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Errant AI
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Posted: 21st Apr 2017 18:24 Edited at: 21st Apr 2017 18:27
A little progress update here:

Further animation polish pass completed. Revisions for empty reload, alt-mode switching and draw anims. Awaiting some engine-side fixes before updating animations for derivative weapons. Something is irritating me about the arm model. Might see what I can do about making the forearm musculature a bit more defined and maybe tweaking the glove cuff area as well. Some of the sounds are still pretty "meh" but users will always be able to find better sfx they can use in their games beyond what I can offer.



Lee was cool enough to reach out to me after seeing the range vid. I've submitted to him a detailed list of 20-ish weapon related issues; some of which he has already tackled. I am optimistic that most if not all issues will be resolved SOON™. Several are low-hanging fruit while others will surely be a bit more involved. Regardless of when the fixes come in, it will be great to see the weapon system that much more squared away after all of these years.
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granada
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Posted: 21st Apr 2017 19:33
Quote: "Lee was cool enough to reach out to me after seeing the range vid. I've submitted to him a detailed list of 20-ish weapon related issues; some of which he has already tackled. I am optimistic that most if not all issues will be resolved SOON™. Several are low-hanging fruit while others will surely be a bit more involved. Regardless of when the fixes come in, it will be great to see the weapon system that much more squared away after all of these years."


That's great news

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Wolf
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Posted: 21st Apr 2017 22:30
Looking forward to my old friend Bugsy being insightful about this. But for me, this is perfect!!

Can't wait to see the AK remastered. I have never shot an AR15. Closest thing I ever had my paws on was the M16 of a friend of the family. (He is a collector)

I begrudgingly admit that the new hand rig adds a lot of these. You know as well as I that I've always loved your old work and still use it a ton but the hands on them have aged. The new ones really rock.

Take care!!



-Wolf
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2017 21:01 Edited at: 23rd Apr 2017 00:26
Quote: "I begrudgingly admit that the new hand rig adds a lot of these. You know as well as I that I've always loved your old work and still use it a ton but the hands on them have aged. The new ones really rock."


Yeah. I find the old ones pretty cringey, myself. The FPSC hands and animations have not aged anywhere near as well as the weapons themselves. I figure it's worth the extra time and care this time around to avoid a repeat scenario.

edit:
Forearm mesh revision... I think it's a good improvement. Still not sure what I'm going to do about the glove cuff but I'll figure something out.

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Errant AI
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Posted: 5th May 2017 10:28
Quote: "Can't wait to see the AK remastered"


Here are revised reload animations for my AKM. Still need to revise fix jam and select fire anims.



Figured I should post some sort of update since I haven't in awhile and it will probably take me another full day at least to get jam clearing how I want it. I'm a little torn on the exaggerated reach-around charging... I like it but it may be a little awkward looking. I reckon that I'll know if I hate it or not by the time I've gone through the rest of the anims.

As much as I'd rather be doing new weapons right now I figure the polish time is well spent.
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Posted: 5th May 2017 15:12
Looks cool , that's a weird looking cocking action you have going on there.i think i would go over the top of the weapon to cock it.Looks good though.

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Posted: 5th May 2017 15:43 Edited at: 5th May 2017 15:49
@Dave

The up-under is the currently preferable way to build muscle memory so that motion remains the same if optics are equipped. (reference video) Kind of a moot point on this specific weapon but from a practical standpoint it means I can add a Kobra sight or something without altering the anims. I'd also be able to use the base anim set for a relatively large variety of different rifles with similar mechanical ergonomics.

That said, the rifle would realistically stay canted to the right for ergonomics. I've exaggerating the motion to cant the weapon left purely to show more gun and maybe letting vanity get the best of me here. I'm planning to do right-handed charging (modified Iraqi reload style) for jam clearing anim. and depending on how successful I am, maybe I will substitute it on the empty reload and see how it looks or perhaps just remove the rollover aspect.

