Monday, 7 April 2008

Walk this way

Johnnie: Even though I work in the same room as most of the rest of the Moviestorm team, I'm constantly surprised by the new and exciting things that seem to pop up out of nowhere every so often. For example: Mark, our resident fastidious genius, has been sitting quietly in a corner for the past week or so, occasionally swearing loudly and cursing all computers. I didn't give it a moment's thought - that's par-for-the-course for Mark - but then I happened to glance at his monitor and I saw this:


video

If you're having trouble viewing this movie, you can download it from the Moviestorm servers instead.

That's right. Mark has quietly revolutionised the way that you move your characters around the set. You can now just pick up a character and drag them somewhere, and Moviestorm will automatically add a walkpath. What's more, you can drag them somewhere else halfway through the walk, and Moviestorm will adapt the walk to smoothly transition between the three points. You can do that as many times as you like. Moviestorm simply keeps a record of the walk-path curve (you can see it on the ground in the video) and adapts it as needed. No more messing around with keyframes or walk speeds or ugly stop-start turning. Now, it just works. Good, ain't it?

Before you all ask, no we don't have a release date for this yet. Sorry. It will make it into a forth-coming update though, and I don't expect it to be too far away. Patience, Grasshopper.

10 comments:

Hugh said...

Goddamn, that man fucking rocks. As I have mentioned to him once or twice.

mrjoyce said...

This is a fantastic development. It makes the process so much more organic and computer oriented. Congrats!

Pineapple Pictures said...

woooooooooo!

AngriBuddhist said...

Mark! Mark! Mark! Mark!

Spong3y said...

This sort of reminds me of "pathing" in Antics 3D. I'm glad to see it made its way to Moviestorm.

The loud swearing could have come from the slow frame rate the computers are suffering, judging from the video.

Scott said...

Well that would kick Antics3D's ass I think. Nice work!

Overman said...

When I watched him do that first drag on the middle of the path into a curve, I giggled out loud like a little girl.

Holy cow.

Can I redact my shadows comment to Second Best Fix Ever? Wow.

Indoda said...

Amazing - can't wait for that feature to make it to us - I need it like yesterday man! Great job Mark

Dave said...

Just a quick follow up to this: we're making great progress on integrating the new way of controlling walks. Just a few wrinkles remain with route planning through doors to deal with.

It may interest you to know that Mark Watt was previously the original Founder and Technical Director of Antics before he joined us. Mark has already done a great job of improving my original old clunky walk paths and this new feature is really exciting. It is actually quite revolutionary as tools like MotionBuilder, Blender, Antics et al generally ask you to manipulate the splines directly but I don't like that myself - it doesn't really fit with the Machinima approach to movie making. So Mark has come up with a brand new way to manipulate the characters themselves and hide the splines from most users - it feels more like an RTS than an animation tool as a result.

La chienne said...

8 months late, but I'm excited about this too!