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!

Chapter 5. Retargeting Animation

In Chapter 4, Working with Motion Capture Data, we used Mecanim to create two unique walk cycles from an imported motion capture file. This chapter will demonstrate how motion sequences such as these can be reused for different characters.

Mecanim's robust animation toolset allows users to reuse animation sequences in different characters. Provided that both characters use the Humanoid animation type (specified in the Import settings), a great deal of variation within skeletons is possible. Mecanim will identify and convert animation sequences based on the bone's position in the skeletal hierarchy, eliminating the necessity of identical (and identically named) rigs.

If you are creating animation sequences from scratch using traditional keyframe animation techniques, it does not take much extra time to animate extra bones, such as ponytails and accessories in a character's rig. However, when it becomes necessary to use pre-made animations and incorporate motion...