Animation and Rigging team are prepping assets for the Settlement Areas of the game. What we see here are majority of the NPC actions that can be found in the merchant or general settlement areas. From people walking, talking, and browsing we have to take into account all the mundane and boring actions that we take for granted in order to breathe life into our scenes and we have to make sure we think of every possible scenario given the context of our game. The biggest challenge we face on the animation team is how we can create hundreds of animations that are interchangeable. Meaning any NPC can switch from browsing a vendor’s wares to scratching his head in confusion or paying the vendor currency. It’s important that we standardize our skeletons, controls, and animation start and end points in order to make this as seamless as possible. You would never even think that one animation clip that linked to another clip was created entirely from different artists!
While animation is cranking out hundreds of possible human interaction animations rigging team is preparing their pipeline to receive a large volume of assets over the next few cycles of development. The biggest challenge rigging team faces is how to make our rigs as modular as possible to not only increase efficiency in rigging all of our assets but also creating a way to share animations between similar rigs without having to do everything from scratch. It’s a massive hill to climb for our department, but in the end it will be worth it when we get to see our environments sprawling with living, breathing, and thinking NPCs.