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!

Rigging in Maya

Like 3ds Max, Maya is a major software application used in game asset creation. One of its major advantages is that unlike 3ds Max, it is compatible with Mac operating systems. Its dependence on key combinations rather than point and click icons arguably makes the modeling and rigging process faster.

Though Maya has fewer options for rigging than 3ds Max, its rigging and animation toolset is known for being easy to access and use.

Setting up Maya to rig our character model

Before we import the model and start adding the joints, we will spend a little time setting up Maya to ensure our rigged model is compatible with Unity.

These next steps are optional, but will make for a smoother workflow and more predictable result, particularly if you are working with a sourced model that you did not create yourself.

Setting system units to meters

Unity uses meters as its default unit, so it makes sense to adopt this unit for our rigging work:

  1. Start Maya.

  2. Open the Preferences tab by navigating...