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Topic: Soldier / Battle Animations

chuckw
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Posted at: 2010-10-23, 22:49

@Venatrix: Thanks. And don't be "shy" about saying what is on your mind. face-smile.png Sometimes I get "tunnel vision" and miss some possibilities to make the subject even better. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

If you look at modern reproductions of chainmail, it is usually bright and shiny. However, "stainless" steel didn't come on the scene until the twentieth century, so "back in the good old days" any iron object was always subject to oxidization. Rust red and dull gray or even black were far more common than bright chrome. face-wink.png That's not to say that shiny metal doesn't have it's place in the game. I just don't think that place is with the barbarians. face-grin.png


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Nasenbaer
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Posted at: 2010-10-24, 11:02

sigra wrote:

Nasenbaer wrote: I was not aware, that the soldier animations were missing.

Looks like you committed the animation frames (not so long ago). So you should have kept track of therir source http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~widelands-dev/widelands/trunk/changes?filter_file_id=tribes/barbarians/soldier/walk__e__00__pc.png

right - Toralf committed all other blender files to the media svn before and so I saw no reason to check it that time. So perhaps sometimes paranoia is a good thing face-wink.png .

For the animation: I really like the last one (without shield and with rusty look face-smile.png )


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SirVer
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Posted at: 2010-10-25, 14:08

I also like the last one most... I am sorry that I am late to the party just to give no new input face-smile.png


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chuckw
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Posted at: 2010-10-25, 15:11

SirVer wrote: I also like the last one most... I am sorry that I am late to the party just to give no new input

@SirVer: It's always nice to hear from you (even if it's late), especially if you like what you see. face-grin.png

I have pushed a branch to Launchpad that contains the latest version of the barbarian battle animations.

So far, I have elected to portray the barbarian soldier with the most current version i.e. with a "rusty" mail shirt and no shield.

The preview branch currently has:

(preliminary) walking animation - I want to give him more of a swagger. face-wink.png

(preliminary) attack animation - I rendered only 1/2 second at first because I was encountering a little glitch which, thanks to Nasenbaer, has now been overcome. The result for now is two attacks for the price of one. This IMHO is literally "overkill" and I'll amend this animation accordingly. For now there is one animation for both successful and failed attacks. I'd like to hear your reactions to how the attempted attack is being portrayed.

death animation - I've opted to go with one death animation to serve for both die_e and die_w scenarios. The soldier drops his axe as his helmet falls off. He then shrinks into oblivion.

I'll post further notices here as I update the preview branch. And I'll get some stills posted here for those of you who would prefer just to get a glimpse of where we're headed. face-smile.png

As ever, comments and questions are always welcome.

Edited: 2010-10-25, 20:01

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chuckw
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Posted at: 2010-10-25, 15:57

Here are some stills to show where we are now:

Attack ... Starting from a crouch the soldier leaps up Attack_1... and strikes Attack_2

Die ... Die_1 Die_2... going Die_3...going Die_4...gone! Die_5


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chuckw
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Posted at: 2010-10-25, 19:37

Well, I've just completed a full set of animations for the barbarian soldier and I like them so much I'm almost sure you will, too.

So I've decided to merge them directly with the trunk and make it easier for all of us. face-smile.png

This little guy isn't etched in stone (we'll save that for the empire soldier :D) so I want to hear your comments.

Check out trunk bzr rev#5600 ;) https://code.launchpad.net/widelands

Edited: 2010-10-25, 20:52

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Nasenbaer
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Posted at: 2010-10-26, 07:14

chuckw wrote: Well, I've just completed a full set of animations for the barbarian soldier and I like them so much I'm almost sure you will, too. So I've decided to merge them directly with the trunk and make it easier for all of us.
This little guy isn't etched in stone (we'll save that for the empire soldier ) so I want to hear your comments. Check out trunk bzr rev#5600 https://code.launchpad.net/widelands

Great work! face-smile.png face-smile.png :) I like it very much!

Constructive criticism: The changeovers of the animations are a bit jerky (the jumping part) - it's nothing that necessarily needs a rework, but in case you find a simple way to make them more smooth... face-smile.png

Cheers

Nasenbaer


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SirVer
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Posted at: 2010-10-26, 10:08

I also like them very much. Great work Chuck.... as always.

