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!

Driving a blendshape animation with the animator controller

The zombie's face animation is a nice touch, to make it clear to the player that something is happening in the game. The effect is quite subtle; due to the limited number of face bones that we can retarget in the Humanoid rig type, we are not able to get a full range of expression across in the zombie's face.

One way to get around this is to use a different kind of animation. Blendshape or Morph Target animation types do not use bones or joints to deform the model, but use a second, altered version of the mesh. Blendshape animation sequences can be driven in the animator the same way that skeletal animation can.

Blendshape animation sequences are usually unique to a model. They are created by making a copy of the whole or part of a mesh and then moving, scaling, and rotating vertices to change the shape—creating a facial expression or some other kind of deformation.

After the blendshape has been linked to the model, it can be exported...