Animations are one of the most important features of the asset. They turn an object into an entity with complex behaviours in the game; it's not just animals and creatures that need an animation, but also artifacts, vehicles and other inorganic objects.
Remember that you'll have to rig your asset before you can start animating.
Animation and Behaviours
In The Sandbox, you’ll find lots of ready-made behaviours to choose from in order to create different experiences and give life to objects. You need to check if your asset will be able to execute the animations that match the chosen behaviours.
Here are some examples of the animations you could expect from living creatures such as animals, humans and monsters.
Idle 01, Walk 01, Run 01, Fall 01, Interact 01, Eat01, Get Hit 01, Attack 01, Death 01.
Jump 01, Land 01, Sit 01, Sit Idle 01, Stand Up 01, Ride Idle 01, Crouch Idle 01, Crouch Walk 01, Load Idle 01, Load Walk 01, Load Run 01.
Attack 02, Attack 03, Block 01, Block Hit 01, Roll 01.
The front of the asset must correspond to the orientation of the positive Z-axis.
The pivot point must be at the base of the model and centred.
Simple entities can’t have more than 2.500 sides.
Complex entities cannot have more than 5.000 sides.
TSB scale is 32 voxels per meter, if the object does not have adequate proportions by mistake, and not because of a specific design style, it will look awkward in the game and it will be impractical.
Mesh colliders must outline the shapes as precisely as possible, and overflowing of the mesh must be avoided.
Animations must be assigned the correct names, according to what the guide indicates.
All the object nodes must have keyframes marking the beginning and the end of each animation.
Entities should not have Root Motion.
Due to technical reasons, all the animations need a keyframe in the last frame for all the nodes. You can add them by moving the arrowhead to the final frame and then pressing this button:
Some assets may have different static animations (also known as states), these need to have 2 frames for the game maker to detect them.
Following the above 'Final Keyframe' requirement, all the nodes will need a keyframe on the final frame as well.
If it only has 1 frame it won’t be recognized as an animation by the Game maker.
Remember that if your asset only has 1 static animation and you want precise colliders, there should be no second keyframes, only the default keyframes at 0.0s
In some animations, some models could temporarily clip through others, causing a visual effect that makes things look unnatural.
In these cases, it is better to make the colours and textures of the overlapping parts as similar as possible, so the clipping effect can be reduced.
Check the following example at the upper portion of the avatars leg:
On the left, you can see how in the hip area, the black pants clip in and out through the hoodie making it look odd and unnatural. On the right, you can see how this effect is reduced by matching the textures of the pants and hip models.
Root Node Motion
Root Node Motion is when the root node of the hierarchy of animation controls is moved and given keyframes to simulate the character’s movement along an area.
In order for your asset to work correctly in the Game Maker, you should avoid animating the Root Node.
It is best to animate with the Root Node static, so, in the case of a human avatar, they look as though they are walking on the spot.
Add a Control node under the Root Node to avoid this issue.
Here are some tips to help with looping rotating animations in Vox Edit, which can be useful for animating things like wheels and propellers.
Most of the time, the module to be rotated is symmetrical. It is therefore not necessary to add extra keys and make a complete rotation. A half or quarter turn is enough.
You don’t need 5 keys to do a complete rotation. 2 is enough.
However, make sure that your module is perfectly symmetrical.
Use the shift key on your keyboard to snap your rotation number to a round number