Legacy Reference

Animating Characters

Skeleton-based animation is the most flexible animation technique used today, and includes playback and blending of animation data as well as IK-based poses. Procedural algorithms like CCD-IK, analytic IK, example-based IK, or physical simulations are all used to augment pre-authored animations. To provide realism when combining artificial and captured animations, a warping technique preserves the style and content of the base motion.

However, skeleton-based animation is not the ideal solution for animating muscles and tendons of the human body or face. Although it is possible to use skeleton-based animation for this, the number of joints involved is high and animation setup is difficult.

Generally, the combination of morph-based animation along with skeletal-based animation provides the greatest flexibility. The number of vertices that change in each morph target is very limited and the targets can be clearly defined. Morph targets are ideal for creating facial animations. Morph-based animation can even be used to generate entire animation sequences.

At the highest level, you can use Flow Graph, Lua scripts, or C++ code to request character animations. These methods invoke the Mannequin system, which in turn invokes the core Lumberyard animation system for animation clips, animation events, and procedural clips. Procedural clips can include IK, ragdoll, sounds, particle effects, and game logic.

Geppetto is a tool used to add character attachments, preview animations, and test blending features. It provides a visual interface to the underlying animation system.

You can add character .cdf and geometry .cgf assets to the cinematic cutscene animations in the Track View editor.