Creating a character in the unreal world

Assignment

  • Refer back to our brainstorming session for inspiration. Try to create a character in the avatar generation software of your choice that lives in that world and story. 
    • Grab some animations from Mixamo and import into Unreal. Why did you choose the animations you did? How do they fit the character you designed? 
    • Create an animation in RADiCAL. What is your performance of? How was it inspired by the world you already created?
    • Share some screenshots and video/gifs.

Demo

Animations from Mixamo

Animation from MotionBuilder and RADiCAL

The animation imported from MotionBuilder has certain issue that I need to figure out why.

Inspirations for characters

Pinterest Link here

MakeHuman

It is quite fun and almost fully customizable. I love it.

Character features:

  • long hair
  • innocent yet resilient
  • female

How to costume design?

I just wish there are some customization in terms of costumes. I want my character to be a gentle yet resilient mermaid-like female navigating in a weird and tough world. So I want her costume to have features such as below:

  • shinny reflective skin textures
  • scales
  • fins

Here is a reference photo.

Naiad | Grimm Wiki | Fandom

Maximo

I imported the scene where the Tuna is doing jazz dancing. The first time I exported it, it was not was not in place. So there is a discrepancy of the starting point and ending point of the animation. How should I work with it if I wanted the character to move while dancing continuously?

Animations exported from Maximo:

  1. threading water – to depict the challenges she may face.
  2. jazz dancing – I think when she finally finds the ocean as her home, she would be dancing out of joy.

The process of importing animations from Mixamo to UnrealEngine is quite intuitive and easy. I just selected the skeleton of the character that needs to be animated.

Questions

  1. how to change the texture of the clothing exported from MakeHuman?
  2. How to make the ocean move as the character animates?

Animations in RADiCAL

Ballet Dancing

I wanted to create my character of dancing out of joy yet elegantly. I started with the black swan dancing scene yet it is hard to get the skeleton from RADiCAL because it is short and the camera moves too quickly in the trimmed sequence.

Therefore, I started to search for ballet scene and succeeded in getting the fbx of the animation downloaded.

MotionBuilder

It took me quite sometime to familiarize myself with the MotionBuilder interface since it is not as user-friendly as it shows below. The fonts are so tiny and when I tried to make them bigger or make the section larger, the font size is still unchanged.

I am still a bit of confused of MotionBuilder as to why we need to delete the root and character in MotionBuilder before exporting. When I did not delete both of them and exported, it shows there are three fbx files.

I then feel confused as to which one to choose. When I selected the one with the Take and imported to UnrealEngine, it shows some error. When I redid the whole process and only chose the Take one and imported to UnrealEngine, it shows the video as below.

Unreal Engine

I played around the hair to make it a bit of transparent following the demo by Todd.

I tried to place the characters in several places to test out certain animations. I put Tuna underwater to show the threading water animation. That looks good. I just wish the heightmap/ocean I used respond to her movements so it is more realistic.

Next Steps:

This week has been hectic for me since I started working as a GA for Code! and doing other freelance projects so I didn’t do as much as I could have hoped.

So I will work harder for the next few weeks.

  • create more animations
    • struggling in the jungle – fighting combat mode
    • running
    • swimming
  • look into costume design for Tuna

Published by Yiting Liu

NYU ITP '21

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