Defining Awesome — Character animations and physics
  • Status Updates

  • Character animations and physics

    Written by . Posted at 4:49 pm on October 13th, 2007

    I’ve had the character dude working for some time now and recently I made the ragdoll physics work inside the game so I decided to show this off to you. I made a video of the actual player sprite in link-dead. Below is a more detailed explanation of what you see.

    Is this awesome or what!?

    The physics are all based on the now 6 year old paper by Thomas Jakobsen Advanced Character Physics. Hail to Mr. Jakobsen! I guess they are still using the same engine in the newest Hitman game. Those are mighty game programmers, we should all learn from them.
    It is the same thing I used in Soldat but I added a few improvements because the level of detail increased. Mainly I added fixed length (or radius) constraints and angular constraints. They accomplish two things. The head doesn’t fly around the neck like crazy and the legs and arms don’t bend unnaturally in all directions. This is a major improvement in realism. If the body drops with a big impact the angular constraints can break, so it will work like real bone cracking.

    Do you see now partly how mighty my new animation system is?
    The angle at which the character walks or stands is based on the angle of the ground. His legs are placed exactly as the ground beneath him. This is not some shitty animation like in most games. He even carefully places his leg on higher steps and smoothly walks upward.
    The mouse aiming is also done with animations. Unlike in Soldat it’s not just rotating the upper body towards the mouse. The dude can have any kind of animation when looking up or down. This is useful because many weapons are carried differently depending on the angle you use them at.

    The map in this video is just a test map, but it is actually a working example of a painted map as described in the Revolution. That’s why you can see some text on it cause I took a screenshot of a Soldat map in Polyworks.

    Also there is one cool thing about this. The physics and animations work simultaneously, meaning I can have for example 50% physics and 50% animation. This results in the player looking somewhat like a jelly or really tired when he gets wounded for example. This also helps with smooth transititions between animation and ragdoll. No more insta-snap-ragdoll shit. This guy dies with realism and with honor. His body must look great when he dies.

    Wait for the blood and gibs system I’m working on. Until then…

    Music in video: stardust memories by jester/sanity.

    Be Sociable, Share!


    1. First 3 secounds don’t really look realistic. The guy falls too slow or something..

    2. Yes, when falling it still looks the way it does in Soldat or other games with a similiar movement, the walking animation carries on while in air or at least the pose looks weird. But apart from that it really looks like a great step forward from Soldat. It’s not perfect, but suits the greater amount of detail in the graphics very nicely.
      And like you described the seamless transition between a predefined animation and a completely dynamic ragdoll (although I suppose this time around these extremes don’t even exist anymore :) ) is sweet. It’s a thing many games are still lacking. One more disappointing example would be Dark Messiah in my opinion. A great game overall, but the transition was very noticable in most cases. Still at least one of the few examples of games in which also living characters can fall using ragdoll physics and then stand up again.. *hint hint* 😉

    3. Yeah the gravity isn’t tweaked yet. Also there are twitches that need fixing and there no fall animation yet. I didn’t say it’s finished. There are just walk and stand animations in the video.

    4. I WANT!!!

    5. Physic is good, byt graphics is sux :(

    6. Well, even better then. With all that included.. I guess I can now truly understand your great optimism towards the animations and physics alone. And that being just one part of many which summed up result in the full game, I guess I better even share that optimism 😀 Keep it up!

    7. I bet by the end it will look awesome. Keep up the good work MM.

    8. Makron666

      i hope it looks better in the final game and i like how he tries to hold on to the edges in certain times. that reminds me of an awesome animation engine called “euthoria” by natural motion.

    9. @Makron666
      It’s called euphoria 😛
      The video looks great at this early stage of development ! Can’t wait to see the final version of the animation system, it looks very promising.

    10. yeah! it’s pretty cool! I never do that in my life. That is look very crude, of course. But it’s look better than soldat.

      Good job MM. Nice one.

    11. Sorry Kruspe, the graphics won’t look any better in the full game.

    12. Don’t judge the graphics yet for Christs sake, fancy graphics are left until the very end of the development process, I like the soldier graphics so far anyway.

    13. I have a question about the physics, Will the seperate physics objects collide with each other? You said you based the physics on the hitman physics engine; which if i remember correctly, the seperate physical entities didn’t collide with each other.

    14. Animation his awsome I like it it was so funny remind me of dance dance revolution wen the guy give a little punch :) what’s the “fire” wen the guy comes back up?

    15. commenter

      this game is gonna fucking own.

    16. //I have a question about the physics, Will the seperate physics objects collide with each other?

      Bodies probably won’t collide because there is no big point to it and it costs a lot of CPU time. But they will probably collide with objects that have meaning (like bigger ones).

    17. Will you be able to pull yourself up when clinging on to an edge like in the video?

    18. ..::HHH::..

      physics question:

      if you fall down the ragdoll way, will you die?
      or will you get on your feet automatic? or manual?

    19. blackdevil0742

      Ahaha. Looked a bit funky at times but It is unfinished so thumbs up :)

    20. Cant wait for the female body animations… 😀

      The falling animation would look better if the model tried to land on his feet.

    21. This physics engine has a big potential i think. If you play it with some tweaks, a gun in hand, hair and 1:1 resolution it would look cool although its in an early stage. Damn i would like to see how the player lost his gun when he breaks his arm! There will be much laughing about the n00bs in the beginning..:)

      This animation reminds me of a cool site:

    22. Awesome!! ^_^

    23. You guys have to remember that this is a project that has just really begun. What he has accomplished so far is great.

    24. I agree. Cant wait to see how the blood and gib system is going to look in animation 😛

    25. Makron666

      Like spike said, you should be able to pull yourself back up by rapidly bangin a button, that whould be a good idea.

    26. Main question: what you use the programming language for writing this game ?

      if i bad write this comment, it’s because i very bad speak english :(

    27. He codes the game in C++

    28. [quote]He codes the game in C++[/quote]
      Good, very good. This is true? i do not believe in this.
      Will wait, that says Michal about this.

    29. It’s written in c++, it’s based on my engine which I released open source:

    30. forgive me, i noob

    31. cool, needs tweaking but ultimate very next gen right there.
      your 2d game has some techniques 3d pro games made by 100+ people still dont have.. Indie gamers are the ultimate risk takers.
      Go Indie gamers

    32. its cool, but needs improvements, what you can do is that the player can handle layers,it could be good

    33. thats awesome. He bounces a fair bit but its obviously not complete.
      Nice work on allowing him to walk up steps like that.

    34. The best thing there is changing player`s physical abilities. It would be great to include some medicine, changing stamina, movement speed, or accuracy as example. Also, they’d better to dicrease them after the effect. IMO, it`s a special part of gameplay, but I really have no idea how to enclude em in the game.

    35. Hello, je vous envoie un petit mot dpeuis Marseille. Je faisais quelques recherches sur Google pour un site web dedie au prix des maisons enbois, et j’ai atterisur votre blog . C’est l’un des sites les plus inte9ressants que j’ai visite recemment sur le sujet et c’est la raison pour laquelle j’ai decide de le mettre dans mes favoris sur en utilisant Blog Archive Coolest animation series ever! comme titre de re9fe9rence. Ainsi, mes contacts persos et pros concernes par le sujet pourront de9couvrir votre site et en apprendre davantage. Un grand merci a vous pour nous permettre de decouvrir ce contenu,le partager ainsi et felicitations pour laqualite du travail realise.

    Post a comment.