Tips for dual interactive animation..

just w0ondeing if anybody had some methods for such things as i am animating now, incase some great techniques i might have been missing.

2 characters, most of the time one with sword, other hand to hand, sometimes sword to sword. wondering if anybody has done this type of fighting anmation where there are 2 characters interacting, and any speed techniques for ease of animating in some of these situations

cheers in advance =)

weird question. had to read it 3 times :slight_smile:

could you narrow it down… any particular areas there… ?

I think, I would first animate the other character, without the other, and then, add the second one to those motions… would be perhaps a bit easier to track the movement.
well, that’s how I do them anyways, one by one… reacting to previous characters.


You probably knew already about these, but just in case…:

  • For fast posing: Auto keyframe in Action IPO curve (in the Preferences -> Edit methods).
  • For fast playback: Turn on the button “Sync” in the Anim/Playback buttons (swirly arrow).
  • Hide all the bones you won’t use during posing.

This is awesome, Im doing one exactly like this! And for me, with the two chars I have, I have a weird method that for some reason works really well.

Start with background music. I can’t explain why it works as good as it does. Something very fast paced and techno-like.

if someone comes up with something, I’d like to know as well. I’m trying out some multiple character fighting in my breakin in anim, but probably the slowest way possible, which is doing a little on one, corresponding reaction on the other, and back and forth etc. of course, I’m making it up as I go along so there’s probably not too many other ways to do it.

btw, auto keyframe really annoys me, can’t stand it. is that just me?

i never use autokey.

but what was wrong with the method of animating main character first, and then just making the other(s) attack him one by one. ok, you have to then use imagination with the first one, but that shouldn’t be impossible.


yeah i have been so far using the method of animating one, then the other, it can be hard to know in advance the reactions of the other, but i start by doing breakdown positions of one (i do them 10 frames at a time before i time them properly so i can use up and down arrow keys to switch between breakdowns to get an idea of how they look), then breakdown positions of other, once i have those right, just like animating one char, i move the positions of the breakdowns into proper frame times, and then add all the secondary motion. i think im starting to get what i like, thanks for the tips guy =D

It’s all about choreography. Try this (it sounds crazy, but trust me): play a game of chess against yourself. Force yourself to re-evaluate the goals and motivations at each turn. In fighting, like in chess, most skilled people know what they’re going to do ahead of time by 3 moves or so, with contingencies. Every action forces a re-adaptation to the current situation.

Now… take that knowledge and use it to choreograph. On this chessboard, this would be like deciding that you would like a knight to take a bishop somewhere on the left-central side of the board near the beginning of the match. Then you improvise the moves to get yourself to that point. This can be directly applied to fight animation.

Hopefully that helps.

I’d recommend making a good storyboard for the animation. A little bit of planning can go a long way.

If you draw every key pose, then it won’t be difficult to imagine how the characters will react to each other. After you have a good storyboard, I’d proceed using basse’s method because it will be easier to get the timing right for 1 character.

I don’t know that I’d agree with the “animate one at a time method.” If I were you, either storyboard the heck out of the fight, or get together with a friend and a video camera and come up with a live-action fight first. Then, using either the storyboards or the video for a reference, I’d figure out the pacing/timing of the fight. On what beats will there be contact? On what beats will there be a swing and miss?

Find those frames, and key them with poses, setting both characters into a nice looking setup on each key pose.

After you have all of the key poses set for your collision beats, then you can go through one at a time, smoothing the action of the first character, then the second. Once this is done, you can tweak them to make it really good.

I think that’s your best bet.

So no one else wants to place chess against themselves? Curses!

My brother used to play Monopoly against himself.

Just thinking outloud but why not trying this:

Merge the two amatures and join the two characters in one mesh, since you dont really care about symetrical poses, you wont have any serious problem with bones names. Then make your “fight” action in the unique “warriors’ armature”… It might ease your job on mesh intersection and stuff. The good thing is once you animate your fight, you can traslate it to anywhere.

Its just a crazy idea, it might or might not work.