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  • Writer's picture1/4" Jack Of All Trades

Targeting Future Areas For Study: Procedural Animation

Although deadlines are looming I am still noting down interesting concepts that I might want to pursue further:

Caught in a recent YouTube tutorial wormhole researching various game development topics I came across the concept of procedural animation. Instead of relying on pre-created animations you instead code limbs and bodies to move with the same constraints as the real life equivalent. This game dev con talk demonstrated how very few animation keyframes could be blended between to create seamless animation. Tutorial: Reading through his first tutorial: Types of procedural animation: - Rag doll physics - most basic form ,unpredictable/hilarious. - Rigid body physics - basic, not good for complex movements - Inverse kinematics - common use is reaching and picking things up of human characters (ubiquitous sound design), but can seemingly do so much more

Having recently finished my undergraduate dissertation on procedural synthesis in video games this concept intrigued me, as it seems to be the animation equivalent of real time audio synthesis in video games. From my studies into procedural audio I had learnt that a close link to game physics can allow for complex yet efficient sonic behaviours, with this in mind I felt that procedural animation and audio were surely an ideal match. Both are deep and complex subjects however, my aim for the time being is to understand enough about the animation side to do two things: 1. Improve my audio programming, practically and conceptually. 2. Use some basic forms of procedural animation as part of my creative coding practices

A product like Final IK (demonstrated in the Youtube link) is a premade solution that, although pricey, might also be a way for me to learn more about the subject, giving me Unity specific solutions to the subject, that I can take apart and try to understand.

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