Unity Procedural Animations Tools

Unity Procedural Animations Tools

Morten Reinholdt Game AI, Lab

While working on the demos, we got tired of rigging meshes and creating animations. So, instead we made a small prototype tool for procedural animations, so characters are animated automatically in the forthcoming demos.

It looks like ****, but we wanted to share an early video with you, to get feedback.

Please check out the video:

Basically, what we do is that instead of going the old fashioned way of mesh->rig->animation, we animate the whole body via AI.

Should we make this into an Unity procedural animations tool asset?

Procedural animation basically means that you don’t need animations and IK (Inverse Kinematics) anymore. Instead, the characters animate themselves via real-time modifiable scripts.

It also gives you a lot of other advantages:

a/ You can precisely control all limbs
b/ No foot sliding
c/ No need for animation controllers
d/ No need for expensive animations
e/ Hands can grab with exact precision
f/ You can send characters across dynamically changing environments, such as moving ground, ships etc
g/ You can dynamically adjust character behavior, such as modifying / varying the run cycle of a characters while running so they don’t look static
h/ You can seemingly run multiple behaviors, such as aiming while running
i/ You can use physics on characters while they move, to simulate e.g. impact
j/ You can blow off limbs run time, or modify the character in any other way
k/ You can modify characters run-time, e.g. growing a new leg or arm or wings
l/ You can have characters with different movement patterns, such as limping, bumping walk, just by modifying parameters
m/ You can animate non-bipedals – e.g. insects etc with little effort

We could imagine this would allow indie game developers a completely new tool for animation in their games – potentially going beyond the options that the AAA’s have.

Hence, let us know if you want this, and please help us drum up support.

And if you have feature requests, let us now as well.