My original plan of finishing off the Hunter this week came to a little bit of a stumbling block as we've been working on the exportation system behind the scenes. Fear not, I'll be on it again at some point after my short holiday and I can update the Hunter animation post in the near future.
In the mean time, I've been tackling some pretty important areas in the game which has some animation gaps in it. For those who like playing in 3rd Person - selecting different tools now has different animations relating to the tool itself. This week's release (157) had the Chisel, Axe and Shovel animations put in and the next weeks release has the rest (Spanner and Beacon Plotter) ready on stand by.
3rd Person Tool Anims
Check out the Gif below of the 3rd person tool swings in Maya. Here this clip shows a reel of the player going through the different tools we have in the game running in the following animated order:
Shovel, Chisel, Axe, Hammer(and Totem), Spanner and Beacon Plotter.
These are blended animations split in various percentages in a hierarchy split from 'left hand' animations and 'right hand' since the character idling is not symmetrical. Basically, they need extremely flexible to work with the player turning the controller left and right to look and mine in different spots as well as working with the coded spine bends of looking up and down. They also need to blend seamlessly with running, jumping etc from the spine and hips downwards and be amenable to being sped up according to any design stats applied. Polish and balance of both of these are very much with our engineer and design departments as a crucial part of the game play.
In essence they need to be incredibly versatile but in animation terms still maintain a strong animated action and silhouette of being a valid characterful interpretation of what the swing of the tool should look like.
Have a test next week when the whole set of 3rd person tools anims are released, selecting an Axe in 3rd person should swing differently to the Hammer which used to be the default up till now.