in fact, short of buying Maya with Facerobot.... The fastest way is to just actually mark the sound wave with where the words are and just pose the mouth yourself.

You would have to do that once or twice btw... to kind of know what the steps the software would have to take.

But I'm already thinking internally that it's multiple "reads" or passes of things and there's a lot of Bezier Curve plus-minus going on with the mouth poses.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:21 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
In the final analysis.. you just have to figure out if, in fact, short of buying Maya with Facerobot.... The fastest way is to just actually mark the sound wave with where the words are and just pose the mouth yourself.

You would have to do that once or twice btw... to kind of know what the steps the software would have to take.

But I'm already thinking internally that it's multiple "reads" or passes of things and there's a lot of Bezier Curve plus-minus going on with the mouth poses.


That's what I'm doing right now. I'm just marking the words by creating a separate layer called "labels" and then using Flash's labeling. This will also give me some options for allowing easily customized variety in the lip syncing, like adding lips by changing the embedded animation's, let's say "lip type" frame (frame 1= woman's lips frame 2 = woman's thick lips frame 3= man's lips) before starting the lip sync manually. Much of the actual mouth animation logic will still be preserved.
 
Old 06-26-2013, 04:22 AM   #30
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Turns out anything that uses functions including a currentLabel type of operation or the alternative which was to push the current letter into a variable manually whenever a new mouth animation needs to be run causes problems. Essentially the most reasonable way to do this would be to use "enterFrame" as the event listener, but enterframe (a) has to be escaped b/c it runs once per frame until it's removed and (b) causes problems getting the frame animations to play after the escaping is done. So this removes the ideal solution which was to assign a "this" or "currenttarget" based logic to the function and then just apply that to whatever face I'm using lip sync on. Instead I'm avoiding events entirely and just manually calling the animation from the stage. At least I know now that the more involved actionscript way doesn't work and can move on. Lots and lots of hours wasted though.
 
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