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Ritchie.Thai

An Argument for the Potential of Skeletal / Paper Cutout Animation

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When you let the computer tween between point A and point B, information will be lost. A human mind understands what exactly is going on between point A and B, thus traditional animation having a more natural feel to it. It's almost euphoric.

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^Did you read his whole post? He's pretty much saying the opposite of what you're saying

The hand-drawn art and 3d model are only used as a trace.

There is still a dude who dotted each sprite pixel by pixel. This is really obvious if you look at the full sprites. http://dustloop.com/forums/showthread.php?8287-BlazBlue-Continuum-Shift-Sprites

I'm willing to believe this but it's still astonishingly stupid. Why can't they just use some kind of conversion process? And why would they dot the pixels in when they could just draw normally with a tablet in a pixel drawing program?

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^Did you read his whole post? He's pretty much saying the opposite of what you're saying

The hand-drawn art and 3d model are only used as a trace.

There is still a dude who dotted each sprite pixel by pixel. This is really obvious if you look at the full sprites. http://dustloop.com/forums/showthread.php?8287-BlazBlue-Continuum-Shift-Sprites

I'm willing to believe this but it's still astonishingly stupid. Why can't they just use some kind of conversion process? And why would they dot the pixels in when they could just draw normally with a tablet in a pixel drawing program?

It isn't astonishingly stupid if that's the art style they want to go for. Any kind of "conversion process" isn't likely to look like the real McCoy and will probably just like blurry, pixelated hand-drawn art rather than "pixel art."

Is it the most efficient process? Maybe not. But it does yield some nice-looking pixel art.

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that does sound like an overkill way of doing it, and I dont even really like the results - the shapes and shading is so tight that it looks cg I think. especially highlights. I mean, its beautiful and all but it doesnt seem worth it. just draw the shading in and do some blurring/fx passes..

anyways I still dont see how this technique is applicable for the DFA look. still a sh*t load of work to paint all the frames without flickering. 1 on 1 fighters is all about the character animation and its the biggest chunk of the time/budget.

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Doesn't Rayman Origins use this kind of animation?

Yes. Yes it does. The people who aren't a fan of this animation style don't feel great about Rayman Origins either, but they feel it works a bit better there since the characters are at least very simple.

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I think people are mixing up animation styles in here.

First you've got Hand drawn Frame-by-frame animation, it was used in games like Day of the Tentacle, and was the most common way to create animated movies.

Then you have Flash animation - This is what Ritchie showed in his video and what's being used in MLP, Foster's House for Imaginary Friends and Adventure time. it's less expressive that hand drawn but can still achieve great effect using parts replacing, squash and stretch.

Lastly you've got skeletal animation and this is the one that seems to be used in DFA. All body parts are assembled on a texture that is mapped to a mesh, that is then deformed using a skeleton. This is is the most common animation method in 3D games and it works well enough for non-stylized characters, but in 2D gives pretty bad results compared to the two styles mentioned above, which is why almost no game uses it, the only one I can think of is Aquaria and even they had big problems with animation even though the game looked gorgeous (Rayman Origins was done in a Flash-style animation system afaik)

The skeletal animation drawbacks can be amiliorated using mesh-swapping, allowing mesh deformations separate from skeleton deform, and vertex animation on top of the skeleton animation. However more often than not these aren't used resulting in a very bad, stiff, non-expressive animation, resulting in characters that just look off, especially in 3/4 view. It works well enough in side view though, a good example is Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, however they cheated ,imo, considering most enemies there are strongly silhouetted so you don't notice the angles that are off.

I'm curious in seeing how they tackle the problems with 2D skeletal animation, since I'm both a big animation lover, and because I've been developing one myself, but dropped because of the problems mentioned above.

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Then you have Flash animation - This is what Ritchie showed in his video and what's being used in MLP, Foster's House for Imaginary Friends and Adventure time. it's less expressive that hand drawn but can still achieve great effect using parts replacing, squash and stretch.

Lastly you've got skeletal animation and this is the one that seems to be used in DFA. All body parts are assembled on a texture that is mapped to a mesh, that is then deformed using a skeleton. This is is the most common animation method in 3D games and it works well enough for non-stylized characters, but in 2D gives pretty bad results compared to the two styles mentioned above, which is why almost no game uses it, the only one I can think of is Aquaria and even they had big problems with animation even though the game looked gorgeous (Rayman Origins was done in a Flash-style animation system afaik)

This is interesting. So I figure the key difference between what one might call Flash animation and what one might call skeletal animation is that the parts in a Flash animation can be deformed through scaling, stretching, and skewing, while in the skeletal animation there are only rotations and translations. I also get the idea that the parts in skeletal animation are attached to a skeleton, but I figure while that is used to assist with the animation, most of time time one would want the pieces attached to that skeleton anyway even in a Flash animation, and in other cases there would be ways to get around it.

That leaves the scaling, stretching, and skewing as the only difference. I figure that even though it has not been demonstrated, it would not be too difficult to also incorporate this into an engine. Scaling and stretching of textures can be done without too much difficulty (and I suppose I'm uncertain about the skewing), so I don't see why they couldn't just incorporate that into the engine.

I'll admit that I'm aware that Flash animation doesn't necessarily use a skeleton and I somewhat combined the terms to emphasize the similarities and ignore the differences, but I don't see why the DFA system couldn't do anything a Flash animation could do.

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