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Advanced animation blueprint

Hi community! I’m struggling to find good documentation, tutorials and information on advanced animation blueprints. All the epic training videos are still quite basic. They don’t really get into details and more advanced setups like for example the Advanced Locomotion System or similar that really pushes the way blueprint scripting can be used to achieve AAA animation systems… Would love if someone can point me in a direction or even get in touch to talk about that.
Thank you!

I can easly say that animation systems is a real big trouble for game industry. There are not many “advanced” training resources because no body knows exactly what to do and how to do. Animation systems still building on old techniques or the new prototypes. Huge companies like Ubisot or others still trying to make better things but these are too prototypes. Shortly the animation systems still open discussion like any other topics. Actually when you look from that perspective whole game development process is a struggle like the animation systems :slight_smile:

Haha, indeed. Regardless, Caleb Longmire created Advanced Locomotion System and is self taught. So he must have figured out some way to get to that advanced level.

ye we still using the same method from the guy who made skeleton t-rex for Jurassic park.
but still we are advancing, just few days ago i discovered that i no more need to separate my char like half body and leg, we now use blend animation together in ue4 which reduce a large amount of work.
I thk like anyone else here are learning by themselves and making their own doc and for me i share it using jetbrains space to my team.

This is what is going to be in the near future i think

SIGGRAPH 2020 | Learned Motion Matching - YouTube (with learning)
Motion Symphony: Trailer - Just Motion Matching, No Frills - YouTube

Motion matching is the next thing in animation systems. You know machine learning is everywhere these days. So in that motion matching technology you dont need to setup complex animation blueprints. You only need motion datasets. With just 1 node you will have realistic character movements.

well my guess would be that these would be payable/subscription, but it sure scary and we would lose that satisfaction of making your own animation for weeks/months of work :x

a lot of useful info here https://rockhamstercode.tumblr.com/

Well always in question is by definition what is meant by “Advanced”?

To me advanced means advancing ones own experiences through the experiences of others.

Reminds me of the mid to late 90’s where where there were tones of mod development t4eams doing interesting stuff for the fun of it. Then the Counter Strike effect hit and everyone wanted to do stuff for a pay check.

This is indeed a good question. I guess advanced in this case means going beyond the base level tutorials to further my knowledge and achieve a movement system that I feel makes locomotion in a game feel as close to natural as possible… That goes beyond just setting up strafing and delves into how you make locomotion feel ‘weighted’, that you feel and see shifts of weight (which is both the animations and the animation blueprint) and that there are no strange cuts in motion or weird blends, weird stops and foot sliding. Basically no tutorials or documentation out there deals with how to learn anim blueprints beyond the basics, as far as I’ve seen? Advanced Locomotion System 4 is a good reference for what ‘advanced’ is in my mind.

Basically I think I’m looking for a mentor here…

Motion matching is great but doesn’t really help people outside a large studio at this point and I think we are far from having that tech being made available to anyone who downloads UE4 to their computer to make something or at an indie studio. Hence I’m sure learning advanced animation blueprints is still very viable. Motion matching is also highly dependant on doing movement cycles with an advanced motion capture system…

Kind of sounds like you hit a wall.

Do your self a favour and head over to Youtube and brush up on Top down Bottom up design theory.

Design theory is design theory no matter what the desired result the process is always based on the top down or bottom up direction. As human beings we like to put stuff into boxes of understanding which at first glance looks like a mess of tangled Christmas lights so a “base” of understanding knowing the design direction you have your formation of requirements as to being able to achieve the desired result.

So

To me the questions that you are asking is based on bottom up design theory which you can learn over time as just part of the required learning process, everyone has to do it, in opposition to the top down approach where it is common that achieving the desired result is an unknown but based on life experiences in a given area you just know you will figure it out. :wink:

What does advanced look like?

I’ll give you a bit of a push.

This is a series on the most famous animator you never heard of Steve “Spaz” Williams. He is the guy that brought you digital dinosaurs and has life experiences that fall under the category of “advanced”

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Thank you for your response. I’m well aware of the Top down Bottom up design theory. I also have 15 years of experience as a creator in many different types of artistic media, including film, not as an animator though. So as far as learning and creative processes go, I feel quite well versed. However, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth here, so, my question was quite specific, and still is: I’m looking for resources on how to find technical solutions to animation systems for a AAA style locomotion system that go beyond Epics tutorials on the subject. But to be even more specific; I need resources on the matter in relationship to animation blueprints and character blueprint setup for animation. So, if you know a good youtube channel, someone with that knowledge, a good book or other types of resources on the subject, that would be great! It would also be great if the resources deal with the tools I have at my disposal, which is Unreal Engine. I’m super interested in motion matching tech etc but it’s not really helpful since that is technology that require a lot more than just one person, a computer and a game engine such as motion capture. If the answer is practice and figure it out, that’s what I’m already doing :), so hopefully there are resources out there that can boost my learning. If not, then I’ll continue without it so to speak. Thanks for any advice or resource you might have.

Gotcha

Based on my own experience since 4.0 there really is nothing out there as to what I would consider advanced as to top down requirements, except for the occasional Epic Twitch cast, that does not recycle the same base ideas and concepts.

A lot of the issues are caused by halfway implemented feature sets as well the lack of base framework building resources along with ongoing engine development that I would consider still being in the alpha testing phase heading towards Unreal 5.

On a personal level I do things different by extension but anything I would have to offer as far as Unreal 4 goes would be obsolete once UE5 hits the street which promises a much more logical modular approach. To put it in perspective at the moment as far as animation systems goes the current feature sets is like trying to do web page development using notepad so your frustration is understandable. Getting the kind of result that you are looking for is a fault of what should be able to be done with in a closed edit environment as would be available in a web page editor.

As the saying goes “It just works” but in UE4 not so much :wink:

That said Unreal 5 looks promising as far as the need for ready made frameworks,plug ins, along with a more modular approach with out having to deal with a from scratch approach as in you have discovered

Thank you for this response. I understand what you mean. I think there definitely needs to be more resource building, however, as things constantly change that is also difficult and time consuming. So the efforts are mostly put into developing the engine rather than knowledge building and sharing. Or at least that’s what I get the feeling of. I think that the kind of creativity Epic wishes for is certainly happening but would be happening more if resources were more thoroughly developed, learning center further expanded, and investment put into giving the tools necessary to really be able to fully explore what is a beautiful engine. Everything is possible, I guess the process could just be happening faster if more resources were available.

I will check out the video you posted. Haven’t watched that one from Epic. Certainly looking forward to more as there probably will be once UE5 is released. In meantime I’ll hammer away in UE4 :).

I do hope you watch it as a lot of the comments made mirror your/our issues and a lot of the concepts used as part of the game play and feature plugins is available in Unreal 4.

Components for example was added to help make basic fictions like locomotion with 8-way smooth blending a drag and drop “feature” addition and then apply the necessary rule sets and triggers.
Lacking in UE4 is the ability to consolidate components into a single usable game feature.

As a blueprint example check this out.
Ladder System in Blueprints - UE Marketplace
What makes it useful is the BP is written as a component so is super easy to add, edit, and improve as part of the iterative process.

I mentioned this as like you I learn a lot by blueprint examples and it’s this BP that got me thinking more along the lines of component layering and data drive design and to me that’s advanced stuff :smiley:

Exciting, I’ll have a look into that as well. Thank you!