Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
goes down and then tilted down in line with the floor a frame after the
foot goes down, then it will give the walk a great deal of weight.
So we come to the shoulders and arms. They need to swing opposite
to the legs. When the right leg is forward and the left leg back, the left
arm should be forward and the right arm back. Just as putting the snap
movement in the feet gives it weight, you can embellish a walk by
putting some flipping wrist action into the hands. As the hand swings
forward the hands need to be rotated down from the forearm; when they
swing back they need to be rotated up in relation to the forearm. If you
put the key change a frame before the maximum swing and a frame
after, then the hands flip through the orientation quickly at the extremes
of rotation. This results in a more dynamic action. You should by now
have a fairly good walk. Walks are hard to get right; they need to be
symmetrical, the movement of the right side echoed exactly by the left.
If you get the timings or rotations of one side different from the other
then you will get a limp. The final walk described here can be seen by
opening 'Chapter08\Walk03.t3d'.
Using live action reference
For animation to be effective, you need to ensure that the character's
weight is in the right place and that the timing of an action is convincing.
One of the best ways to get this right is to refer to real life. Drawn
animators have used live action reference to assist in drawing and timing
problems since animation began. If you have access to a video camera,
then film yourself doing a character's action. By repeatedly viewing the
result you will have a very good idea of the timings of an action and the
shapes that the character gets into throughout the action. Even better
than using just one camera is to use two. By positioning the video
cameras so that the front and side of an action can be seen, you will have
all the information about an action that you could desire. If you are in the
position to digitize your video, possibly you have used videocams to
generate the video, so it will already be on your computer. If you use a
camcorder then you will need to use a digitizing card. DV cameras are
increasingly common and Firewire cards that let you import DV into a PC
are relatively inexpensive. If you can get both video clips into your
computer then position two AVI windows on your desktop. You can then
match the orientation of the video clips in two user views in your animation
software. Having two views of the action helps you decide on an
orientation even if the rotation is in line with the camera view and so the
overall effect is difficult to judge. Now as you create an animation you can
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