Book Image

Unity Character Animation with Mecanim

By : Jamie Dean
Book Image

Unity Character Animation with Mecanim

By: Jamie Dean

Overview of this book

Game animation for independent developers has taken a giant leap forward with Unity 5's Mecanim toolset, which streamlines the import/export, retargeting, and many other aspects of the character animation workflow. Unity Character Animation with Mecanim is a great primer for getting to know the nuts and bolts of Mecanim and other character animation related tools in Unity 5. It offers you step-by-step instructions for preparing and exporting rigged models and animation sequences from commonly used 3D packages, such as Maya, 3ds Max and Blender. This book explores the new set of animation tools introduced with Mecanim in Unity 5. Approaching its subject matter through a typical genre–a zombie action game, character animation techniques are explored using real examples of player input and interaction, enemy behavior, and other aspects of game dynamics. As the book progresses, the reader will understand how these elements fit together in a small game development workflow. We will begin with a demonstration of the process of getting a rigged character into Unity 5 and setting it up to use provided animation sequences. We will also consider a few industry standard 3D packages and how these can be used to rig a humanoid character for use in Unity 5. We will demonstrate the retargeting capabilities of Mecanim’s Humanoid Animation type by adjusting motion sequences to fit disparate character types in our game. After this, we will look at Ragdoll physics and the implementation of this commonly used technique in a Mecanim workflow. The book culminates with a thorough dissection of the enemy character AI script incorporating the Mecanim elements detailed in the previous chapters. Unity Character Animation with Mecanim will provide you with a detailed exploration of the interaction between game development and character animation, and will broaden your understanding of the rich animation toolset within Unity 5
Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Unity Character Animation with Mecanim
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Free Chapter
The Zombie Attacks!

Minimum requirements

As we mentioned briefly in Chapter 1, The Zombie Attacks!, there are certain requirements that we need to consider if we want to create a rigged character that is fully compatible with Mecanim's tools. In order to make use of the Humanoid Avatar preset in Mecanim, we need a minimum of 15 bones, typically:

  • Hips or root joint

  • Spine1

  • Spine2

  • Neck

  • Head

  • Thigh_R

  • Calf_R

  • Foot_R

  • Thigh_L

  • Calf_L

  • Foot_L

  • UpperArm_R

  • ForeArm_R

  • UpperArm_L

  • ForeArm_L

The skeletons that we will create in 3ds Max and Maya will have quite a few more bones than these—supporting full hand articulation, but this is not strictly necessary to make use of the animation and retargeting tools that Mecanim offers.

Your bones do not have to be named this way, though it is a good idea to adopt consistent naming conventions between your characters. The Avatar in Mecanim acts as an intermediary between the animation and the skeleton, which helps when retargeting animations between different characters.

Mecanim has support for hands, fingers...