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Animated Characters With The Mecanim in Unity 3D

That engine contains a convenient complex part (sometimes it’s named ‘Mecanim’) that performs animation process without use of the other kinds of software. Unity animates the objects of a project with such abilities:

  • Convenient settings for all elements, including objects, characters, environments UI even!
  • Forming clips and transporting them inside Unity.
  • Unified use of human-like toolset presets.
  • Tool management with visibility.
  • Animate single parts in the frame of the whole project.

Animated clips are a key part of the Unity’s kit suitable for animation. User’s an ability to import them from external ways, or edit&create inside Unity itself. There you can animate:

  • Position, rotation and scale of GameObjects
  • Component features
  • Call custom component functions

Taking to note the convenience of users to know properly how to animate in Unity, windows with separate functions are integrated into the built-in Unity editor.

The View window makes it possible to create and make modifications in the animated videos right inside the engine. It is designed to work as a powerful and direct alternative to external 3D programs. The editor also allows you to animate the diversity of materials or components (Unity animated textures f.e.) and expand your projects using special Events features, functions that are called at certain points in time during the clip runtime.

The window named ‘Animator’ allows you to create, watch over, and modify the Animator Controller. It consists of two sections:

  • The section for editing states interactions, animating sprites in Unity.
  • The window for editing layers and parameters – Unity animated shader and its prepositions f.e.

The State Machine’s goal is the participation of objects and heroes in any usual type of action at any time planned by the developer. Action’s number and diversity depend on the scenario and the kind of game the creator has to follow, typically that’s staying still, walking, jumping, sitting etc. They are so-called states, in order to fix a state where a character goes and from what state he goes. The character will be limited to the following state, in which he will be able to go instead of going at the right moment from any state to the right state.

Blend Tree is used to mix at least two different animated models precisely combining them. The value that each motion puts into the result is under control of that option constantly being in touch with the Controller. Having goal to form a mixed movement to appear meaningful, the actions to be mixed must be approximately equal in length and in their nature. That kind of options in the Unreal engine is a specific kind of process in the window of State Machine. Making an example of such movements are walking and jogging performing. If you need the blending to work normally, movements in the clips must occur at the same place with normalized time. For example, standard moving animations such as steps, jogging or jumping can be tied at the moment of contact of the legs with the floor, they remain in place with ordered time. Because normalized time is in use, the duration itself does not matter.

The fundamental step in an animation creation is a correspondence between the simplified structure of humanoid bones understood by Mecanim and the real structure of skeletal bones.

It is also worth remembering, no matter what software you use for modeling, Unity just needs to consider compatibility with the direct engine – itself.

Specific of A Modeling for Unity

There are several principles that the developer needs to follow in order for his modeling object to be well-suited to be animated in the Unity project:

  • Follow a reasonable topology. The concept of the “reasonable” structure of your mesh is quite subtle, but in general, you should remember how the vertices and triangles will be distorted during the animation.
  • Do not forget to try importing the model and matching its size with the “metric cube” (the length of one side of the standard Unity primitive “cube” is one conditional unit, so this primitive can be considered as a one-meter cube in most cases).
  • Position the mesh to put the feet of the model is in the centre of rotation.
  • If possible, model in T-pose. This will provide additional room for manoeuver when working on hard-to-reach places (for example, armpits).
  • Keep the model in order. Do not leave holes in the surface, merge the vertices and get rid of hidden surfaces that will never be visible. This will help with skinning, especially if skinning is automated.

To animate a character in Unity you have to learn a lot. And the practice is necessary! Despite the integrated soft is very intuitive and gives lots of tips to its user, there are lots of specific features you need to know while creating a character and while integrating it into the Unity space. First of all, that’s the soft choice between the internal Unity means or some graphical editor such as Blender or Maya. Then – that’s the choice between the types of animation you need and then – the choice of the main means you need to perform it into reality. So, the process of animation via Unity can be performed with various variants but for the beginners, it’s more suitable to start with the integrated toolset to understand the capability of the engine.

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