Authors: Melanie Beisswenger
With ever increasing visual quality and details in computer games, expectations for character animation are also evolving. Simple movement cycles alone are not enough anymore to satisfy the gamers, and the increasing emphasis on storytelling in games demands better acted, crafted and more sophisticated animation of its characters. Good character animation is founded on 2 pillars. Firstly, body mechanics, which grounds the character in the imaginary games world’s physics and gives believability in the bodily presence therein. Secondly, character acting and character personality, which are important for the story and the user’s emotional attachment and empathy with the characters.
Character design is another very important factor in the expression of character personality and acting. Design decisions such as hyperrealism or stylization for characters and environments influence the animation style and complexity. These choices in addition to the relationship between design and movement will be set in context with the concept of the uncanny valley. Concepts and techniques used in the creation of feature film quality animation will be discussed. The principles of animation will be related to body mechanics and acting, and how they are adapted in computer animation.