Day 1: A Staff Warrior Kicks the Bucket
Published on April 18, 2011 By ScottTykoski In Elemental Dev Journals

Hey Everyone!

I know information on Fallen Enchantress seems to trickle as of late. This is an unfortunate side-effect of adopting a 'large studio' pipline (rather than our previous indie-team system, where our excitement tended to go unchecked on the forums). Know that the game is on track and design decisions have been fueled by the feedback gathered post-WoM.

Now, with the role of Producer in MUCH better hands, I was given the opportunity to pick up a new art form that is near and dear to me...animation. This is something I always wanted to do, but the GalCiv series didn't really need it, and for WoM I was making schedules and filling in on the code side of things.

Anyways, every Monday I'm going to give you step by step tour of a certain animation, for anyone that likes this sort of thing. We'll take a motion from rough keys to the final version that you'll be seeing in FE when the beta opens up.

Todays animation: Death with Staff!

Step 1: The Rough Pass
The first version of an animation is the ‘rough’, where we block in some basic poses. I want this guy to get knocked back, then fall the the ground. This rough accomplishes that, but timing is still off’s not very good.

Step 2: The Timing Pass
At this point we want to really nail the ‘timing’ of the animation. These boil down to adding extra keyframes for anticipation and removing keygrames where things aren’t moving fast enough. Here you can another pose was added, where the character gets knocked to his knees, from where he can more seamlessly fall on his face.

Step 3: The Secondary-Motion Pass

By this point, it’s starting to look more like the end product, but we still want to push the secondary motions so the head and arms properly follow the torso’s movements. Anything connected to the object that is moving (here, the torso is leading the motion) should follow a few frames behind that object.  I also zoom out a few times to make sure the animation reads well from far out, since players don’t normally played in at close zoom.

Step 4: The Polish Pass
After getting the 3rd step officially approved by Paul, our art director, I can go in and polish the animation, animating the plate mail and cape, as well as pushing those secondaty movements even further (not the extra limp wrist...possibly verging on over dramatic, but I’m gonna keep it in) 

Paul was also kind enough to remind me that we don’t have weapon specific deaths, so I went through to ensure the animation works with a sword, bow, etc.

And there we have a quick rundown of one of the MANY new animations you’ll see in FE. I think we have around double the animations roadmapped for Fallen Enchantress over WoM, so you should see a considerably more expressive and varied world (where the units and creatures are concerned).

Cya next Monday, for more animation excitement!

Comments (Page 3)
on Apr 25, 2011

Easter Monday.

Best regards,

on Apr 25, 2011

Christians and their holidays getting in the way of my video gaming!!!   Just kidding!!!     Don't cruicfy me! 

on Apr 26, 2011

Were is my video! [e digicons]:'([/e]

on Apr 26, 2011

Its coming   Damn awesome 4 day weekend getting in the way of work

on Apr 26, 2011

Thats not Fair!  I work for the Government in Kansas!  The most Christian Place on Earth, and we didn't get even a 3 day weekend!

on Apr 26, 2011


Hmmm...Perhaps for the 3rd installment I should do soemthing not-staff related

on Apr 26, 2011

Instead of your staff, you could show off your rod?


Doesn't that Emote add to the level of creepiness?  I think so.

on Apr 26, 2011

Lord Xia
Thats not Fair!  I work for the Government in Kansas!  The most Christian Place on Earth, and we didn't get even a 3 day weekend!

lol go to the Vatican... they're worse

on Apr 26, 2011

I doubt that even.  I think The Vatican at least accepted Evolution long time ago, Kansas tried to do away with it in schools just a few years ago.  Seriously, this place is scary.

on Apr 26, 2011

Lord Xia
Doesn't that Emote add to the level of creepiness?

Yes, and I would have also accepted...

         (The last guy because he's wearing his "I'll says Im not looking but I'm totally looking" perv-glasses.)