As gamers, we’re often too caught up fighting for our lives in heated gun or melee battles to appreciate the countless hours of work that go into character animation. Motion capture has been standard fare for many action/adventure projects these days but there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome in terms of properly applying this animation to a specific game setting. This was evident in the high turnout for the GDC panel titled, “Animation Driven Locomotion for Smoother Navigation”.
Just as it takes countless man-hours for Pixar animators to design a garbage bag in Toy Story 3, it might surprise many how much work goes into making sure a non-player character’s feet animation looks realistic, let alone believable. The speakers at this panel know a thing or two about animation, namely: