Thursday, 8 December 2011

Animating Senator Gracchus

In order to take my character into a game engine such as Unity or Unreal I would have to create some animation cycles which would seamlessly loop to create actions such as walking, running, jumping etc. These loops would then be programmed to play when a certain button is pressed on a keyboard or controller.

As time is a factor I have gone with the aim of creating 2 animation cycles. One will be an idle animation and the other a walk animation.


An idle animation is a specific loop that is used predominantly within games characters. The reason for this is because when you do not press anything on the controller the character never stays still like a digital puppet otherwise it would just look ridiculous. The character may stand there breathing gently, looking around, scratch their head etc.

An idle animation from the game Metro 2033

Idle Animation Test 1

Idle Animation Test 2

Idle Animation Final

With the personality of my character and the situation he is in I've tried to show that through his idle animation. He is quite elderly and so his breathing is more rapid. He is in a burning Roman bath with smoke everywhere so he is holding his chest as he breathes. Columns collapsing around him means he has to be aware even when standing still so I need him to look around and keep vigilant. His stance is with bent knees and slightly dropped down showing he is standing defensively.

The Animation also loops to create a seamless cycle.


Creating a walk for a character has to be the single most toughest aspect in animation because no 2 characters should ever walk the same. A characters walk should define their personality and their characteristics if done well.

Assasins Creed Revelations gameplay. A much older Ezio still can be defined as a character through his walk.

A look at more traditional reference also helped me to understand his walk such as Muybridge's stills of people walking proved just as relevant today as it was during the early days of cinema and film.

Still extremely relevant today and an invaluable resource.

Senator Gracchus is 45 years old. He is still physically fit for his age but he does still feel the strain of old age. This means that although his pose is noble his back will be slightly slouched yet he keeps his chin up and head forwards.

Animation Test 1

As the animation cycles would be imported into the game engine that means that when I created the animation loop in maya the character or the global move controller would not actually move so I have to create a walk on the spot.

Animation Test 2

Walk Animation Final

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