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Mobility MoCap Pack 1 - 136 Mobility Motion Capture Animations

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    #31
    Tried all !@#% day today to get the animations working (first time doing ue4 anims, so bear with me).. and I couldn't get anything usable, sadly. The retarget completely failed on the epic skeletons (Oculus char from the showdown demo), some humanoids from another epic pack (can't think of the name, been working on this game for 2 days straight now), and even the default epic character.. it all goes nowhere :\

    Sadly, there are no step-by-step tutorials i've found to go from having a basic skeleton rig + mesh, and get it animated + controllable. And all I'm trying to do is get idle, walk, and turn... maybe a sit if i can figure out how to actually animate characters inside of ue4 (I'll probably just do a fade in/out to seated position).

    And I haven't even gotten to doing the complex animations for the npc's yet
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      #32
      @FrankieV: Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation. Maybe my question wasn't so basic after all... I don't really want to derail this thread with general animation topics, but on the other hand this might be of interest for anyone using this animation pack, so:

      1) Great video, but due to the resolution I couldn't really see what kind of nodes you're using in the anim graph. If this isn't too confidential, could you maybe post a screenshot of your setup?

      2) As I understand it, you're using the 2D blend space as an easy way to store and index the required animations. So you leave out its ability to blend between parameter values (like have the player move at half speed between walking and running) and just allow the speeds for which you have animations?

      3) How do you apply state transitions (like start/stop walking)? Do you use state machines for that, or also set some variables in the event graph and "manually" blend between animations?

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        #33
        Originally posted by Rastar View Post
        3) The Start animations don't seem to blend perfectly to the walk etc. animations. E.g. if I first play "stand_relaxed_to_walk_f" and then "walk_f", the character is leaning slightly forward at the end of the start animation and then suddenly straightening up after the transition. Can this be mitigated by some settings?
        I'll let Frankie_V and others continue the deeper programming discussion , but I can add a comment on the stand to walk/jog/run transition animations.

        Originally in these transition animations he took two or three steps past the first step into the cycle, so anyone had the full motion to use or alter as they see fit. UE4 has simple tools to truncate frames from the beginning or end of an animation, so the end user could trim where they want or use the whole thing. After getting feedback and requests we trimmed them all to the first right foot up step matching the phase of all the loops so they would be more plug-n-play so to speak. There are minor differences of the exact posture, arm/leg position, etc. in this slice of time at the end of the transition compared to the posture etc. of the edited perfect walk cycle. With additional animation work the poses could be matched exactly (like all the standing and crouching stationary animations have been), but even if the pose matches perfectly there is still typically a noticeable "pop" between the two as the velocity(speed and direction) of the hips and arms/legs are still slightly different from the cycle. More animation work can fix this of course by manually editing curves or non-linear editing to blend into the cycle, blah blah blah

        Bottom line, all the additional animation work can be time consuming and ultimately an unnecessary moot point as blending can take care of these minor differences in real-time, easing in and out of the transitions as Frankie_V put it. A lot of the time the engine will do a better looking job in context on the fly than a hand animated fix.

        Similar thing with the cycle to stop motions. The full length original animations are included, but also Left and Right foot up truncated versions. Player input could tell him to stop at any point in the cycle, so the engine can pick the left or right foot up animation depending on which is a closer match at the moment and blend from there to smooth the transition. Run to stops are a definite compromise as in real life (and the full animations) a person doesn't stop on a dime, it takes several steps and leaning back to slow down without falling over. Depending on how responsive game play is designed to be you could leave in the long realistic "whoooaaa" travel to stop, or cut it short with more needed blending so he stops more abruptly.

        Long answer to short question, thought I'd address that. A long time a go we were getting a hard time on "another engine" store saying we need to stop wasting time and their money pose matching or looping anything as the engine could blend "everything". We didn't think that was a the best idea.

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          #34
          Originally posted by Rastar View Post
          @FrankieV: Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation. Maybe my question wasn't so basic after all... I don't really want to derail this thread with general animation topics, but on the other hand this might be of interest for anyone using this animation pack, so:

          1) Great video, but due to the resolution I couldn't really see what kind of nodes you're using in the anim graph. If this isn't too confidential, could you maybe post a screenshot of your setup?

          2) As I understand it, you're using the 2D blend space as an easy way to store and index the required animations. So you leave out its ability to blend between parameter values (like have the player move at half speed between walking and running) and just allow the speeds for which you have animations?

          3) How do you apply state transitions (like start/stop walking)? Do you use state machines for that, or also set some variables in the event graph and "manually" blend between animations?
          Well the use of root motion in a video game is rather new as introduced in Unreal 4 so there really is no basic questions that is even part of the a knowledge base as compared to in-place bound to a movement component (aka bounding box) that's been around forever and would be easy to explain with a simple tutorial. I guess you could call RM a concept and not a process as in the animation being another data set and not just a bit bucket of bits and bytes moving around.

          1) Best I can do at the moment but when I have the time I do plan on doing a "concept" BP using fair share animations but really this is a need for Epic to supply yet another sample

          2) Well as authored the speed of the player model is controlled by the transition of the source from A to B so if the cycle starts at 0 0 0 and is a run forward and the cycle ends at 0 0 50 then the distance traveled over X number of frames is the speed variable. This is where matched sets of animations comes in as the sets and velocity as to directions should be balanced and look natural as in the run backwards as to speed in relationship to running forward. In other words the overall speed is not as important as compared to matching how the transitions would look moving into and out of the current state.

          To correct for “required” game speeds once you build and place a blend space in the Animgraph you can control the “matched” set of animations by adding the scale pin to the block and adjust the entire BS with a fixed value or variable.

          So yes you could could make or edit fit to finish your animation data or even adjust the entire blend space to fine tune for the desired speed or modify speeds during run time. The best part is no mater what you change the speed scale to the feet will always be on the ground no mater the speed change.

          3) This is where the ideals of concepts comes in as RM is not limited to how much you can stuff into a single state machine but how the current state can be changed with out arguments coming from the event graph.

          To give it a name you could build an 8-way movement blend space that accounts for every direction change inputted from a joystick or the keyboard and drive all of your blend spaces through a Blend by Int. The blend space “I” would make then would have the idle at 0 and interpolate the direction changes in the event graph. The flow in any direction would be idle>start>walk>run>stop.

          Since there really is nothing as to best practice I would suggest that if one wanted to use root motion for all animations is to avoided the use of state machines as even using a simple Blend by Int you can change a state with out arguments by evaluation and modification already done in the event graph.

          So

          In the case of starts and stops they could be just another 8-way set as part of yet another blend space that you can set the Blend by Int and the animation migration would simply jump from one to the other as an absolute and not by an argument in the state machine that says I sorry can't do that right now.

          Sorry for being wordy but when it comes to the use of root motion, as it just being another data set, there is no right or wrong way of doing things as it just works as an absolute, as in 1+1 = 2, than what is available in-place as yet another art asset hot glued to a movement component.
          Last edited by FrankieV; 10-11-2015, 05:44 PM.
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            #35
            Thanks guys, lots of useful information. Of course I still have questions but I think I'll first have to dig deeper myself and get more familiar with various animation tools that UE4 provides.

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