Week 9 - Communities of Practice
Updated: May 14
This week was an interesting topic for me as I found myself struggling to find communities of people that I could relate my profession to as my family don't quite understand the work that I do in graphic design and art. I have, however over the past year found many ways to connect with peers with similar interests to mine not only through this course, but through LinkedIn where I have joined a number of discord game art groups which have helped me establish a place where I can get critiques on my portfolio. I have also established a weekly event on the Indie Game Development course Discord which happens every Saturday as an art club where we can come and draw for an hour or three and give each other tips on how we can improve. I believe this is a great opportunity for us all to make sure that we are making the time on a Saturday evening to practice our skills and help each other progress.
Rapid Ideation Project:
To go off of the topic of Communities, it was the final presentations of everyone's rapid ideation projects today and I managed to complete my task of making a creature that was animated by procedural animation within Unity. Procedurally animating the creature came with many failures and successes. I was following a tutorial which was for a creature with 4 legs whilst my creature had 6 legs this made the legs move in a very awkward motion in my opinion. I also found creating constraints on the bones hard as I was trying to visualise how I thought my creature should move. I was very happy with the way my project looked visually in the end as I felt like I learnt more about creating a skybox and how important lighting is in a project.
"The basic idea is that the moments of a character can be generated procedurally. One of the most common technique to generate animations procedurally, relies on simulating physics." (Zucconi, 2017)
The concept behind the movement of my character is that the legs move forward every time the body becomes a certain distance away from the legs original position on the ground. I also added a capsule collider with no mesh renderer to create a movement of the body as seen in fig.1 and fig.2.
Trials and Tribulations:
This project was one of my most difficult projects yet. My first problem was importing the character into Unity from blender as all of the faces came through the wrong way around into Unity in fig.3. The model did this a number of times even though I made sure all of the faces were the right way in Blender. The problem was actually with the rigging process, so I had to rig the character again which was a set back, but as you can see I had success on the left in fig.2. The second prominent problem I had was with the scripting process as I found the legs constantly sticking to each other and going through objects. I had to back track slightly and ignore this problem as I was running out of time, however it was a problem with the inverse kinetics which I realised later. The third and final problem I had was with the legs removing themselves from the torso of the body when movement was achieved procedurally, however this was fixed making the leg walking distance smaller but I think I could make this look better in the future through rigging and weight painting.
Fig.1 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Video of gameplay
Fig.2 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Character with scripted legs
Fig.3 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Character with inverse 3d geometry
Zucconi, A., 2017. An Introduction to Procedural Animations - Alan Zucconi. [online] Alan Zucconi. Available at: <https://www.alanzucconi.com/2017/04/17/procedural-animations/> [Accessed 12 May 2021].