Day 3 - A Butcherman is set Free!
Published on May 2, 2011 By ScottTykoski In Elemental Dev Journals

Hey everyone!

This weeks animation forgoes the step-by-step rundown for a fast-n-fancy timelapse.  It’s cool seeing all the little tweaks and adjustments that go into these animations, though you never get to properly see milestones as catalogued in the step-by-step versions. Perhaps I can go with a hybrid next time.

Todays motion sees the end of one of the 10,000 ‘Butchermen’: human sacrifices that went unaccepted by Curgen at the Red Spring. This is the day they’ve been killing for, so that final breath was important to nail. I’d like to do several death variations for these guys in the polish phase, but death #1 should work til then.


A few points of interest...

0:11 - Butchermen have practically bonded with the ritualistic sword that impaled them so many years ago. While this maya animation has them holding a dagger, in game they’re equipped with the shattered hilt of that sword (with the remainder of the blade chillin’ in their chest).

1:41 - Since this is a DEATH animation, we have to lead into it with a pretty strong hit. Here I’m tweaking that impact so it feels like a proper deathblow.

2:00 - I play around with the idea of him re-attaching the hilt to the broken blade...(perhaps the blade has to be whole for the curse to end?). I couldn't justify an action like that while dying, so I ended up dropping it.

4:14 - One of the most important aspect of these motions is that the have a very identifiable silhouette. To check this, we’ll turn off any extra texturing and detail and watch the overall shape that the animation takes, pushing certain aspects to make that outline feel unique.

5:17 - Fun Fact!  Knees and elbows are a HUGE PITA in 3d animation!  I hate them and wish we all had tentacles.

5:45 - One of the last tests is to simulate the ground plane with a simple polygon. This helps to weed out any obvious clipping your animation will do with the terrain.

5:50 - The final animation! Look at him die, over and over. He just can’t get enough!

Indie Game of the Week
For the last few months I’ve been silently hanging out and observing (not to be confused with stalking) the XBox indie community. XNA has held my interest since it was announced years ago, and I’m amazed that anyone can now make a console game and sell it with just their home computer.

Epic Dungeon is one of my favorite titles on the service. I don't know its considered a rouge-like (dungeons and loot aren’t totally random), but for 80 microsoft points (ie. 1$) it’s an amazing little dungeon crawl.  If you have a XBox360, like retro-styled dungeons and want to support the indie scene, I highly recommend it!



Again, thanks for reading.  Looks like we’ll be working on the next Development Diary this week or next, so I look forward to getting that out there. Lots of improvements to the world that we’ll be showing off, so stay tuned!!! 

on May 02, 2011

I wish I could see this at work, and I wish I had tentacles for arms and legs too.

on May 02, 2011

forget p90x this guys getting a better workout falling down!

on May 02, 2011

Derek requested the Benny Hill theme play in the BG  

on May 02, 2011

How would you grip a mouse with tentacles?

Best regards,

on May 02, 2011

Dev diary this week plz?

on May 02, 2011


This vid should resolve any tenticle usage concerns

Magog: We're trying...Brad came by with his iPhone taking some improptu vid, so hopefully that will whet the 'ol appetite.

on May 02, 2011

Grin!   Do you happen to have an Octodad?

Best regards,

on May 02, 2011

Why is he falling so extremely fast in the beginning?   Did you fastforward things?


I like the endresult.


Got some suggestions for his other deathanimations.


If he's killed by an arrow then have the arrow impale him, spraying some blood and then falling either back or forward slightly slower than in this vid.

If killed by a Greatsword than perhaps chopped in half or getting a deep cut from left chest to right abdominem (since that's the most natural way to hit someone with a tool or weapon).


Looking forward to more


DEFINETLY looking foward to that video diary

on May 03, 2011

campaigner: Yeah, the entire creation process (from single 'Idle' pose to end result) was sped up. It took around 1 1/2 hours to do that one, and it was compressed to 6 minutes, resulting in some pretty fast falling as the animation was tested throughout the process. Next diary I think I'll go back to the step by step layout.

Unfortunatly, as of right now, there are only 3 types of 'death' animation (killed standing up, killed lying prone, and the overkill animation that sends you flying), but I really like the idea of weapon-based deaths. I'll see what the schedule allows

And yeah, I've been excited to do dev diary 2 ever since the last one got wrapped up, but unfortinatly 1.2 took away too much precious developer time to get some key areas polished. I beleive all the code is ready right now and it's officially in the art teams hands to polish up some assets to get video ready!  I can't wait to start shooting!!!!

on May 03, 2011

Why haven't you guys linked this video yet for EWOM FE? Good stuff!