Animation Basics

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Animation Introduction

Animation facts

Skinned geometry
1 material per mesh.
Weight maps
  • Every vertex has to be assigned to at least one weight map.
  • As default a vertex can be influenced by 2 weight maps. (If high quality skinning is turned on in the showbox a vertex may be influenced by weight maps.)
  • There must not exist weight maps that are not assigned to a bone.

  • <26 bones per mesh. (More bones will render an additional drawing call.)
  • Each bone must have a weight map.
  • The “record bone rest position” must be the same between animated scenes. Ex. A marine walk-scene and a marine stand-scene


  • The showbox does not consider any animations done on a skinned mesh. If you want to animate or even off set it from translation: 0,0,0, rotation: 0,0,0, scale: 0,0,0 a skinned mesh, the mesh has to be parented to a null and then all animation has to be done on that null.
  • The showbox does not consider any animations done on an object that has GetY turned on in the showbox. To animate an object with GetY, parent it to a null and animate the null.
  • Under preferences “frames per second” should be set to 24.
  • Each object must have a key on all channels on translate, rotate and scale on frame 0.
  • Fractional frames are supported.
  • One spline type per object.
  • On the spline type TCB spline the tension is supported.
  • When a key is set, there must be one on all channels on that frame.

Ex. If there is a key an object on translate X on frame 10 there must also be one for Translate Y, Z on the same frame.

However, translate, rotate and scale are separated. So it’s not necessary to set a key on rotate and scale, when there is a key for translate.

There is an exception to previous rule. It’s possible to only key one channel. But then the other channels must only have the first frame keyed. Ex. Translate Y has keys on 0, 10, 20 and translate X, Z has key on frame 0.

Rotate Z has keys on 0, 5, 18, 20 and rotate X, Y has a key on frame 0.

Scale X has keys on 0, 7, 15, 20 and scale Y, Z has a key on frame 0.

The length of the time line will scale the animation in the showbox in relation the longest channel. Ex 1. An object has keys on 0 to 24 and the timeline is between 0 and 48. In the showbox the animation will be 2 seconds long instead of one.

Ex 2. An object has keys on 0 to 24 and the timeline is between 0 and 12. In the showbox the animation will be 0.5 seconds long instead of one.

If an animation is to loop, this can be done two ways. Either in the showbox by turning on the loop functions on the objects state. Or to set the both pre and post behaviour to repeat, this way the loop in the showbox is automatically turned on,

Special objects

The aim-bone is the bone that the game uses to target aim with, its function is in both heading and pitch. This bone must always be oriented after the world coordinate – Rotation 0, 0, 0.


First make the weight maps, then make the LODs

Animation States

A marine have 4 different code states; Stand, Crouch, Prone and Walk. Each code state has a various number of animation states such as; stand, fire, etc.


Marine states used in WIC

State name Description

STND -This is the stop running animation, and the “next animation” is set to STN2.

STD2 -Post fire)

CRCH -Crouch

PRON -Prone

TRNR -Turn Right (partial state on leg and pelvis bone)

TRNL -Turn Left (partial state on leg and pelvis bone)

WALK -This is the start running animation. The “blend in time” is the same as the “time to next animation” time, which is one run cycle.

WLK2 -The walk cycle

WLTS -Walk to stand

STFR -Stand fire Spine and

CRFR -Crouch fire - for marines

PRFR -Prone fire - for marines

WLFR -Walk fire - for marines

SSAO -Stand Special ability offensive

SSAD -Stand Special ability defensive

CSAO -Crouch Special ability offensive

PSAO -Prone Special ability offensive

WSAO -Walk Special ability offensive

STTC -Transition from stand to crouch

STTP -Transition from stand to prone

CRTS -Transition from crouch to stand

CRTP -Transition from crouch to prone

PRTS -Transition from prone to stand

PRTC -Transition from prone to crouch

STCW -Stand cower – when a marine is taking blast damage

RNCW -Walk cower – when a marine is taking blast damage

CRCW -Crouch cower – when a marine is taking blast damage

PRCW -Prone cower – when a marine is taking blast damage

UNLD -(Repelling from a helicopter)

SWIN -(Switch in)

SWOT -(Switch out)

STTW -(Stand to walk)

Dead marine states used in WIC

When making a MRB for a dead marine it is use full parent the skinned mesh to a null (for ex. GetY) that in the showbox has the GetY function turned on. This way if the marine dies in a slope he will not float in mid air.

State name Description

BODS -(Stand Death)

BODE -(Stand Death Explosion)

BOCD -(Crouch Death)

BOCE -(Crouch Death Explosion)

BOPD -(Prone Death)

BOPE -(Prone Death Explosion)

BOWD -(Walk Death)

BOWE -(Walk Death Explosion)

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