Thanks for the input! It's good to get some neutral impressions from folks as it is a bit awkward but I've gotten used to it and am somewhat biased.
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granada
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Posted: 5th May 2017 16:54
Quote: "I can add a Kobra sight or something without altering the anims. I'd also be able to use the base anim set for a relatively large variety of different rifles with similar mechanical ergonomics."


Never even thought about that side of things,I can see we're your heading with it now.

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Posted: 6th May 2017 09:09
These all look fantastic! This might be a premature question but any idea when these weapons will be ready to ship? I realise it's difficult to pin down exact timescales but roughly how far through your updating work are you?

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Posted: 6th May 2017 20:12
@Avenging Eagle

Yeah it's a bit difficult to pin down as there is much that is out of my control. I'm hoping for Q3 of this year but it's not set in stone. In general, I want the shipped product to look good and be usable for years to come. I'd rather not release assets that need maintenance updates to follow engine changes or weapon system bug fixes. The community voting board was just reset and once again, I've slid all of my points into rendering system overhaul. I figure that's the most foundational option that till pave the way for other improvements people want to see and also help cement asset requirements as far as texturing goes. Ideally I will ship with PBR textures but it may prove to be a jankey process without the right tools at my disposal.

As far as my overall progress goes, these animation revisions are sort of a maintenance step. Although I get satisfaction in the end, the process is grueling donkey work for me as I step through everything done so far and homogenize quality before moving on to new weapons. Behind the scenes, I'm also integrating animation solutions which may or may not be useful in resolving some of the engine issues. Alas, I am not a renowned psychic and can't be sure of where my anticipation will get me. Once I've wrapped up animation passes I will still have 3 or 4 weapons to do (filling class gaps) before I make my initial offering. For those that are super eager, I've contemplated doing some sort of early access thing but it may be more hassle than I am prepared for.

---

On a side note, I'm about 2/3 through the first iteration of my new AK fixjam animation. I think it is turning out alright. I've been recording incremental video clips along the way primarily as part of my workflow bud tentatively so that I can put together a short vid showing how I put together my anims, for those who may be interested.
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granada
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Posted: 6th May 2017 21:32
Quote: "I've been recording incremental video clips along the way primarily as part of my workflow bud tentatively so that I can put together a short vid showing how I put together my anims, for those who may be interested."


I for one would find that very interesting.

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Posted: 7th May 2017 18:10
The AK animations are really splendid! Great job!
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Posted: 9th May 2017 01:26 Edited at: 9th May 2017 09:59
First pass at animation for "fixjam" condition....



After a short-stroke failure to feed, player character manually charges weapon and then press checks to ensure a round has been chambered and then gives it a bump to fully seat into battery. I may adapt a less fiddly (no press-check) version of this animation as an alternate to the reach-around charging on the empty reload.

I ran into a pretty serious problem with this animation. My default method of switching an object between hands by cloning keyframe positions from hidden dummy objects wasn't giving good results. The rifle would appear to vibrate, especially at above v-sync framerates. Solution was to convert to using linking constraints but that pretty much broke my rig and much troubleshooting ensued. It also introduced what I can only guess is some kind of number rounding error when scaling the weapon (used as an optical trick when aiming down sights). This error could not be countered, try as I might. Things would look just fine in Max but in-engine, the sights were impossible to get lined up correctly. So, after much deliberation, I removed the scaling trick and tweaked position as good as I could. The end result is that the irons are not so easy to discern when aiming (they were already not great.. because AK). I plan to try re-rigging with discrete PRS controllers and see if it makes a difference vs. using the linking controller.

edit: CRISIS AVERTED! Got my scaling working properly now and carried over an interim tweak to enlarge the rear sight notch by 150% for a clearer sight picture.

