Today’s topic was quite a challenge for me, as I haven’t done animation for Unreal before working on Project Pulse. Thankfully, these hard-edged models were a perfect starting point!
Through this process, I referred to our Game Designer, Claire’s, notes on how each enemy moves and attacks. For example, our drone flies and has projectiles as an attack. For each model, I made an idle and two attack animations at the very least. All enemy animations also had to be able to move on the beat of the music.
The most challenging animation I’ve done so far is for the boss enemy, Boomer. The most complex part about him was his rig. There was a complex combination of hard and soft rigging to make sure the slime moved like it was supposed to. I used three to four joints in every tentacle to all for the most movement, painted the skin bind, and blurred this bind between every joint to allow smooth, organic movement. Finally, I added IK handles to allow easy animation of the tendrils.
For the animation, I wanted the boss to move in very strange ways and in multiple directions at once. This was to make it intimidating and hard to foresee its attacks. Through ZeWei’s implementation of the animations into Unreal Engine, he was able to make the bosses animation glitch with the music in the most wonderful way.
Lastly, thanks to Claire’s creation of the slime material, all the small movements of the goo did not have to be animated on its own.
After further implementation of the enemy animations into Unreal, I would love to come back and add extra animations to give these enemies even more life!
- Christina Spicer
Example of Boomer's idle animation