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Should I Use Premade Animations?

Hi everyone I’m curious as to using premade animations for my fighting game since I’ve been seeing and buying some including ones from Explosivegames.net. Basically one of the things I ask is how many of you have used or seen any benefits in using premade animations and just simply edit them vs making them from scratch. Also I don’t use premade characters I design my own in DAZ Studio but I’m tempted to use the premade animations I’ve bought. Overall I’m just stuck at determining if using premade animations are the best choice for me instead of hiring an animator and making them myself is a little too much at the moment but I know I can edit animations. I know that fighting games are among the hardest games to make but hey I’m still giving it a shot!:wink:

I personally would use premade animations just for prototyping, because animations are pretty “character specific” -> so when you create your own animations for your character, you will get a better result, as they will perfectly fit to the char. :slight_smile:

Well art assets in general as bought off the self should be considered as a raw starting point as the odds of getting just the right thing for the right purpose is slim next to none but the one thing Unreal 4 does exceptionally well is what you have can easily be improved on via the iteration process.

Being an animator and in context a video game animator you can not tell until you see it in action if a given clip will preform as to expectations as it’s not usually the cycle it’s self that sells the movement but rather how the movement plays into and out of the cycle and would be a lot of work if all was done by scratch were tossing in movements as a proxy if just to hook up the asset chain than one can patch things up over a coffee and a muffin.

As an animator my single valuable resource is my MoCap library that is extensive with clips I bough as well made from scratch that I can select a number of different clips like paint off a pallet and using Motion Builder can tailor to taste and replace on the fly.

Overall if you have an application like Motion Builder that can batch edit making matched sets then what is outputted is of your own making even if you used off the shelf as the base.

P.S. Even Disney recycles their animations. :wink:

Animations are extremely specific, in ways far beyond anything even touched on here. For instance, none of my handmade guns fits any of the UE4 animations. The hands are either not tight enough or way too tight. There are no usable melee animations. The list goes on and on. Making your own from scratch is always easier and better. That goes for characters too. Much of the difference between a decent game and a great game can be found in the specific minute things. Original characters, weapons, animations. The animations breath life into a character. Like the way the Assassin in Borderlands spins his revolver like a cowboy when you’re standing around doing nothing. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s cool.

Hmm I must agree with most of what you stated but surely you know that animations are actually among the hardest part of game development or anything involving it for that matter. That being said I still believe that premade animations can take someone further than you would think especially when you’re either aren’t experienced enough or simply need a good reference to start from. So yeah I do agree overall about animations made from scratch can be better and more original however in cases like mine animations from scratch are quite hard for me because I’m one of those who need reference for animations and modeling for that matter.

For the standard FPS all you need is walk, run, idle, idle for each weapon, reload for each weapon, jump and maybe some interaction things. You can layer the weapon idles on top of the run etc. This amounts to a grand total of about 20 or 30 seconds worth of animation at best. I tried using pre-made animations first as well but I found that you can seriously do your own just by following tutorials on youtube. I got all of the above done in about 4 hours (including animations for conversations etc.) On the other hand using premade animations might require retargeting and a ton of headaches if the skeletons don’t match.

Good lord that’s been my primary pain in premade animations is the retargeting part lol. I’ve been considering following tutorials on Youtube it’s just can’t find any for the software I use called iClone despite it being a good animation software. But anyway I know just what you mean with animations that are made from scratch will always work on my characters especially since I use DAZ Studio and therefore they all have the same skeleton structure. I still might however analyze the animations I bought closely in one of the softwares that I have using my second monitor and make my own based off of it in iClone or even Blender using my first monitor since I have 2 monitors by the way and my computer is strong enough to handle multiple 3d softwares and game engines being used at the same time. All and all what I meant earlier about reference is that I need to mainly just observe a premade animation in order to see how it was made. Don’t worry I had no attentions on using use the actual thing on my characters but I will use my own one way or the other which is what I should have stated from the start. Thanks for the advice bro! :slight_smile:

Well retargeting is not that much of a pain but rather then the software (tools) available with in a given app that takes something the should be simple and makes it just another simple task.

An opinion based on experiences if it counts for anything is no one (meaning the players) really cares how things were done as long as it does not interfere with their enjoyment of the game. If you enjoy playing Assassins Creed would it be less enjoyable to know that all the cool wall climbing and jumps are done using HIK middlewear from Autodesk?

The bottom line is the honest cheat is used all the time in the entertainment industry as to the end result and there are no patriot of the arts in the video game industry so if it works why change it just because one feels it’s not their work?