Special thanks to Pirate Myke for proving that constraint controllers will stay intact when exported to GG via .X file!
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Posted: 9th May 2017 03:09
Now that's what I'm talking about!! it looks like a way better animationset than the first time around. absolutely fantastic work.
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Posted: 9th May 2017 06:06
Thanks and yeah, I agree. I keep in-game backups of the pre-revision versions shown in the big vid and find some of the improvements a bit shocking.

I've modified my workflow in a pretty critical way. I now record each sub-pass and let it loop in VLC on my 2nd monitor while I continue to work or am chillin' watching streams, eating, or whatever. After so many viewing repetitions, it helps me to isolate little annoying bits to improve and with pacing, etc. Basically I am artificially accelerating my own cringe factor (which usually sets in within an hour from when I post any video on the forums lol).


On a side note, I'm looking for a video editing solution. I need something where I can put clips together, drop in text and do basic wipes/transitions as well as lay in a separate audio track. Most importantly, I need to be able to load in .avi and .mp4 and export as .mp4 at 1080p. It also needs to be free and without watermark. In the class days, I used ye olde Windows Movie Maker but I don't like the newer iterations of it so much and it has problems decoding my raw capture. I've found some other nice free editing software but it could only export at 720p. If anyone has a suggestion, please let me know!
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Posted: 9th May 2017 14:17 Edited at: 9th May 2017 14:18
I like both weapons animations a lot, especially the realoading.

I am not much of a shooter player so maybe its already common, but personally your relaoding animation is the first that gave me the feeling I am actually pulling out the magazine from some pocket instead of thin air.
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Posted: 9th May 2017 14:59
Very nice. Glad to have provided useful information.
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Posted: 9th May 2017 20:30
Quote: "I've modified my workflow in a pretty critical way. I now record each sub-pass and let it loop in VLC on my 2nd monitor while I continue to work or am chillin' watching streams, eating, or whatever. After so many viewing repetitions, it helps me to isolate little annoying bits to improve and with pacing, etc. Basically I am artificially accelerating my own cringe factor"


really really good idea. I always watch my animations at least 20 or 30 times per stopping point. If anything, it takes more time that way since I have to stop animating to see if I like it. It's high time I just got a second monitor and kept my render playing while I work. once again: good idea.
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Posted: 9th May 2017 21:17 Edited at: 9th May 2017 21:17
Quote: "I am not much of a shooter player so maybe its already common, but personally your relaoding animation is the first that gave me the feeling I am actually pulling out the magazine from some pocket instead of thin air."

Some do it better than others but I know what you mean. I may tone it down a bit on the AR animations. It's a little too extreme and I'm starting to find it a little distracting after many repetitions. I think the AK mag retrievals are a decent happy medium.

Quote: "Very nice. Glad to have provided useful information."

I've just about wrapped up converting the magazines to use constraints as well. This will definitely make animations a lot quicker and simpler to do. Ultimately, I think it will lead to better animations overall as I have more freedom to juggle props. I wasn't feeling totally burdened by my old methods but the time does add up and I realize now I was just being lazy.

Quote: " It's high time I just got a second monitor and kept my render playing while I work. "

You won't regret it. I was super bummed when mine died last year but was able to pick up an old Dell 1280x1024 from Salvation Army for around $13 and it's been working like a champ. Nothing I would use for texturing or work but it gets the job done. At this point considering picking up a 3rd.
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Posted: 10th May 2017 01:17
@Errant, Have a look at HitFilm Express for video editing: https://hitfilm.com/express

I've seen it compared to After Effects but is much more simplified in the interface (you can use it right away without needing an instruction manual). I just checked and it will import AVI and MP4 files and can export everything in full HD.

Since it's the free version there are limitations, but it's more of not including their effects plugins (there's about a dozen transitions included).
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Posted: 10th May 2017 04:03
@geistschatten

Thankyou so much! I think HitFilm will be perfect for me. Was able to jump right in and do a quick and dirty composite. Will need to watch some tutorials or something to get more in depth with it.

Many thanks

Quote: "I for one would find that very interesting."


Just a teaser...

