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Post news RSS Dev Blog #17: Traction Wars in Motion

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.

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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.

[TWDEV] Maniche lurks in the undergrowth of the Mo-cap studio.

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.


These small white dots reflect infra-red light back to the cameras around the room.

They are strategically attached to the subject enabling realistic motion to be captured.


The commercial grade Mo-cap system uses eight infrared (IR) cameras placed around the subject; in this case [TWDEV] Maniche due to his military experience. Lots of very reflective dots are strategically attached to the subject to reflect the IR light back to the cameras. These dots are so bright on the captured image that they can be separated from the surrounding environment. Due to the use of multiple cameras precision of movement can be calculated to an accuracy within 0.2 millimetres, 120 times a second.


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!

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Comments
Tommyboy47
Tommyboy47

Wow that's great, by the way are you going to add new factions in the game just like japan and russia or even america just asking. cause I always saw the commonwealth and the germany.

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Roughbeak
Roughbeak

The current plans for "Chapter One" is the British vs Germans during Normandy.

After that who knows. :)

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Guest
Guest

Currently, our focus is on the British Sector of Normandy, which means we'll probably eventually try to bring in Commonwealth and Exile combatants in that sector as well. After that is completed over a period of updates, we'll do the American sector, and after that, who knows.

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WhiteRhino27
WhiteRhino27

Too bad that's not the russians army before the americans army. :/

Really happy to see mo cap in your game, because that's an enormous plus for the immersion!

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VonMudra
VonMudra

Simple logistics. It's easier to expand to finish the entire Normandy sector than to have to build an entire new front, with all it's unique statics, textures, etc. Eastern Front is not being ruled out though as an eventual move.

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VonMudra
VonMudra

Oops, wasn't logged in.

Currently, our focus is on the British Sector of Normandy, which means we'll probably eventually try to bring in Commonwealth and Exile combatants in that sector as well. After that is completed over a period of updates, we'll do the American sector, and after that, who knows.

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TheNodCommander
TheNodCommander

Very nice! A motion cap room must be any indie-teams dream!

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SIGILL
SIGILL

And/or any indie-team's wallet's nightmare ;)

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hannibaldinski
hannibaldinski

In the video you see very shortly Maniche waving a T shaped wooded stick. That stick is used to calibrate the system and is 3000 euros :S...

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Cpt_Bocquier
Cpt_Bocquier

This is Epic.

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Landrik
Landrik

A good article on how the Germans carried their weapons. Looking at original footage from the front and training videos, it's a good show of how they carried themselves into battle as they were taught.

Dererstezug.com

Also, a good video on close combat training... I put in a timeskip so you could skip to the juicy slow-mo. No "low-ready" here!

Youtu.be

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