B Other Combat Animation Enhancement - Fifth Release with Trailer 15/11/10

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Merlkir

Papa, could you also add additional blocking for left and right? (the animation used to be picked at random iirc if you had more than one)

You have a block point down for the left and point up for the right, there could be reverse ones for both. (ie - left block point up and right block point down - I like the point down ones especially, because they more like deflect the sword down and let you attack immediately.)
 
Thanks, Kovas!

Night Ninja said:
I was thinking more of a 'pflug'-esque position that thrusts into langort. The high thrust is suboptimal for range. :razz:
I think I'll keep the high ready position for now, and experiment with a low ready position when I animate one-handed spears. If it blends well and is readable (not hopeful on either count) I might change the sword thrusts to start low.

This thrust was supposed to have the arm fully extended with the hand in line with the shoulder (a position similar to langort I suppose), but it didn't quite come through. Like I said before, I'll probably have the hand drop into the shoulder line earlier in the movement, and make sure the arm really gets fully straight in the next draft.

EDIT: Also, new blocks look great, they look a lot like sabre guards. I especially like the left block, resembles a hanging guard. :grin:
Thanks! I hope that doesn't make them anachronistic  :razz:

Other issues here are the skill-level and, as I mentioned before, equipment of different characters. Arguably a river pirate with a falchion shouldn't use the same blocks as a Swadian knight with an arming sword or Nord huscarl with a one-handed axe. (And arguably none of them should use techniques that I half plagiarised and half made up, but we won't go into that.)

EDIT 2: Would it be possible to animate a beat to the sword for the low block?
Possibly. I was hoping for something similar to a beat (if I understand the term) for a later draft of the low block (and possibly the other blocks as well for that matter). The idea was that the weapon would lie in wait, and then move up and across to deflect the thrust when it made contact. The game has animations that play when the block is struck (mostly the blocking weapon gives slightly), so the hope is that I can replace those with something like a beat, when it comes to the thrust attack. Good chance it will look terrible of course, but we'll see.

Merlkir said:
Papa, could you also add additional blocking for left and right? (the animation used to be picked at random iirc if you had more than one)
I think so, yes. I've had randomly selected animations working in the original M&B anyway. Normally I'm against random animations, unless the differences are small, since I like to have direct control over what the character does, but I think for blocks it might be a good thing. The block positions are very quick to make and implement, so I'll probably make point-up and point-down versions (and point-left/-right for upward blocks) wherever they seem to make sense, and see how I feel about them.


Which reminds me - I hope to get feedback from some kind of beta-like process in the future. That way I can hear other opinions on things like randomised animations, readability of attacks and general aesthetics, as well as having more eyes to spot problems with the mesh or with blending. There's only so much you can tell from stills and videos after all.

I'm (supposed to be) a bit busy at the moment, but I hope to have another attack animation done in the next few days. If not, should have one out by next Tuesday or so.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions, everyone!
 

Outlawed

Sergeant Knight
WB
Absolutely gorgeous, this.
I can't endorse it more!

Now for some CC =p

The everything overhand idea is quite a breakthrough I must say. It makes things look so much smoother and more realistic.
I think the thrust animation however needs to be lowered a bit to match the shoulder, it doesn't make much sense I think for the fighter to try and bring the thrust 'down' on their opponent unless said opponent has a shield. Which is sometimes the case in Warband.

The blocks:
I think the blocks look rather nice, but I also think they might require parry animations after the block is made. If someone can have a mace in that left block position, block a two-handed long axe swing and keep the hand there I would be impressed =p, but since this is Warband and things much more ridiculous occur, I guess its fine, just an idea.
 
Yep, I'm planning to make most of those changes. Thanks for the support!


New One-handed Cut from the Left

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsMKhIZSKNI

I think it's my best so far, but I might add a frame or two at the end to improve the blending (though I think it actually looks smoother in-game than in the video). Blending from the other cut will improve when I do another draft of that one. I was pretty happy with the angle and height of the cut in this one, especially the fact that the weapon is actually aligned properly this time =P

Next up is another draft of the one-handed cut from the right, or maybe some two-handed blocks.
 

xenoargh

Grandmaster Knight
Wrist motion feels a little floppy, and the follow-through feels un-natural- I'd add a couple of frames to that section to slow the velocity of the arm.  I like how it would operate above the shield, though.
 

ares007

Master Knight
M&BWB
Looking good!

Though I must say that I would personally prefer that blocks use the flat of the blade instead of the edge.
 
I've just finished yet another draft of the one-handed cut from the right, which will appear in a future post. This might actually be the last time I have to reanimate this move!

xenoargh said:
Wrist motion feels a little floppy, and the follow-through feels un-natural- I'd add a couple of frames to that section to slow the velocity of the arm.  I like how it would operate above the shield, though.
On closer inspection, I agree. I think I'll reanimate the last few frames so that the wrist looks a bit nicer, and so that it ends closer to the ready positions (that'll slow the blending when I repeat the attack).

ares007 said:
Though I must say that I would personally prefer that blocks use the flat of the blade instead of the edge.
I generally lean towards using the flat, but for the one-handers I ended up using the edge. Mostly because I couldn't figure out how to use the flat without my wrist feeling weak. Should the knuckles face towards or away from the opponent when receiving on the flat?
 

Aeon

Squire
About "forward-focused / shallow angle" (cut) point.
I think it could be interesting to allow and set aside wider arc/angle for 2-hands weapon (and yet credible because of mass inertia weapon).
Global gameplay will be more diversified through weapons behaviours  :grin: ...not anymore only about range/speed/damage.


