Unity 4 Character Animation with Mecanim


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Unity 4 Character Animation with Mecanim
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Overview
Table of Contents
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Sample Chapters
  • Create and export models and animation sequences to Unity from 3ds Max, Maya and Blender
  • Prepare character models and animation for games using Mecanim’s rigging tools
  • Retarget, adjust, and mix and match motion capture and other animation data
  • Write and edit scripts compatible with Mecanim Animation Controllers

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 260 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : June 2014
ISBN : 1849696365
ISBN 13 : 9781849696364
Author(s) : Jamie Dean
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Game Development
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What you will learn from this book

  • Learn how to prepare a rigged character model to receive animation within Unity
  • Acquire efficient techniques to refine and optimize motion capture data
  • Retarget animation sequences between different character rigs
  • Discover how to rig a humanoid character and export for use in Unity
  • Script character interaction for a First Person character model
  • Create dynamic animation sequences from scratch using keyframe techniques, in a variety of 3D software packages
  • Learn Project Management in Unity
  • Understand how to set up a complex facial rig for speech
  • Set up Animation Controllers with masked states and blend trees to create seamless and additive animation transitions
  • Construct a ragdoll game object and instantiate it in a game
  • Devise Mecanim animation integration for the player and AI driven animation for enemy characters

In Detail

Game animation for independent developers has taken a giant leap forward with Unity's Mecanim toolset, which streamlines the import/export, retargeting, and many other aspects of the character animation workflow. Mecanim is a boon for animators new to Unity and Game Development in general, as well as developing 3D artists ready to bring their own characters to life in a realtime environment.

"Unity 4 Character Animation with Mecanim" is a great primer for getting to know the nuts and bolts of Mecanim and other character animation related tools in Unity. It offers you step-by-step instructions for preparing and exporting rigged models and animation sequences from commonly used 3D packages, such as Maya, 3ds Max and Blender.

This book explores the new set of animation tools introduced with Mecanim in Unity 4, to replace the older animation component based system in Unity which relied heavily on scripting to determine animation sequencing. Approaching its subject matter through a typical genre–a zombie action game, character animation techniques are explored using real examples of player input and interaction, enemy behavior, and other aspects of game dynamics. As the book progresses, the reader will understand how these elements fit together in a small game development workflow.

We will begin with a demonstration of the process of getting a rigged character into Unity and setting it up to use provided animation sequences. We will also consider a few industry standard 3D packages and how these can be used to rig a humanoid character for use in Unity. Next, we use the first person player model to demonstrate basic environmental interaction via the animator controller and JavaScript. Following this, we look at motion capture data and how this can be adjusted for direct use in Unity. We demonstrate the retargeting capabilities of Mecanim’s Humanoid Animation type by adjusting motion sequences to fit disparate character types in our game. Then, we will deal with advanced facial animation, demonstrating the creation of custom rigs and how these can be implemented successfully within Unity. Returning to the player model, we'll delve a little deeper into the functionality of the Animator Controller and show its potential to blend between animation sequences with player input and environmental factors.

After this, we will look at Ragdoll physics and the implementation of this commonly used technique in a Mecanim workflow. The book culminates with a thorough dissection of the enemy character AI script incorporating the Mecanim elements detailed in the previous chapters.

"Unity 4 Character Animation with Mecanim" will provide you with a detailed exploration of the interaction between game development and character animation, and will broaden your understanding of the rich animation toolset within Unity.

Approach

A comprehensive guide, featuring step- by- step practical tutorials using sample assets, showing you how to build fully controllable characters and non-player characters/enemies.

Who this book is for

If you are a Unity developer looking to get to grips with the character animation specific tools, a 3D software user who is new to Unity, or a beginner game developer who is interested in character animation and interaction, this book is ideal for you. Some experience with either the Unity interface or basic 3D coordinates is recommended, but not required.

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