New Pes trailer to kick of the hype for a new season. My excitement after reading the press features quickly died after watching the trailer. I
I have recently began studying animations and this clip looks like a student demo to me and not the work of a mega cooporation.
A quick wikipedia search for the 12 principles of animation(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_p ... _animation
) would inform you of all you need. There are supposedly more for computer animation but most based on the 12.
In both cases their rules are often meant for non-realistic characters but they are still the basis for all animation and even used in Anime but with some shortcuts.
Major re-occurence and bad animation techniques
In 2007, one of the most repeated news about pes 2008 was that they were gonna use a new animations system due to the fact that they have increased the number of bones in the spine from 2 (Old-gen: ps2 , wii) to 3 (Current-gen: PC, Ps3, 360). That year we saw a horrible implementation of the system.
Instead of focusing on adding more curves and expresivity to the spine/torso they added more sway and swinging.
Naturally men move shoulders more and women move hips, so when Suff said it looked like his sister running he was spot on.
Slowly they were removed but now they are very stiff looking. They may be the same as the ps2 version but due to the longer torso and the point of curvature it looks super stiff. It also looks like there are only 2 bones once more.
Fifa does just enough spine curvature. Uncharted 2 add life to their characters with procedural breathing for every locomotion eg running, idle (GDC 09, 10, 11) gdcvault.com
The strides the players take seems unrealistically large. Full length strides are usually reserved for sprinting. In konami's case - due to the ball often being too far when the animation is triggered it creates a stuttered feel to the movement as the players have to strech to meet the ball. They probably did this to make tackle animations look good and avoid legs cliping and relied on their IK (inverse kinematics) to make it look accurate and not good. The animator might have realized the streching and added more frames post contact with ball to make it look good hence the unresponsiveness in pes 2010.
As far as responsiveness goes, often in Japanese animations (Anime and Games) they prefer working with less frames as it creates more snappy feel to the animations and ompf as well as it being cheaper to create (Especially when key framed by hand). Now counter this with the traditional disney rubbery feel you get from the west. Think i am lying? Just youtube any Japanese animation and what how often they move their characters and how lond they are willing to keep them static and move only the essentials even most of their games lack slow pensive animation (Except Final fantasy. The point I am trying to make is that they may not be used to simulation quality animation. But that may not matter since they are using mocap in a very small room and the actor cannot even sprint in that prison room.
(see pes 2011 press trip)
Their solution to unresposniveness looks as though it involved removing frames which means joints traveled over longer distance in shorter time periods meaning less smootness and fluidity. It also help with performance meanign less memory is taken. Compare that with EA and Fifa 2008. They visibly had more frames to their animations and did not want to lose that quality for responsiveness, therefore they came up with a more naturally looking method of warping the play back time of animations especially when coming in contact with the ball (GDC 2010). It means the animation can be quick when they need it to be and slow when they dont need it but keepign fluidity all together.
Eye tracking is totaly random in pes. Often it sucks out the intention and anticipation from an animation. Doesnt influence the rest of the body well enough (Head, neck, shoulders , chest). EA does this with the help of HumanIK. There are many easily programmable solutions to this outside human IK.
Extreme joint rotations. Konami seems to have no problems rotating the characters to the max of their joints. considering how many people cannot voluntarily do that it makes the animations look insane. Couple that with their frequent use of twining, we get a very stiff and robotic look to the game. EA's flailing arms may look stupid but it is forgiveable in comparison. Also it seems ea might be using some procedural method for that.
Perfectly Horizontal and vertical limb poses (90 or 180 degrees) are always to be avoided. Also when working with IK perfectly straight limbs often cause popping.
Actually Chair Entertainment(Makers of Infinity Blade and Shadow complex) released a talk where they describe a very simple and cheap way to include natural physics into animations. Things like drag and follow through that would liven and un-stiffen the hands and the feet when in the air (Gamefest 2008).http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... laylang=en
I went through a lot of the clip frame by frame and these are some notes on the most horrible frames and poses that stood out in the pes trailer
I seem to have lost image 04.
01) - Air trap
This image reeks of stiffness. The jersey and shorts fold dont help.
A. Totally stiff undynamic spine
B. Twining arms. Undynamic., bicycle handlebars.
C. Mucular leg looks too abnormal could be tonded down to give better shape to poses (Mre of model than animation).
the knee could also be turn a bit more to the outside to counter the direction of the ball and enhance the cushioning effect the skill is meant to potray.
D. The leg should be a bit more relaxed to give grace and fluidity to the animation. There is no need for that much tension and effort in a limb that has no purpos to the action. Snaping the feet to its maximum bend passively/ sub conciously seems implausible.
02) - Run A
The most common animation frame in pes.
A. Arms twining. Unnecesarily stressed, stiff and robotic. Not optimal for running probably even worse. Urealistic joint range.
B. Straight spine. Maybe not so traight but so undynamic.
C. Unbelievable streched leg. Its so straight all joints are at their limits extended to their max. Loses all form of appeal and grace. Look at the toe and knee in the image to the left.
D. Was probably complainting about how low the knee is and how much it forces ronaldo to dip.
E. What is he looking at? What is his intention? anticipation.
F. This explains D better. Ronaldo is literarilty streching like hell. It shows he is barely in control of the ball and it means that his touch should not be good. Most importantly it means when he plants his foot its gonna take even more effort to get the next step in and he would have to dip really low. This does not promote fluidity. It makes sudden agile movements difficult in real life and in animations it would make blends pop or require more frames.
03) - Run B
A regular knock ball running animation. Dont remember why i picked this frame.
A. Not sure what he is looking at consider how lose the ball is from him but it is passable
B. His arms are twining. They look stick and lifeless. Also a very boring torso. Even if he was stoping to controll the ball it looks too undesireable.
C. Cannot remember why i picked C but i think he has reached the clima of his step while still too far from the ball.
05) - Acute Turn
This is a turn at speed of around 30-60 degrees. The pose has very little motion and doesnt look very dynamic
A. Very robotic stiff arm swing. Clenched fist doesnt help make it appealing. Equally stiff shoulder
B. The distance to the ball seems very large and would put the player at a disadvantage mid move due to the fact that
there would be a need to rebalance after the step making turns less than fluid especially when continous
C. Zero body lean and extremley stiff brick of a torso.
D. Not sure what he is looking at. Removes purpose intentionality and intensity. Weakens the anticipation of the move.
06) - Step over
This image epitomises the guy sitting on the chair and flinging his legs feel of step overs.
A. Arm looks stiff and robotic. Very mechanical looking swing
B. Just like in A the shoulders look very stiff and tensed. Raised
C. The distance the foot has to travels seems too large and contributes to the streched snappy feel of the move
D. Torso Once again is perfectly straight doesnt seem to be leaning or hunching forward