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Posted: 10th May 2017 07:19
Glad to be of help! I only heard about it myself like a week ago, surprised such good software flew under the radar for so long. Not to go too far off topic but transitions are just under effects, and you drag and drop between the clips.

Animations are coming along great! Glad to see you've started up weapon forging again
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Posted: 10th May 2017 12:42
Great ,i will be keeping up with this.

Dave
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Posted: 14th May 2017 23:50 Edited at: 14th May 2017 23:51
Full anim revision pass for AKM...



Ended up totally rejiggering the animation timeline, making numerous tweaks, and re-rigging a bunch of bits but it's much more animator-friendly now. Includes new empty reload (a newer version of the previously shown one has been preserved but is not used by default). Reload animations, as shown, are running at 110% speed and can be increased up to 120% without looking too goofy. I've added alternate firing animations for randomization but they are subtle. Mostly only noticeable in semi-auto hip-fire. Random animals are not currently supported when aiming but have been added. Also shows optional equip charging animation. Some of the sound timing keys are slightly off. Wasn't really noticed until after I converted to .mp4.
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Posted: 15th May 2017 00:00
Look very nice,smooth animations and nice mag changes .

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Posted: 16th May 2017 21:31
Thanks!

Going forward, I think I can consider that to be the general level of quality to expect from myself, as far as animations go. Since posting that video, I've made a couple small tweaks such as cleaning up a slight jerk at the beginning of the tactical reload and fixing some gunspec settings so that aiming views are now framed the same for semi and full auto firing modes. I've also fixed the audio syncing. I won't bother uploading a video for those minor changes.

Instead...

Let's see something completely different!

Model 29 (PPC) Revolver


(click the image to view in 3D)

This is what I am currently turning my attention to. Shown above is the model I had done in the waning days of FPSC but never released it. I will be remastering this model to smooth out some rough edges and add some detail as well as redoing the textures for shader use. Of course, this will need to be animated as well.

From a gameplay standpoint, this will use the alt-fire system to give the choice between single and double action shooting. In double action shooting, it will be faster to fire but less accurate and with a slight delay between when fire button is clicked and the raycast is instanced. In single action mode, it will be more accurate and raycast will be more instant (on par with automatic pistol) but the firing sequence will be longer as the player character manually recocks the hammer after each shot. I plan to include both speedloader and slow hand loading animations for reloads so that devs can decide which they want to use for their game.
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I know, I always ask the same thing, but...

...where is the "BUY NOW" button ?!
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Posted: 18th May 2017 15:59
Great stuff Errant AI. The animations are great.
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Posted: 22nd May 2017 18:04
I cannot wait to buy one of your models!
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Posted: 24th May 2017 23:47
Great work Errant! I'm looking forward to buying them!


Just a question: I see you have changed the AKM reload animation in you last video. Will it be possible have both of them in-game? My idea would be to play them randomly just to give the player a little variety with the reload animations...
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Posted: 27th May 2017 21:26
Thanks, Guys!

Sorry for the lack of updates! It's been a fairly unproductive week or so filled with distractions and once I started going through my m29 model I found that some critical measurements were out of spec which sort of had a cascade effect and resulted in needing to remodel the vast majority of it. In the end, I'm much more pleased with the remaster and am really looking forward to animating it. But first I need to do the UV unwrap and textures.

In the meantime, here's an update pic (a couple tweaks still needed on the grips, perhaps)...

(click the image to view in 3D)

I'm a little apprehensive of putting in my usual amount of effort on texturing with the rendering update forthcoming but we shall see.

Quote: "Just a question: I see you have changed the AKM reload animation in you last video. Will it be possible have both of them in-game? My idea would be to play them randomly just to give the player a little variety with the reload animations..."


