Version: 1.29p02

UMotion Manual
  1. UMotion Manual
  2. Introduction & Tips
  3. Getting Started
      1. Quick Start Tutorial
      2. 1) Installation & First Steps
      3. 2) Pose Editing
      4. 3) Clip Editor
      5. 4) Curves & Rotation Modes
      6. 5) Config Mode
      7. 6) Export Animations
      8. 7) Root Motion
      9. 8) Animation Events
      10. 9) Pose Mirroring
      1. 1) Importing Animations
      2. 2) Inverse Kinematics
      3. 3) Child-Of Constraint
      4. 4) Custom Properties
      5. 5) IK Pinning
      1. 1) Our First Animation
      2. 2) Editing Animations
      3. 3) Customizing an animation for a RPG
      4. 4) Unity Timeline & Weighted Tangents
      1. UMotion Tutorial
  4. How to create better animations
      1. File
      2. Edit
      3. Help
    1. Preferences
    2. Import / Export
    3. FK to IK Conversion
      1. Project Settings
      2. Clip Settings
    4. Animated Properties List
    5. Root Motion
    6. Rotation Modes
      1. Dopesheet
      2. Curves View
    7. Playback Navigation
    8. Layers
        1. IK Setup Wizard
        2. Mirror Mapping
      1. Configuration
      2. Display
      1. Tools
      2. Channels
      3. Selection
      4. Display
      5. Animation
      1. Inverse Kinematics
      2. Child-Of
      3. Custom Property
    1. Options
    2. Tool Assistant
  5. Edit In Play Mode
  6. Unity Timeline Integration
  7. UMotion API
  8. Exporting Animations FAQ
  9. Support / FAQ
  10. Release Notes
  11. Known Issues
  12. Credits

How to create better animations

Animating is a creative process just like 3D modeling or painting. Even though UMotion is offering all the tools you need to create good looking animations you will need to practice in order to make your animations look appealing. It's easy to quickly create an animation but often the result will look unnatural. There are 3 common problems that make an animation look unrealistic:

1) There are poses in your animation that don't respect the anatomy of your character.

Make sure not to rotate joints in a direction which is not possible in the real world. In a simple example like a knee not being able to do rotations to the left or right it may seem obvious, but what if you are animating e.g. the hands of a character? What kind of joint limits does a thumb have? You should carefully think about that before you even touch the thumb with the rotation tool. Otherwise you may end up in a very unnatural looking pose.

2) The duration between two poses is slightly too short or too long.

The more frames there are between two poses, the longer/slower the animation will be in this section. A wrong duration between two poses will break the "flow" of the animation. Play around with the number of frames between your key poses and try to find the sweet spot.

3) The Secret Sauce

You finished keying all poses of your animation clip and perfectly arranged them in the Dopesheet. But when playing the animation, things just don't look natural...

The secret sauce that is missing are correctly setup animation curves. All the motion you see between two keyed poses is defined by the animation curve. With the curves you can define exactly how fast something is moving or rotating at a specific time in your animation. In the real world, movement is never done at constant speed. Depending on the movement, there is always some accelerating and decelerating happening. And that's exactly what, if done wrong, can make your animation look really odd.

Try to think of an animation where a character is punching against a punch bag. Without manually adjusting the animation curves, the punch will first smoothly accelerate and then smoothly decelerate before it hits the punch bag. This will look weird and unnatural. A correctly setup animation curve would make the punch accelerate until it finally hits the punch bag where the fist is decelerated very quickly. Depending on how fast you decelerate the fist, you can define the softness of the impact at the punch bag.

Test, fine tune, repeate

To test your animation, reduce the playback speed and watch your animation in slow motion. This makes it much easier to detect parts of your animation that behave unnaturally. Try to fix those parts step by step than check the animation again in regular playback speed. You can continue this process a few times to gradually fine tune your animation.

How to improve your animation skills

Don't be afraid to show off your work and get some feedback. The Unity forum has quite a few very professional animators that might give you some useful hints on how you can improve the look of your animation.

Search Youtube for some good animation tutorials. Once you know the basics of UMotion it doesn't really matter anymore if somebody is showing you how he does a e.g. walk animation in a different application than UMotion. The principle mechanics (posing, creating keys, etc.) is usually quite the same in all animation applications.

Copyright © 2017 - 2021 Soxware Interactive ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Unity Forum Thread | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube