Based on interest from the Junior animation class, we’re getting into game design and game assets. They plan to build a game level next year for their collaborative project. In an effort to get ready for that, I’ve been doing work in Unreal Engine 4 to help guide the scope of the project.
(Unreal is the top choice with the inclusion of it’s Blueprint visual programming system and AAA power).
I took a model from last years collab project, and re-uv and re-textured it. I built a ART rig for use in the engine and compatibility with existing mocap. I was able to add a basic state machine, and retarget moocap data onto the character. I implemented a custom ragdoll, walk state, blend shapes, anim notifys, a randomized footstep noise system, localized ambient sound, a custom HUD, animated speed tree integration, collision volumes and some custom particles. I grabbed a few off the shelf assets to round out the world. Next up, some simple AI.
It’s quite a bit of work to wrap my head around all of this, but after studying computer graphics for 15 years, it’s a pretty simple lateral move into the realtime environment. All the terms and principles transfer.
Here is a Video of the work in progress!
At first our focus will be the game art, but as we learn more, level design and mechanic will have a stronger presence. It’s going to be interesting to see how folks trained for linear story telling will adapt to interactive storytelling.
Zach Gray, Animation Prof.