Visual Guide for Animated Shorts
Started by gathering visual references from cartoons and the Foo bible to pass off to animators creating shorts for marketing
- familiarized myself with project layout and structure while gathering these
Character Facial Expressions
Step 1: R&D for sprite animations for facial expressions:
- This ended up not working out because 2D sprites did not map well onto the round faces of the Foos and Glitch, but carried over into the current face sprite system
Step 2: Worked with a programmer and figured out how to use Unity's sprite atlasing system to map different expressions onto the existing face mesh (instead of using sprites explicitly) resulting in the face expressions mastersheet
- Sprite coordinate positioning and naming are now used for mapping different expressions onto the Foos, pets, and Glitch
- Artists now create and position the sprite on the sheet, then provide the name of the sprite to the programmer (programmers can get the coordinates from the sprite name)
Generic Foo Template
- Cleaned up the hierarchy/outliner
- Can be used as a base for future Foo designs and potentially as a base for kids to make and design their own Foos in the future
Some notes on animating Foos and some of the weirdness I encountered: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hyR1-CpSCvGRrkrShvjkQp5YAcd-e4rjzJrrZC_B9Tk/edit#
Prop Emotes - Storymode
Two sets of prop emotes were made to accomodate for different shapes sizes of props in the most generic fashion possible. Using these animation sets, the props can generically emote in storymode.
Character Emotes and Command Animations - Storymode
Towards the start of the summer, I started thinking/sketching out different interactions for the Foos. (Sketches here: https://codespark.assembla.com/spaces/codespark/wiki/d55_-_Sandbox_Mode_Revisions)
Once we figured out that we'd do emotes, we set this up with the face system that we'd figured out, and then populating it with animations became the bulk of the summer.
Process was generally as follows:
- Create the facial expression on the sprite sheet (if it didn't already exist)
- Find and share reference video if unsure how the action would take place
- Create a rough blocking pass and share in Slack
- Recieve feedback/suggestions and refine animation
- Export FBX and check how the animation looks in engine
- Setup the meta information in Unity
- Check in the animation and meta file
Future R&D: Plane Animation for UGC
Bezier curve manipulation and animation clip creation capability of Image Warp seems like it would be the ideal tool for creating emotes directly in Unity for UGC. It would be more efficient to create plane animations directly in Unity like this, rather than mixing and matching deformers in Maya. Unity doesn't naturally support custom deformed objects either, so the solutions I've seen so far are pretty cumbersome and roundabout compared to this tool.
Given that the description says that it will work with 3D scene Texture Renderers, it should work with the planes that @ka-pow setup to work with imported images. The downside that I can see to using this solution would be related to the animation optimization test that we ran before on prop animation, since UGC images animated like this will also need their own Unity animation system.