Enormous breakthrough: I made a tree

So, I think we finally settled on using Unity to make our game. After googling a lot, and talking to a couple of game-developers in Norway (who all use Unity) it seemed like the logical choice.

I downloaded it today. I have never worked in a game engine before, and didn´t quite know what to expect. It´s a 3D game engine, so I expected a lot of trouble. 3D is a completely unexplored territory for me. Our game is going to be a 2D platformer, but apparently you can still make it in Unity. You just have to make it “flat” 3D in a way. I´ll probably know more about this soon.

My initial reaction after opening the program, and watching a tutorial that was far over my head, was something like this:

compute1

Seriously… I didn´t even understand how to move the camera.

But then I found this awesome tutorial on how to make a tree. And I made one. Just look at it. It has branches and leaves and everything!

Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 9.09.07 PM

I think this small achievement might have gone to my head.

smile evilsmile MASTER

So… as you can tell, I am incredibly optimistic at the moment. Maybe I´ll  try to make something that is actually relevant for our game tomorrow. Or maybe I´ll make more trees.

 

IT´S ALIVE!!!

Apart from making super-simple flash ads through my job as a Graphic Designer, I have pretty much never animated a thing before. We had a couple of lessons when I went to the art academy, but nothing advanced. So… I´m expecting a pretty steep learning curve. I will make all the graphic material for our game, which involves a lot of moving objects.

After playing around in Adobe after effects for a little while now, I have come to realize that I not only have to learn how to animate, but I will also have to do some serious research on how different things move. For example: I tried to make a crate fall from the sky (because sometimes crates do that.) Sounds pretty simple. But then I had to figure out how fast it should fall, how hard it should hit the ground, the impact sending the crate back up again, and how fast it then would fall back down again. The game engine we choose will probably do a lot of this work for us, but it´s still practical for me to know how it works.

For now I´m using Adobe After Effects. I don´t know if that´s the best way to go around animating for games, but it´s a program I´m fairly familiar with. After animating your clip, it also allows you to export your movie into an png-sequence. Then you get all of the still-frames in separate image files. I can use this later to make sprites for the game.

I could of course hand-draw each frame to get a more dynamic look to it, but since Edgar is a robot made out of solid pieces connected with joints, I get a more realistic robot-animation by just moving and turning his joints as they are.

Anyhow: Edgar is alive! Look at him go! The animations need some polishing, and I have to work a bit with the timing of things. Like how fast the wheel is gonna turn, and how his joints will move. Still… I´m just happy to see him moving!

And: If anybody has any advice on how to make good sprite-sheets, and what kind of tools to use. Let me know!

gif_edgar2

My first animation of Edgar walking. I´m not too happy with this one. It´s not smooth enough, and he doesn´t move fast enough. But it´s kinda funny though.

segway2

So I want Edgar to be able to move pretty fast. It makes sense that he would, since he has a wheel. In this animation I have tried to make him move like a Segway. I got to work a bit on how the joints fit together.

blunke

Yes. He´s looking at you.

 

This was the first animation I ever made of Edgar. It´s a rough test to see how he will function in an environment with different elements. I used the puppet-tool in After effects, which is stretching him like he´s made of rubber. The examples above, where I don´t stretch the joints, works better. The sound effects are hilarious! Just free samples I grabbed from looperman. And the jumping-animation is way off. He needs more power in his jump to go that high.