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- create animations from scratch using the Unity Mecanim system and place them onto game objects.
- import third party animated assets into Unity and set up animation controllers.
- write C# code to dynamically control animations through user interaction.
- explore the use of inverse kinematics in humanoid rigs.
- create complex animation sequences and blends dynamically controlled by the user at runtime.
Animation is an optical illusion produced when a rapid succession of images enters the eye. The brain processes them as though it is seeing movement. In this video we explore how and why animation works.
Twelve principles of animation were devised in 1981 to assist animators in creating believable movement and characters in their work. This lecture explains and demonstrates each.
In this video you will learn how to setup a simple sequence of animations that open and close a door. A plan of how the animations play out is given as a type of flow diagram called a state-machine. In such a diagram the animations are known as states and the pathways from one state to the other are called transitions. By the end of this lecture you will have learnt how to construct a simple state-machine from several animations that will open and close a door.
Extending on the state-machine of an opening and closing door, we will examine how to control when the door opens and closes using triggers. These will allow you to walk a character up to the door which will then trigger the door to open. After the character walks through, the door will close.
While you can animate all mater of objects and properties in Unity, nothing is more interesting and fun to work with than rigged models. This video will explain the basics of a mesh, its skeleton and rigging.
Complex animations of models are best achieved in dedicated modelling and animation packages such as Maya, 3DS Max and Blender. If you are not a seasoned animator and have no experience animating, the best place to start learning is to download a free version of Maya or Blender and consult the respective manuals. Keyframes, tweening and curves are employed in these packages to create sophisticated actions.
If you are not quite ready to launch into the creation of your own rigged characters - DON'T PANIC - all model resources for the following lectures are supplied.
Mixamo.com, owned by Adobe, is an excellent resource for getting hold of characters and attaching a plethora of animations to their rigs. Through 4 or 5 clicks you can have a fully rigged and animated character ready to import into Unity. This video will take you through the steps to obtain a Mixamo character complete with animations of your choosing.
Finally we have a character in Unity. Things are going to get interesting and by the introduction of code you will be able to control the animation state-machine and create a character with dynamic animations that change according to key presses.
There are two basic types of rig in Unity; generic and humanoid. While the generic format is used for simple objects, the humanoid rig is far more powerful, besides allowing for compounding animations, control of animation transforms and supporting inverse kinematics, humanoid based animations can be shared across multiple models.
One powerful aspect of using humanoid rigs is that you have a wider range of control over root motion. This dictates whether or not the animation actually moves the characters transform in the world space. Allowing an animation to control the movement of a character, rather than relying on key presses that run translation code, if we let the animation move the character in world space we can achieve more fluid results. This functionality also allows for the joining together of multiple complex animations in which the character is moved and rotated a lot.
Time for a bit of fun. Let's make some machinima for a music video clip. The perfect way to practice the creation of an animation state-machine and work with root motion.
Now that we've had some experience with root motion, its time to revise the old character control script used previously. Instead of programming translations to move the character around we will employ the root motion contained within the animation itself.
Its one thing to move a character around with root motion. It all works well until the character starts walking through walls! In this video we bring back the physics system and combine it with a root motion drive script to control the movement of the character but to also build in collisions.
In a previous lecture we created a door with a trigger that would open and close as the player walked up to it and through. We now revisit this idea and add a trigger object into a scene in which the character is allowed to walk around the environment, but when they bump into something the death animation is triggered.
Interacting with other objects in the game scene are critical behaviours for a third person player character. Depending on the object the player is going to interact with a different animation may be required. In the game, The Sims, such animations are triggered in the characters by the actual object. For example, a chair is for sitting while a guitar is for strumming. In this video we will create a chair object that informs the player character that the appropriate animation to play when interacting with the chair is to sit on it.
In part one you will setup the characters animation and movement controllers.
- Download the free version of the Unity Game Engine.
- You do not need to be able to model or animate in an external package - all resources are provided.
The Beginner's Guide to Animation in Unity with Mecanim is for animators and Unity practitioners who want to bring their characters to life in a game environment and want to learn the ins and outs of the mecanim system. You don't need to be able to model or animate in external packages as all models and animations are provided. All aspects of animation in Unity are covered from physics, key framing, curves, forward and inverse kinematics, animation state machines and working with third party assets. Students will be introduced to elementary code, in C#, that is essential for making dynamic animations and triggers to control character behaviour at run time.
In this course, Penny teaches all the invaluable skills you will require to begin animating your own game characters in Unity using her internationally acclaimed teaching style and knowledge from over 25 years working with games and computer graphics.
Updated to cover Unity Versions 5 to 2019.2 the course now contains 5 hours of extra content with:
new challenges and projects
blending animations to create strafe sets
designing a character and the placing of motion capture with free third-party tools
Learn how to animate and work with:
the mecanim timeline
curve and keyframe editors
animation events that trigger code
imported animations created in third party packages
animation state machines
Contents and Overview
The course begins with the very basics of the Unity interface and progresses to an in-depth examination of all the mecanim components (including the Animation, Animator, DopeSheet and Curve windows). The majority of lectures are follow-along, hands-on workshops in which the student will explore a variety of animation techniques from creating a simple bouncing ball, through to a complex animation for a wall climbing character. Animated models and starter projects are included for students who are not confident in creating their own. By the end of this course, the student will have thoroughly explored the functionality of the mecanim system, under the instruction of an internationally-recognised professor, and be well on their way to developing snippets of code to control all aspects of 3d game animation.
- This course is for those interested in a thorough understanding of the Unity Mecanim system. It is suitable for beginner game developers and animators, as well as well seasoned animators wanting to import their work into games.
- This course is not for those wanting to learn to program in Unity.