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LordGood

===[COMMITTED]=== Slinger anims

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I put slinger anims in the title, but its just the one in Balearic style. Not quite sure where these go just yet, it doesn't look like the new meshes are in until we complete the animation roster.

I want to get all different styles for different cultures because that would be awesome, but that will probably take a lot of time.

Have a go, then

balearic_sling.gif

balearic_sling_back.gif

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That front arm should move a bit maybe ? Apart from that looks great :)

EDIT : Actually it moves, maybe the elbow has a strange position then...

Edited by stanislas69

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1 hour ago, stanislas69 said:

That front arm should move a bit maybe ? Apart from that looks great :)

EDIT : Actually it moves, maybe the elbow has a strange position then...

I didn't build the shield on it, but that's why the arm is awkwardly out in front like that

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Oh right then it's perfect :)

Maybe you could make a variant with no shield ?

Edited by stanislas69
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Nice animations, though I agree with Stan that the rest of the body should be a bit more dynamic. Like the arm doing some counterweight motion.

Also AFAIK, there weren't really different slinging styles for different cultures, but there were different styles for different purposes: precision was done via an overarm sling, throwing for maximum range via a sideways sling, ...

Though sadly, our code doesn't really slow to differentiate to that level.

Also, lindybeige has some nice points about slings (just historical points sadly, no examples to animate from).

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgjT5gn77w1yR2nEHOsyJdOwZ3puMWL0-

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I've seen all of Lindy's videos (I'm pretty sure), he's great to listen to, very persuasive too.

My technique's gotten a lot better since that last slinging video I uploaded, perhaps I should record myself again? I know certain length slings are better for certain ranges, and certain slinging styles are better for different length slings. Also, there are many overhanded and underhanded styles, and those differ from region to region. Different cultures would throw different weight stones, for instance Greeks tended to throw smaller standardized stone ammunition than the Persians. Of course, these would demand different styles to keep the inertia from tearing up your joints, and proper follow through. I hear underhand was popular in the near and middle east, and would probably allow for throwing larger stones (the size of a man's fist, according to Xenophon(?)) short distances. Its not like the Persians have slingers anyway, but the Judeans probably used it similarly

I've managed to hurt myself pretty bad overswinging, tearing up my rotor cuffs and whatnot. The power in this is in your core muscles, which i tried scrunching up as much as I possibly could here. I'd train sitting down to get them strong enough. If you guys don't sling, I would highly recommend it. It's super fun and you don't have to worry about carrying arrows whenever you want to shoot, or a bow for that matter. Sling fits nicely in your pocket, or makes a nice belt... or headband....

And to think, I thought guys throwing rocks in battle was silly not two years ago. Now I'm starting a slinging community at my school! I've brought out about 18 people who've given it a try, actually trained 5 fairly well, one of which is heading the group after I leave. I even got one of my professors to give it a try. He seemed pretty enthusiastic about it

Also a shield tends to do its job best in front of the guy using it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjZ6qWSenqI) Perhaps I'm taking the historical accuracy part a little too seriously, but I tend to agree with Skall on this point.

all said, this gif is a bit choppy, and will likely be playing faster in game; though we need to coordinate with the balancing team, because some of these attack cycles run so quick they ruin the animations...

 

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As far as I can tell, the engine doesn't really support different trajectories? Is there any way that can be controlled in a unit's XML? 'bombard' mechanics would be sweet

probably the only reason I'd play Korea in Empires DotMW was because they got thunder crash mortars with a stupidly high range and wild inaccuracy. Let me rain cannonballs down... well... everywhere!

their short range game was horrendous though, kept things balanced

what was I talking about? ah yeah, area deterrent as opposed to area denial for long range troops would be sweet. Not quite the right topic, but still sweet!

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9 hours ago, LordGood said:

I've seen all of Lindy's videos (I'm pretty sure), he's great to listen to, very persuasive too.

My technique's gotten a lot better since that last slinging video I uploaded, perhaps I should record myself again? ...

Are you quoting Lindybeige here, or did you start a slinging community at your school?

9 hours ago, LordGood said:

As far as I can tell, the engine doesn't really support different trajectories? Is there any way that can be controlled in a unit's XML? 'bombard' mechanics would be sweet

The range attack has a way to set the projectile speed. I'd guess this influences the trajectory. For a ballista, the speed is set to 300, while an archer has only a speed or 28. Deeper in the engine, the gravity can also be set (but I think this should remain constant).

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I totally started a slinging community here, I break slings constantly so I make sure I have surplus. Beverly has some amazing stony beaches for slinging

Though gravity should remain constant, it would help simulate wind resistance if there was a play to it on different projectiles, I would think. Since there are no other possible forces acting on projectiles other than starting velocity and trajectory

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It looks too rigid or should be like this?

edit: (the sling)

Edited by av93

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Wow that's a very good job for a first animation pass LordGood!! :)

I would forget about the shield performance on the free arm. The main reason would be that they're going to be firing from a distance most of the time, so I think it'll be better for the flow of the animation to use the other arm to counterweight and add dynamism to the animation. We will be able to use the same animation for non-shield slingers too. We'll make use of the "realist shield combat" for melee units.

If you find in your tests that the animation goes too quick, we could sacrifice one windup to shorten the frame count.

Suggestion: Use the free arm/hand to catch the sling at the bottom after firing while returning to the start position. Like a hint at reloading.

Question: How did you animate the sling? Different armature or you used any already existing bones? It looks really awesome! We might have some problems figuring out how to make the prop catch the same animation variants as the parents, but it sure will make room for great details like this one.

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The sling is all it's own armature, and it's bound to the root, so there's none of that fiddling with prop points, but of course that means it needs its own animations for all of the different animations the slinger has.

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8 minutes ago, LordGood said:

The sling is all it's own armature, and it's bound to the root, so there's none of that fiddling with prop points, but of course that means it needs its own animations for all of the different animations the slinger has.

Hmm... It should be bounded to the bone "prop-weapon_R" instead. This way you can still make adjustments on the position of the sling in relation with the arm with the bone "weapon_R" within the unit animation. This way you don't have to animate the position of the slinger for each single unit animation (walk, death, attacks, run, idles) it will be tedious work that way. If you bound it to the root, the sling will not follow the hand, and you will have to animate the position for every frame manually for all animations.

Bounding it to the prop-bone, you just have to animate the movement of the rope, not its overall position.

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I could always just make another static actor, easier to bind. Its easier for me to work this way, I don't have to worry about origin points and rotations of the parent, better yet, I can animate in relation to the unit acting on it. That's what I did for PA, anyway.

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Not sure if I follow... doesn't that means that you have to animate the position of the weapon for every movement the hand does?

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43 minutes ago, LordGood said:

Yes, but it's easier to do that than it is to keep track of the rotation of the hand and sling simultaneously

Oh, there's an easy way to take the rotation that will have in the game into account while you're on blender!! :)

-Select the sling armature, go to the "constraints" tab.

-Add constraints of "Copy Location" and "Copy Rotation"

-Select the UNIT ARMATURE as the target, and choose the Bone that you want the sling to be "spawn on" (literally, is like prop-pointing in blender) This example is how the head is propped in blender:

-Finally just animate both at the same time (the unit and the sling), and when you're done and ready to export, just remove the constraints and it will "snap" back to it's origin point, ready to get exported :D

constraints.jpg

 

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that would have made my life so much easier earlier, such a simple fix too

dangit, shame on me for not trying to resolve that issue sooner, haha. Of course you didnt try uploading it into the engine every single time to see if it was pointing the right way!

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