Creature is a 2d skeletal animation piece of software that shares a lot of similarities with 3d software. You smooth bind bones to a mesh, which is generated by the software, based on the 2d cutout body parts.
Then the skeleton can be animated via the bones.
Where the magic happens is the motors system, which allows the animator to create an entire walk cycle with a single keyframe.
Motors added to bones can automate walk cycle curves/speed/etc. They can automate repeated rotation, physics simulations and other types of movement - ideal for automatic secondary animations. http://creature.kestrelmoon.com/
Here is a video that demonstrates the motors system:
start at 19:17
Now imagine that Blender had these tools, but in 3d! A complex walk cycle would take literaly a couple of minutes to do!
I know that blender to some extend does have some of them, but it is far from what
in creature does.
Perhaps with the new widget system, the new depsgraph and the already established f-curve modifiers design we could see this killer feature in blender?
This would kick maya’s arse so hard in the animation department - especially for video games.
Just curious, but are you actually an animator? I certainly am not, but I’ve done a walk cycle before and almost all of the work went into creating the IK rig (which you can save if you just re-use an existing one). After that, creating the kind of rotary motions that this motor provides for you takes also takes just a couple of minutes. I don’t see why you’d prefer one keyframe over the “classic” contact/up/passing/down poses. If you want more control (and you do want more control) you need more keyframes in this system too.
Not saying such a feature wouldn’t be useful, but I certainly don’t see it as killer feature. You most likely can set something like this up with existing features, as well. I’d be curious to hear what other animators think.
I just tried it out, you can set up a constraint that does the same thing in maybe a minute, except it’s more flexible because you don’t need the motion be circular.
If you needed this to be even more “efficient”, the procedure could be made into a Python script. However, it’s way more important for animators to be able to do these things themselves than to give them tools that makes them save a minute on setting something up that saves another couple of minutes.
Again, I’d love to hear the opinion of an animator that says this is in any way a significant help for their workflow. My guess is that it isn’t and that the most amount of work goes into setting up a proper rig and tweaking stuff.
laziness allows for technological breakthroughs like this
If you’re being sarcastic, you’re not being consistently sarcastic. I’m confused.
Looks really cool, I’m no animator either but I couldn’t help to notice those generated walkcycles seem to be changing speed (which is bad for a simple walkcycle). Though secondary motion is something else, that one is a nice feature to have and a real time saver! Once you animated the main actions for your characters use the “motor” to create the secondary motion for tail, hair, fat, etc.
Such a system can be pretty useful. 3ds max has CAT which is a character rigging and animation tool set. It has a walk cycle generator which can be used to rapidly generate a lot of different kinds of walk and run cycles.
The cycles aren´t increadibly good but they can be a huge time saver if you have to animate a bunch of background characters or something like that.
They can also be good as a starting point for further refinement via keyframing.
It is esspecially convenient for people who don´t do much regularily character animation but are faced with walk cycles for a specific project.
Making a blievable, professional grade walk cycle is very difficult if you don´t have lots of practice in character animation, imo.
Well in games industry a system like this would bring great benefits - enabling both experienced and less experienced animators to do amazing things. Even with procedural animation, you do need to have some artistic skill to make a good walk cycle.A keyframe is not just storing a coordinate in space. A keyframe on a motor is storing all the data that generates an entire pattern that is repeated until the next keyframe on the motor.
Also those motors and values are not going to set themselves.
And the procedural animation can be then baked onto keyframes, which are a better starting point to create a unique animation - wherever the procedural system doesnt give you control - you get it back after baking.
Note that you can also now create your own motors in creature. So after you animate one leg, you can actually create a motor from its animation and apply it to the other leg- tweak it:
Having these features makes creature a better animation tool than its competitors. It simply allows the animators with a great amount of flexibility and ease create unique cycles. Wherever there is not enough flexibility in the system, the artist is free to break out of the procedural animation motors and layer on top unique keyframes.
Again - dont be misled by the fact its done procedurally - you still need to know what makes a good walk cycle in order to set up the motors.
Only a closed minded idiot would deem it useless for “the real artists”. This is revolutionazing the workflow in a big way. Big studios like Naughty dog use systems like this one on a daily basis in order to get what is considered to be a masterpiece level work done. These are rigging tools. They dont generate complete walk cycles, they automate technical animation work and save hours. You are the artists who has to set them up to do something unique- to teach the computer how a walk cycle looks like. These tools only make the computer better and faster at learning that from you in much less time.
Please dont under estimate its potential just because it does things in a different way than the manual way.
If you are an animator and have had to do lots of animations on a tight deadline, guess which tools would help you get the results that you want faster.
The technology looks pretty cool to be honest, I guess the only condition is that both the quality and ease of use for such a system can be translated to a complex 3D environment like in Blender.
Combine it with automated tweaking to have the rig make use of surrounding geometry (like a floor or a set of stairs) along with the ability for it to be manually tweaked afterwards, and you might just have a killer animation system that is a cut above some of the existing technology.
The last part is key, if an animator cannot improve on the result to make it something that can truly be professional-grade, it would undermine the purpose of having it in Blender.
i suppose that if someone could write a json animation exporter for blender, it could be used in game engines the way creature is. For now, with the approach in the video - I guess you can export the skeletal animation as FBX and get the same result in unity.
I started this thread to show the “motors” system in creature. It’s something I really wish to see in blender and other software, but for now the only way to use it is in creature.