For my specialisation I chose character animation because of one distinct reason, which is I’m not good at it and I take that as a challenge that I need to overcome. So for my specialisation assignment I hoped to improve upon this and add it into a working game engine with controls. I feel like this came off pretty well. It wasn’t quite how I envisioned it but it was closer to what I wanted compared to most things I’ve done in the past. As you read through my postmortem you will find the in and outs of my specialisation and I hope you learn from my many failings.
What went wrong
Learning Blueprints was rough.
Learning Blueprints started with the Unreal tutorial for making a third person game. This was an excellent series for creating the game however straying from this was quite difficult. This resulted in forum diving but alas to my misfortune it only made my understanding of other issues better such as variables, locomotions and a lot of character blueprints.
Unfortunately after the run in with my arch enemy “cast to” I suffered from a lot of schedule slippage. This took a very long cut out of the animation stage and brought everything to a grinding halt. Given more time I would have liked to go back and fine polish all of the animations that went into engine. Some had to be cut because they weren’t at a point I deemed game ready. More issues that transpired was one of the legs lagging as well as the walk being a little too fast. In hindsight the walk could have probable been solved through tweaking the blend spaces variables.
What went right
I was overall happy with my problem shooting and how I was able to add extra things that wen’t in the tutorial. An example of this can be seen in my state machine shown in reference 2. The original tutorial only pitched 4 of these states which were limited to “Idle_Walk_Run”, “Jump up”, “Jump falling” and “Jump land”. Dispite only adding 4 more states I had to also go through and create the rulings that allow these states to pass through each other.
The most satisfying part of this project came from finding out how to make a jump anticipation. Although this is the least visually appealing it was the hardest problem I faced. Like most things difficult however there was an easy and simple solution that I was overlooking. When using variables from Character blueprint to the Animation blueprint you need to “cast” it. With my limited knowledge I had then I scoured forums to no avail. During this embarrassingly long interval of not understanding why my character wouldn’t crouch I managed to grasp a better understanding of most of the other things going on. Reference one shows the now working Animation blueprints. Where the arrows are located is where all my problems rested. Every Forum I visited had this set to “Cast to Mycharacter” which unfortunately didn’t click to me that the reason it never showed up as an option was because my character blueprint was named something else.
It was hard to pin this as a success because of how much scope slippage this assignment generated, but I feel like it’s better to celebrate our raid boss’.
One of the most relaxing parts of this assignment was creating the sandbox in which to test and demonstrate my animation in engine. This is something that I plan to continue to complete during my downtime to help better the results of projects to come.
Winding Down and reflecting
To summarise, I am overall happy with the way that this project has developed, it may not be the smoothest but I can definitely say that it signifies that problem solving and body of work are headed in the right decision. However there are still some things I would like to work on maybe in upcoming work involving game animation and blueprints. In future projects I hope to try and up my understanding of Character rigs so that I may better import characters and character animation into unreal engine as I feel that this is the way in which I am leaning for my “final project”.