Animations for BGE: A tutorial.

Here’s a short tutorial on doing animations for the Blender Game Engine.
It looks at issues specific to the game engine, and some overall tips.

You can use this character for practice:
animation_tester.blend (492 KB)

I’m sorry if the tutorial is a bit fast paced, I don’t like to spend a lot of time talking so I add captions after recording.
The tutorial is designed to be watched through several times as you work, going back over bits you’ve missed.

For more general walk cycle tips and a wide ranging animation tutorial you could try this one first:

Notes and suggestions:

  • I don’t use IK pole targets, instead I make sure each IK chain is slightly bent to start with and then I use a root controller (the shoulder_l and hip_l bones) to control undesirable twisting during animation.
  • I don’t use the t-pose as a default pose. It’s not a realistic pose and causes texture stretching and uncomfortable IK results. The ideal pose is “riding an invisible motorcycle” but this hunched over arms and legs slightly bent pose is also good.
  • With practice you can get a good animation in less than 5 minutes. it’s best not to tweak and play with individual key frames, but just plot the main poses and if they don’t work, erase the pose and do it again. The more you practice the better the results.
  • Of course, if you don’t like an animation, don’t be afraid to delete it and start again. Just keep trying, every mistake is a lesson.
  • You can also use an IK chain in the torso up to the head, but it’s not worth it. The results are no better and sometimes worse.
  • It’s a good idea to follow all the tips from the general animation tutorial by Francis Jasmin, everything that is relevant to traditional animation is also relevant to animating game characters.
  • I didn’t get in to successive breaking of joints here (an animating term, not directly blender related), that’s something to work on later, I’ll do a mini tutorial for that if anyone is interested.
  • My video editor (microsoft movie maker) doesn’t have a spell checker, so if you notice any typos, please tell me. :slight_smile:

I’d be interested to see what kind of animations people can make with the testing rig, What’s the best walk/run/zombie walk animation you can put together in less than 15 minutes? I hope the set up should make it easy to do quick animations, that’s what I’m aiming for anyway.