The original animation from the multi-gun range video is gone for good but I have retained the first revision style of reload (the reach-under). It will default to the latest revision style (right handed charging) but devs can choose the other one by making a couple simple gunspec edits. There is currently no support in GG for randomized reload animations but that may be possible eventually dependant on how much weapon control is opened up to scripting.
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Posted: 27th May 2017 21:34 Edited at: 27th May 2017 21:36
Pistol looks great,can we see a pic of the model in wireframe.that allways interests me.

Edit (forget that just saw the 3D link)

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Posted: 27th May 2017 21:58
Quote: " wireframe"


Probably worth noting that the model has yet to be optimized and I tend to find and correct various mesh oddities during the UV unwrap process.
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Posted: 28th May 2017 14:04
Quote: "Probably worth noting that the model has yet to be optimized and I tend to find and correct various mesh oddities during the UV unwrap process."


As a matter of interest how many polys do you expect this weapon will end up with.

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Posted: 28th May 2017 23:24
Quote: "As a matter of interest how many polys do you expect this weapon will end up with.
"


First off, I always go by triangle counts as poly counts can be reported differently and everything is triangulated in-engine anyways.

This is currently a little over 13K tris, not including hands. I doubt more than 1K will be cut and that will be a wash once once I add speedloader mesh and possibly additional cartridges, if needed. That's a good amount more than my autopistols but less than my rifles. I blame all of the rounded surfaces that come into clear view when aiming. Overall, I am aiming for mesh fidelity competitive to PC games like CS:GO, Arma3, Squad, PUBG, etc.

Most importantly, however, my weapons are well optimized for minimal draw calls by limiting the number of meshes, using a single texture and skinning all vertices. As the rendering update moves forward, I anticipate that draw calls will be much more of a bottleneck than geometry. That said, these won't be ideal for those looking for low-spec assets but should quite suitable for what will be considered mid-range in a year or so.
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Posted: 3rd Jun 2017 21:04
PSA: EAI sale on The Game Creator Store.



Real Talk: With the demise of FPSC 3rd party packs and store content, I've taken a pretty serious cashflow hit while making these weapons for GameGuru. I could release weapons and they would be OK for most users. However, I can not, in good conscience, release while there are still engine-side bugs and needed polish. You guys expect the best and deserve no less. That said, I'm beginning to seriously consider some sort of "early access" path. What exactly that would entail is up for discussion.
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granada
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Posted: 3rd Jun 2017 22:31 Edited at: 3rd Jun 2017 22:32
Quote: "That said, I'm beginning to seriously consider some sort of "early access" path. What exactly that would entail is up for discussion."


I am sure people would be ok with that.as far as cash flow goes I no where you are coming from,I am sort of retired now apart from the od contract now and then so I have to watch my money.have you considered doing individual weapons for people that might help out a bit.

Dave
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JBoy77
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Posted: 5th Jun 2017 04:19
I would be up for any sort of EA for testing and use of your new GameGuru weapons honestly! I have been supporting your assets since they first became available back in 2007 or early 2008 with FPS Creator. They have all been top notch and I have had no problems with them ever.
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Posted: 20th Jun 2017 04:08 Edited at: 20th Jun 2017 04:15
Thanks for the input, fellas. Near-term crisis averted but I will keep in mind. The main reasons I don't pick up freelance work is because I am only really interested in doing work which I can retain all rights to and most indie devs are either unwilling or unable to pay my rates for exclusive work.

Anyways! I finally got this mapped more or less how I want. Will be rigging it up this week and may give a try to compositing textures for Uzi Idiot's PBR shader. I'm pretty excited to be animating it soon... Strange to think how much modeling and texturing has become a laborious chore for me. I used to love it but that's begun to fade... It's much more fun animating and getting things in-game!


(click the image to view in 3D)
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granada
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Posted: 20th Jun 2017 17:40 Edited at: 20th Jun 2017 18:11
I am really loving the look of that weapon.also cool to be able to view it like that . Wire frame ,shadeless ect you can realy see how much work goes into the modeling side of things.

