Legacy Reference

Types of Character Animations

You can produce three major types of animation in Lumberyard:

Cutscene Animations

Cutscenes are cinematic sequences in a game that involve no gameplay. Also known as linear or cinematic animation, cutscene animations are the easiest animation to create, as the animator controls every aspect. Camera angle, lighting, keyframes, and character pose are all fixed. You create cutscene animations with the Track View editor.

Scripted Flow Graph Animations

More complex than cutscene animations are scripted animations in which characters follow a predefined path. The quality is such that it appears to be interactive, but it is not. Characters cannot engage with, or respond to, the player.

You can create scripted animations using animation Flow Graph nodes and can also include AI nodes for more complicated animations. An example would be a character who changes his walking gait over uneven or hilly terrain, or to avoid a vehicle that is in the line of the walking path.

You can use Flow Graph to start and stop animations, trigger animations based on time, synchronize two animations, and coordinate multiple animations based on various parameters.

Interactive Animations

The most complex character animation to create are fully interactive, nonlinear animations where characters respond automatically to their environment, other characters, player inputs, AI behaviors, and other in-game variables. It is common to have a character perform multiple movements and tasks simultaneously, displaying different emotions, and respond differently to different events.

In such an environment, character movements and actions are unpredictable. A crucial feature of interactive animation involves the automatic synthesis of high quality character motions and good AI rules for behavior based on a variety of different game events, all while keeping performance high and asset count as low as possible.

Interactive animations fall into two categories: player controlled and AI controlled.

In player-controlled animations, the player determines the movement and all other actions of the character; the animation system takes the player input and translates it on the fly to skeleton movements using procedural and data-driven methods. For player control, high responsiveness is a key feature.

In AI-controlled animations, the AI system controls the movement and actions of the character. All motion and behaviors are dictated based on a series of rules and parameters that defines a character's actions in response to in-game events. These actions are not fully predictable as there are an almost unlimited number of different game permutation possibilities.

To help you achieve high quality interactive character animations, Lumberyard provides the following tools:

  • Geppetto – Lower level system that manages short animation clips, poses, procedural and parameterized movements, transitions, and layers. For more information, see Using Geppetto.

  • Mannequin Editor – High-level system that manages animation variations, transitions, sequences, blends, layers, and procedural logic. For more information, see Using Mannequin Editor.