So my long term goal is to get my foot into the door of the gaming industry, and animating already made models to move the way I want them to has caught my interest the most compared to other areas. Starting from scratch with absolutely no knowledge on how to animate and looking at as many tutorials as I can find, do any of you have any tips for someone trying to teach themselves animation? Any tips would help, even if it’s just a simple link to a video/name of a book. Thanks in advanced!
Well as an opinion based on experience video game animations is not what video game animation use to be and as a video game animator I deal with large volumes of motion capture data that is retasked based on a given need. Personally I’ve not hand key a walk/run cycle in years and spend a large part of my time retargeting data to work with our custom character system.
From a if I had to do it all over again step one would be to purchase MotionBuilder and learn as much as I can about motion capture systems and data management.
The sad truth these days, it’s like the Mcdonalds of the business for the most part especially with larger studios and corps. Churn out those burgers Frankie boy! But then again I know Mocap has its place and is a great time saver IF it is used correctly with good clean up and animator’s touch at the end. But mostly you’ll get the lousy re-targeting as you mentioned coupled with characters moving randomly about and staring into infinity. (Exceptions, The last of us, Uncharted. But those guys are the very rare exceptions using mocap right these days).
As an animator myself I am always happy to see games come along from time to time in the likes of The Last Guardian or in the past, Shadow, Inside, to bring a smile to my face. Recently Zelda had some good hand anims, not polished or consistent but you know they tried especially the horse.
As for the Question I always recommend “Animator’s survival kit” to anyone trying to start up in animation, I think everybody recommends this book, but it’s really one of the best out there.
Well whats even more sad is if such instances of poor animation does occur I would assume that’s it’s a case of asset flipping. The power of the animator is not in how it’s done but what looks wrong, and why, and what looks right, and why, and has little to do with how things get done.
Not to say that there is no room for art as there is always room for art… and Jello.