Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Shots Fired

I need to animate dwarves and orcs shooting in multiple directions.

Let's start with south. First, I draw the crossbow loaded and ready to fire.
Next I draw it post-firing:
Next I draw it raised as we load a new arrow.
Problem is, this animation is terrible!
Technically good enough for the target, site, but the purpose of this internship is to impress industry insiders, thus make contacts, thus make money, thus fund my own game dev projects.

Problem: I don't have enough time to animate all the inbetween frames.

Solution: Smears to the rescue!

First, we draw the bow firing:
Next, we draw the bow being raised from the empty position to the raised position.

Next, we draw the bow being lowered to threaten foes once more:

None of those pictures look good. They don't have to. They aren't going to be visible for more than a tiny fraction of a second. Their goal is to convince the viewer that the animation is way smoother than it actually is.

I think they succeeded, don't you?
One direction down, four more to go.


  1. I think the animation succeeds.

    I'm a little confused about there being 4 more directions to animate, though. Doesn't the game have 8 movement directions?

    Using mirroring/rotation can cut the needed animations in half ... but that makes for 4, not 5.

    What am I missing?

    1. North and South don't get mirrored.

      We get to re-use Northwest, West, and Southwest.

      Thus, eight directions become five.

      Similarly, if we were doing four directions, I could only mirror the East/West axis, necessitating 3 sets of animations total.

  2. Yep, the second one looks smoother. Good job!

    I love the world of workarounds!

  3. Replies
    1. If by brilliant you mean brilliant theft of ideas, I agree.

      2D animation has been around for decades now. If there's a workaround, someone else already invented it, and a third party perfected it... and a fourth party abused it beyond recognition to save a few frames in a video game.

      The old 2D fighting games by Capcom are the grand master of abuse of smears in video games.

  4. Nice looking results! It still amazes me how much "cheating" at drawing and art actually comes out looking great. Gotta get over the idea of perfection in favor of perfectly functional.