September 21, 2015

Salt: Adventurer Animation Reel

For the past few months I have been working with Lavaboots Studios on their adventure game called Salt! It's been great to work with them and I have had so much fun creating the models and animations they use for the characters in game. I'm happy to have finally gotten the chance to put together a little reel of animations I made and post them for all to see!

This character was my first time creating and rigging a proper RPG character. By that I mean a character who has interchangeable clothes and other body features. To make sure there was as little clipping as possible with the clothes and any underlying geometry, I split the base character up into bits dependent on the different types of clothes he would wear. For example, the arm would need to be ready for shirts with no sleeve, short sleeves, and long sleeves.

When the character has a short sleeve shirt on like this, the programmer can turn off the upper parts of the arm that would be covered by the sleeve keeping any underlying geometry from mistakenly clipping though while animating.

This technique makes it much easier for me to paint skin weights for the clothes and not have to worry to much if they are exactly the same as the body skin weights. I haven't found a quick way to match the weights on two separate meshes with out going in one by one and copying the weights per vertex but that would surly lead to more accurate deformation. I believe the way I have done it here is how most RPGs, such as The Elder Scrolls, handle clothing because unexpected clothing combinations in those games will reveal invisible body parts underneath.

As you can see from the animation above, there is still a bit of clipping with clothing items. This will require some more careful weight painting on my part but I would love a more accurate and less tedious way to handle this in the future.