Ah well, I stayed up a bit longer and mashed together a very, very preliminary version of the weighting (that’s the information telling our game engine, which part of the model to move when I move a joint/bone within the rig-file). And in order to test it, I started moving the limbs around. This has another great advantage. After putting down 4 keyframes (poses that define the overall motion of the character) and letting our software handle all of the rest (move left arm from here to here), we’re now able to slap this character in the game and see what happens: does it work, is the scale right, how does he look like in the game, are the colors showing up, and – at a very early stage – is this fun/going in the right direction?
It sometimes hurts showing other people on the project a super unfinished stage like this but it is necessary. As long as the model, rig, and animation are not in the game, you have no idea if this is looking good at all. There’s a great number of things we can learn at this stage – and so far I only wasted 1h on a first set of weights and not even 5 min on the animation. Since things aren’t precious at this point, it also doesn’t hurt to make major changes right now. So, here it goes – this is the dirty laundry of game animation… something you’ll never see in our game like this – but a version that’s actually incredibly useful.
Now, this time it’s good night!