Re: A Very Limber Wolf
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:15 pm
Make all these bloopy bugs happen in LR please. Now floppy and soon Limby!loboLoco wrote:[youtube]wWJjS9NnrIA[/youtube]
For a 3D game, job one is creating a persuasive illusion of the game-world. We’ve got many techniques to help us do that, but if any of them fail, the illusion is broken. If you’re lucky, at least you get a funny blooper video out of it. Today’s blooper is courtesy the wolf’s IK system.
“IK” stands for “Inverse Kinematics” and in games, it usually refers the system used to make a character connect realistically to the world. For example, a “walk” animation typically assumes that the character is walking on flat ground. But of course, the ground is often not flat — especially in Yellowstone! With a good IK system, the feet recognize the actual ground and adjust their movements accordingly, whether going uphill or downhill or laterally along a slope. When it works, it makes the character’s movements much more believable. When it doesn’t, the feet can’t find the ground, so they go…other places.
There are some great tools for IK, but they’re designed for bipeds. Quadrupeds are special cases, and often rather uncooperative. Last year we configured a pretty good IK setup on our wolf. But it had a few problems, and they got worse rather than better as we tried to refine them, possibly exacerbated by changes in recent versions of Unity. We finally decided to try another tool, called Bio IK, which promises more organic IK techniques. Unfortunately, it’s not a simple swap-in replacement. Sigh. So we’re digging in to figure out how to revise our system to work with this new IK tool. We’re optimistic, but it’s another example of why we should never utter the words “coming soon” during development. We are in the noses-to-the-grindstone period where it is hard to see progress on some days. But we know that it will all come together!
On a more positive note, we’ve got the first of our two new programmers up and running with the project. Andrei, who is from Brazil, began by writing some editor scripts to manage terrain elements and is now working secondary systems for music and weather. Please give Andrei a warm welcome!