Hello there my fellow Traction Warriors. [TWDEV] Hannibaldinski here - welcome to another Traction Wars development blog. In previous updates we have shown some of our “Work in Progress” first person weapon animations, but today I want to talk about the third person, full-body animations such as running, crawling and jumping.
Animations are not my main task and I'm normally working on different things but once in a while I encounter interesting technologies due to my current stay in Sweden. This time I came across a room which caught my full attention. The room contained a fully operational high speed motion capture system, also known as Mo-cap. The first thing that came to my mind was: “**** ****, we need this for Traction Wars”. Using my superior seduction techniques on the person in charge I managed to get a reservation to use this fascinating piece of equipment for a full day. I immediately called up fellow developer [TWDEV] Maniche, who drove the three hundred kilometres from Norway to help me out.
We humans are so used to body movements like walking that it is very easy for us to spot flaws in artificial animation. This makes creating full body animations an incredibly difficult and time consuming task, often taking days or weeks just for a normal walking loop. It is challenging to find the right balance and weight to make a full-body animation feel as realistic as possible. Because of this, Motion Capture is used heavily in current games and movies.
During our capture day we tried to get as close to the real movements as we could. Using weights, a full sized rifle prop and help from [TWDEV] VonMudra during a live Skype call, helping us with the correct way weapons were carried and used. From grenades to heavy machine guns, running, climbing and setting up - we went through as many movements we could think of. It was good to see [TWDEV] Maniche running around getting tired while I pressed the right buttons and verified the captured data so anything could be re-done if something went wrong.
We look forward to showing the processed Mo-cap animations on our in-game characters in the future. Until then, stay tuned for more development updates. And thanks for reading!