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!


In this chapter, we explored character rigging techniques in 3ds Max and Maya.

Starting with the creation of skeletons and the arrangement of bones (or joints) to fit a modeled character mesh, we explored the crucial relationship between the character and its skeleton.

In 3ds Max, we adapted a Biped rig to fit our female zombie character by scaling and rotating the default joints to fit the character's initial pose. We then used the skin modifier to connect the rig to the character model, fine tuning the envelope settings to correct the range of influence from each bone until the character deformed smoothly in the test pose that we created.

Working in Maya, we created a full hierarchy of joints from scratch, by assembling individual chains of joints for the spine, leg, and arm. We implemented workable naming conventions, before mirroring our joint chains to complete the main skeleton. After adding additional joints for the ponytail and jaw, we used smooth bind to define the relationship...