Carbine Studios has released a great behind the scenes feature that shows some of the work and thought process that went into Metal Maw, one of the main bosses in their upcoming MMO Wildstar.
The video above is just a small sampling of the full blog post, written by Senior Animator at Carbine, Seth Kendall. In the full blog post, Kendall discusses what they hoped to accomplish with Metal Maw and most importantly, how they went about animating the fearsome boss. Yesterday's blog entry focused on making Metal Maw walk and how they created that animation.
Animation is about creating various poses for a character to move through over time. The goal is to create movement that is both believable and appealing. To achieve believability, we're looking to convey things like weight, momentum, and balance. To make it appealing, we're thinking about things like line of action, variation in timing, and clear, communicative poses.
The whole process has to start somewhere, so when creating a walk cycle, the first thing I will do is rough out a few basic poses that define the walk. Two poses on each side is enough to start with, and these poses are generally referred to as the "contact" and "passing" positions. We always start with a passing position, because it blends well as the creature moves out of their idle animation. As I create these blocking poses, I start to picture how this creature moves, how it shifts its weight, and the kind of personality I want to convey. In Metal Maw's case, his balance is a bit precarious, despite his beefy arms: imagine holding a handstand while being half dead, with a giant gun on your back to boot.
Each time he takes a step, he almost falls over because his weight transfers so hard, and his big lifeless tail is just going to swing around from all that movement.
For the full blog entry, be sure to drop by http://www.wildstar-online.com/!