Edit ( just thinking that would look great 3d printed )

Dave
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cybernescence
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Posted: 21st Jun 2017 07:28
That looks amazing. Looking forward to seeing the animation magic

Cheers.
Errant AI
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Posted: 29th Jun 2017 12:37
Quote: "I am really loving the look of that weapon.also cool to be able to view it like that . Wire frame ,shadeless ect you can realy see how much work goes into the modeling side of things."

Yeah, I really like being able to show models in this way. It's also a great aid while modeling and mapping although it makes early game imports frustrating because I can't replicate the look without a lot of fuss. I kind of hope that with the rendering upgrade we will get to see some kind of intermediate shader (between what we have now and PBR) which supports gloss maps and better cube mapping.
Quote: "Looking forward to seeing the animation magic"

Here goes...
Work In Progress! No sound fx, temporary texture maps (rough port to Uzi Idiot's PBR shader, for now). Mostly happy with the animation except for what the left hand is doing while ejecting... reads a bit weak.

On a side note, I've been building on constraint rigging lessons learned from my AKM. This was a bit of a headache to plan and rig but it made specific sorts of tweaks about 100x faster (No exaggeration!) and , in general, much more enjoyable animate.
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Wolf
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Posted: 29th Jun 2017 13:25 Edited at: 29th Jun 2017 13:29
Wow! Very appealing and I think the speed is just right.

Now I know you are always open to nitpicky criticism so: I find the motion a little too relaxed. I mean, its ᎪᎬsᏆhᎬᏆᎥᏟ but it feels like the Terminator is reloading that thing and not a human being in a firefight. Also, that little swiggedy swoot he does when he retrieves the gun and realigns it is odd to me.



-Wolf
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Posted: 29th Jun 2017 14:08
That looks amazing! Ideally (well for me I know opinions vary) there would be gloveless hands option.

Not sure what a swiggedy swoot is Wolf but kinda sounds cool

Cheers.
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Posted: 30th Jun 2017 04:39
@Wolf Main reason for smoothness is that a smooth animation facilitates in-engine time scaling best. With this particular animation, I can increase playback speed to 125% (via gunspec) without strobing. This gives the developer a bit more freedom to tune reload timing for their game. Also, people are basically robots, given enough muscle memory repetition
I think I know the portion of the animation you are referring to... but maybe not. I also have some thoughts on where I can introduce a little error without being too fumbly. I'll mess with that tonight. Spent much of the afternoon doing sound fx.

@cybernescence I don't have immediate plans for bare hands. My earliest GG(Reloaded) tests used bare hands but I was unhappy with them. There's a lot of stuff going on with the tendons and such on the back of a hand and wrists that can easily fall into the "uncanny valley" without a lot of extra rigging. That said, my files are set up to facilitate arm mesh swapping and it is a fairly common request. So, I'm going to have to re-attempt it at some point. Just not a priority for now.
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Posted: 30th Jun 2017 15:43
I personally thought that was TOTALLY LIT. If i may offer a critique, I'd do a little more twitch when he clicks the bullets back in, then a little more bob after.
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Posted: 30th Jun 2017 16:09
Of course! the timecode would be 0:15
Errant AI
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Posted: 2nd Jul 2017 05:12
Thanks guys. This should take care of the mentioned issues...

This is running with in-engine reload speed set to 110%. I've slapped in some sound FX as well.
I usually expect to be doing separate tac and empty reloads but honestly, this works for both (I have a few frames tacked on to the beginning which transition from empty idle). I had initially planned to do manual loading in addition to speed-loading but the reload time seems already sufficiently long enough as it is. Any longer and the weapon, I think, would become too uncompetitive with similar in-class weapons. I reserve the right, however, to do a different kind of revolver at a later date where it makes gameplay sense (such as a heavy .454 single action with single cartridge loading gate) or other sidearms which may be breech loaded or otherwise slow to balance massive damage or something... It's easier if you just pretend I have a master plan.
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Posted: 3rd Jul 2017 16:19
My criticism is no more. I love this revision.

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