I feel that the animations are a little too slow for my old eyes... year, I know, they are fighting, but I wouldn't mind them doing it in slow motion (that is, make the attack animation 50% longer or so), otherwise it is quite a bit hard to follow. I also think that the back jumping (when evading) is a bit distracting if there are many fights going on on the same time. Maybe just jumping upwards (and not too high) would be easier in big clumps. I also like the dying animation, but I think it could also be a little slower (and play longer).

I love the struggling when the soldier misses... how he falls on the floor. Genius!

As always, just suggestions and just my 2c. Can't wait for the mighty empire soldiers!


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chuckw
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Posted at: 2010-10-26, 15:57

Thanks for your comments!

Nasenbaer wrote: Constructive criticism: The changeovers of the animations are a bit jerky (the jumping part) - it's nothing that necessarily needs a rework, but in case you find a simple way to make them more smooth... face-smile.png

I'll see what I can do. A quick movement gets more abrupt with fewer frames to portray it. As I see it, I have a couple options:

1) take more time and more frames for the animation (i.e. increase the current 1000ms duration to 1500 or so and keep the frame rate at 10 fps. This would "slow" the action down but simultaneously take longer to show it.), or

2) increase the frame rate to say 20-25 fps (the eye can't distinguish anything faster) and use more frames in the transitions to "smooth" out the action .

One second does seem to fly by in a blink, but that is what we currently have for the soldier attack and evade durations in the code, so that is what I rendered. face-smile.png Option 1 will need a code change I think unless you coders inform me otherwise. face-wink.png

SirVer wrote: I feel that the animations are a little too slow for my old eyes... year, I know, they are fighting, but I wouldn't mind them doing it in slow motion (that is, make the attack animation 50% longer or so), otherwise it is quite a bit hard to follow.

IMHO, 1 second should be all we need for the attacks/evasions. The individual fights seem long enough now to me without stretching them out in "slo-mo" which may get tiresome after seeing them over and over. So I'll play with the frame rate and aim for a less distracting battle. face-wink.png This is, after all, "eye candy" and I wouldn't want to adversely effect the game play by prolonging the battles. However, if we decide more time is desired, I can certainly amend the animations accordingly for "old" and "young" eyes alike. face-wink.png

SirVer wrote: I also think that the back jumping (when evading) is a bit distracting if there are many fights going on on the same time. Maybe just jumping upwards (and not too high) would be easier in big clumps.

I was aiming to make the successful evasion very obvious (and give the attacker lots of room to be seen falling on his face). face-smile.png I'll work on reducing the magnitude of the successful evasion.

SirVer wrote: I also like the dying animation, but I think it could also be a little slower (and play longer).

It is very tempting to have lots of fun with the eye candy and one can easily lose sight of the effect of "too much sweets". Like real candy, they can be sickening when taken in excess. I was aiming at the most sanitary and painless death scene I could imagine and I'm happy to see that you like the approach. To play this slower and longer may also require a code change. I'm not sure.

A place where we possibly could benefit from a longer animation is the soldiers' "idle" state. Right now, like with the other animations, I believe we have a one-second cycle for the idle animation. To be honest, I haven't tried to render a longer sequence and am not sure that anything longer than one second wouldn't play. I'd like confirmation that a longer sequence is supported, though, before I expand on this particular animation. To see the soldier smooth out his moustache repeatedly is a little tiring I'll admit. (Yes. THAT is what he is doing. Believe it or not.) face-grin.png

So, to sum up, here is my plan for the barbarian soldier:

1) I will experiment with increasing the frame rate for the attack and evasion animations to smooth out the action.

2) I will change the successful evasion animation to reduce the size of the movement to make it less distracting.

3) Upon confirmation that more time is available for playing, I will lengthen the death and idle animations.

If I've forgotten anything, please let me know.

Thanks again for your encouragement and suggestions. face-smile-big.png

Edited: 2010-10-26, 15:58

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SirVer
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Posted at: 2010-10-26, 16:59

we will glady amend all code changes you'll need, chuck. The wihack is on the weekend, so you get 24/7 or rather 24/3 changes right away


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