This week I do not have any major update written, but a bunch of smaller things that I have been working on: motion capture, particle effects and vegetation.
I captured myself getting in my car to use for car enter animations. But it was not perfect: my mocap suit is based on angle tracking and it expects the feet to touch the ground at all times. Luckily was able to export the data without any locomotion with the hips locked. I was able then to animate the waist motion by hand. The feet are a little bit wiggly in the raw animation, But my IK solution in Unity will smooth those over.
These battery powered mocap suits are awesome, as they allow you to capture performances outside of the volume, anywhere. You just need a laptop and you are good to go!
The raw mocap data without any edits. Movement is locked at the hips. I was unable to cleanup the data as the system is expecting the feet to support the body at all times. Stepping in the car made the tracking solve wrong and I had to use the data without any software calculations for locomotion.
The mocap data is then modified by adding a rough waist movement animation. I just tried to keep the feet pretty stationary. The result is somewhat jittery but it is fine as the feet will be locked by Ik in Unity. Anyway this is way better than what the mocap software was able to give me.
Finally the mocap data is in use in-game. I am playing it 2x speed so that getting in and out of the car would be faster. I also added a quick door open & close animation.
The car is a placeholder and will be replaced by a 1986 Chevrolet Caprice later.
The way my particle effects will look is already finding its shape. In this clip you can see the triangular foam on top of the water and also the rough, blocky smoke billowing from the ship’s exhaust. The particle effects in this game are going to be increasingly abstract, but I will make sure that they do not look cheap or janky.
I was going to model all the foliage from scratch, but then I was tipped of a cool foliage pack called The Illustrated Nature. It looked awesome, although it had a painterly style. I decided to purchase it anyway and just modify the vegetation into a more triangular look. The vegetation does not match at all with the Google maps data and the grass is especially horrible, but it will look great coupled with the stylised, final level geometry.
So here it is! A quick glimpse into what is going on with the production now. Longer and more detailed posts will be coming later. Also, I am starting to get tired of looking at the placeholder graphics. I should get started with getting some characters, vehicles and locations done!