Monday, February 20, 2017

Ryan Badurina PPJ: 2/14 - 2/21

This week, after 2-3 weeks, I "finally" imported the various assets and tools into UE4.  The buildings you saw posted over the past 2 weeks finally have the modular texture I created.  This is what it looks like in-engine.


The texture was designed to so it wouldn't make the buildings prominent in the environment, as they are mostly set-pieces meant to help define the background of the arena.  The player is not meant to see them in detail, especially with the glass arena.

I also finally started work on rigging and animating the Whip Tool.  This took around the same amount of time to rig and animate as the Ionizer, if longer, due to the way the prongs work.

The divided pieces of the mesh that I would focus on animating.


The skeleton of the whip tool.  Paint weighting this took a bit longer because of the way the prongs move alongside the wires connected alongside it.


While I am not able to show animations currently on my PPJs, I can show you clips of the animations to show how we are envisioning the look and feel of the tool.


Outside of one animation for the whip tool that still needs some work, the rest of the clips are, for the most part, done.  I want to finish the animations before I properly put them into the engine.

Now, importing the building models was easy, as well as applying the material to them.  It was importing the animations that led to some problems that I needed to look at.  UE4 doesn't have a build in Animation Clip Editor, so I had to divide the animation clips separately within Maya and then import them all with the same skeleton as the Skeletal Mesh (Tool Mesh and Tool Skeleton).  Good news is, Maya has a build-in game-exporter for Animation Clips, so I divided the animations into separate FBX files, imported them, and made sure they worked.  Good results.


The red lines on the middle and bottom timelines is the frame tick that the animation is on.  While I am unable to show actual GIF animations, I can show you the progress and that everything is working.  With this knowledge, I hope to import the Whip Tool and Animations much more easily in the future.


Time:
  -Weekday Meeting(s): 1 Hour
  -Weekend Development Session: 6 Hours
  -Building Material:  1 Hours
  -Whip / Main Tool Rig:  2 Hour
  -Whip / Main Tool Animations:  6 Hours
  -Asset Importing to Unreal: 3 Hours
Total Time: 19 Hours

Pros:
  -Finally imported most of the assets from previous weeks into UE4.
  -Animations for the Whip Tool are, for the most part outside of some refinement for the ChargeHold animation sequence, are complete.

Cons:
  -Importing animations into Unreal is a little finnicky.  Unlike Unity which allows the user to divide a whole file into separate animation clips, UE4 doesn't have that ability, so I need to divide the clips separately in Maya.  That kind of set me back a little as I tried to work around it and prepare for creating the animation states inside UE4.

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