With the “Magician” already designed, we can go head on into creating the first animations for him. We wanted him to be a character with a lot of personality, so the idle animations were a good point to start.
When one idle is not enough.
The base of the character is a charismatic guy who is always, above everything, a gentleman (even with dangers lurking around). Our idle animation needed to reflect this, but at the same time, a character “too relaxed” when danger is around, would look weird to say the least.
We decided to do something different for a change and went for adopting two idle posses for this guy. We called them Dynamic Idle, and Static Idle.
The concept is really simple, the Static idle is used when the character is “relaxed”, i.e. hasn’t moved for a while, or there isn’t some rock rolling to kill him. Dynamic idle is used when the character is in an “agitated” state.. that is: there’s danger around or he has moved a lot.
With this our animator created the “Dynamic to Static” transition, as we deemed the other one unnecessary for the time being.
Fig. Concept of Dynamic and Static Idle.
Setting Up the Animation.
The goal was set, so the first step was to create a doodle showing the general idea of the pose and its transition.
Fig. First concept of transition.
Our animator has always been a guy that gives a lot of thought to the movement nature of the character. He first tried to make the character stand on its place, but he couldn’t find a simple way to do it without having the Magician do a tiny jump on its place, this was deemed out of character for such an elegant guy.
The next idea was to make the character move forward resulting on this transition.
Fig. First iteration, shows the character moving to the right
This opened another can of worms, the capsule would move right as the character was standing still, so we opted out of this idea.
So we had a lot of issues solving this problem, clearly there had to be a simple solution, but we simply weren’t finding it. PROTIP: that’s when a little outside help goes a long way. Rodia’s brother gave us a simple yet effective solution to this puzzle: “To use its cape as it stands up”… Brilliant. The whole idea was to worry about the hand movement while the feets did a really simple motion in place. This is what the animation looked like.
Fig. Second iteration had none of the displacement issues, and we added some sassy movements to it too.
FYI, those points and lines represent the clothes and hair of the character moving.
More details and hair moving.
The final step, before finishing these animations was to see how well would the character translate to them. Rodia went started immediately drawing the details so we could get an idea.
Fig. The animation with all the broad details.
This idle transition had everything that we wanted for our charismatic character… so we accepted it after testing it on the project.
Obviously this animation needs polishing, cleanup and coloring, but we want to show you that on tandem with the new level we’re finishing, so it gains some +Crit points, but we can show you a little snippet of how the character is looking.
Fig. Now imagine this animated.
Fig. BTW, he also runs
So that’s it for now… hope you liked this. Next time we will show you some Spicy Idles along with our new level.
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Have a good one!