PS : I don't know much about module system, but I wonder if it would be possible to add & attach foley sound to a performed pose or frame ? (not the full motion, just if you only hold an attack without releasing the button).
 

Merlkir

Papa Lazarou said:
ares007 said:
Though I must say that I would personally prefer that blocks use the flat of the blade instead of the edge.
I generally lean towards using the flat, but for the one-handers I ended up using the edge. Mostly because I couldn't figure out how to use the flat without my wrist feeling weak. Should the knuckles face towards or away from the opponent when receiving on the flat?

Towards the opponent I would say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtNZQBc4RpE

(notice though that he lets the sword rotate in his grip a little, so he mostly faces the force with the handle in palm.)
 
Eh, to be fair, this is a bloody contentious issue that has equally ardent proponents for both sides. Your sword is a lot stronger in the plane of the edge, but it also takes less to damage it.

Papa Lazarou said:
I generally lean towards using the flat, but for the one-handers I ended up using the edge. Mostly because I couldn't figure out how to use the flat without my wrist feeling weak. Should the knuckles face towards or away from the opponent when receiving on the flat?

This is one reason that the proponents of edge blocks cite. When you're actively parrying a strike, your edge usually strikes his flat more than his edge. Actual edge-on-edge bashing doesn't happen very often unless someone's actively trying to do it, or you do something like striking a zornhau into a mittelhau (not even sure if that's a canonical response). By the way, I reinterpreted it a tad because blocks are generally seen as horrible things to do for defense. :razz:

Also, on the animations, it seems that your character is rising on the balls of his feet and leaning forward when he strikes. Is this an artifact to increase the range of 1h weapons a tad?

Zatyr said:
Real nice work going on here! Kinda reminds me of the animations in The elder scrolls 4  :smile:

God no.
 
Thanks for the info on the flat/edge thing, guys. I think I'll leave the one-handers as they are for now, but I was planning to use the flat in the two-handed sword blocks. Given how easy it is to change, I might even (won't) release flat-parry and edge-parry versions of the mod to avoid community outrage.

Night Ninja said:
By the way, I reinterpreted it a tad because blocks are generally seen as horrible things to do for defense. :razz:
Certainly fits with my philosophy in Warband!

Also, on the animations, it seems that your character is rising on the balls of his feet and leaning forward when he strikes. Is this an artifact to increase the range of 1h weapons a tad?
I tend to be on the ball of my back foot when the strike is fully extended. As you guessed, I do that to maximise range (without animating a step - still have nightmares about the last time I tried that). I'm also trying to make the attack look forceful.

Aeon said:
About "forward-focused / shallow angle" (cut) point.
I think it could be interesting to allow and set aside wider arc/angle for 2-hands weapon (and yet credible because of mass inertia weapon).
Global gameplay will be more diversified through weapons behaviours  :grin: ...not anymore only about range/speed/damage.
I don't have specific plans for this, but it may end up happening to some extent due to the length of the polearm weapons (long axes, glaives, etc.) and their momentum. Polearm attacks will have very long reach, since I'll use a sliding left hand, and shift the grip so that the right hand is closer to the butt. That's be a while off though, since I'm doing two-handers next, and I'll have to figure out how to move the right hand grip-point (probably I'll have to fiddle with the weapon models).

PS : I don't know much about module system, but I wonder if it would be possible to add & attach foley sound to a performed pose or frame ? (not the full motion, just if you only hold an attack without releasing the button).
Well, the game has the character growl sometimes while you hold a ready position, so I guess it's possible to add sounds in the way you describe. I've no idea how to do it and am not really planning anything along those lines though.

Zatyr said:
Real nice work going on here! Kinda reminds me of the animations in The elder scrolls 4  :smile:
Thanks... I guess  :razz:  Not a big fan of their animations, but I'll assume you were referring to a particularly brilliant aspect of them!
 

Flanged

Sergeant Knight
This looks great.  I've had a really hard time getting used to the Warband animations (their ocassional "weightless" feel, and the jerkiness that seems to come from the lack of upper-body movement and follow-through to go with the direction of the blow).  These are great improvements, especially the right-handed, one-handed sideways slash.  In normal Warband that move often makes it look like your weapon has disappeared for a moment, and the enemy is taking damage from thin air.

Excellent work.  Thank you, Papa!   

Merlkir said:

"Flat of my strong!  Flat of my strong!  FLAT OF MY STRONG! FLAT OF MY STRONG!"

Great, interesting video, but somebody should do an auto-tune song version.  "Hit my flat!"
 
Another one, this time with some major edge damage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8UeKcsE3Nw

And another one with a section towards the end of this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hy_A9vjp_s
 
New One-handed Cut from Above and New One-handed Cut from the Right

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjRhDBtfDy8

The video also shows how the three cuts I've made so far blend together. The cut from the right is a newer version than I've shown previously. Like I say in the description on youtube, the stuttering you can see in the video isn't visible in-game. Having said that, I reckon the recovery movement on the right side of the body needs a few frames added to improve blending - I think the hand stops too abruptly and ends too far from the ready positions on that side.

I'm getting a lot faster at producing these now, and I might have another draft of the one-handed thrust done in a day or two.
 

Merlkir

Right, the recovery could indeed use some more frames to make it smoother.

Otherwise I'm very impressed. Of course we need to see this ingame and play with it a bit, but now I'm really looking forward to it!
 

LynX

Squire
M&BWB
The attack anims always seemed a little off to me exactly because the swings felt too slow, so kudos on your work here! :mrgreen:
Maybe you can release an anim replacement pack in the future.
 
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