AuthorTopic: Whip Animation C&C  (Read 3934 times)

Offline Scarab

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Whip Animation C&C

on: September 25, 2012, 06:26:31 am
Hello there!

I am working on sprites for a small NES-inspired beat-em-up, and I'm having trouble animating an enemy who uses a chain whip. I am hoping to have the important parts of the animation working well before I clean it up.



Here it is with  a pause between cycles, as is closer to how it would be seen in-game:


Specifically, I don't know what to do with the whip after the impact frame.


References I've looked at have the whip follow through and slap on the ground (not aggressive), or flicked above the head before falling alongside the character, (which I worry would make the attack animation seem dragged out and overly long).

Any critique or advice is appreciated.  ;D
Regards,
Scarab.

Offline jams0988

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Re: Whip Animation C&C

Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 06:34:48 am
....did you try looking at Castlevania? Those whip animations always looked pretty great...
http://www.castlevaniacrypt.com/games/dx/sprites.htm

Offline buddy90

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Re: Whip Animation C&C

Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 05:58:13 pm
Try having him turn his body as he whips. Also, his legs look very stiff. You don't have to move them so much, but suggest his legs are at least turning. One trick I always do is to do the animation myself in front of a mirror. The animation is also similar to throwing a baseball, maybe looking at some of those references can help you.

Offline Scarab

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Re: Whip Animation C&C

Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 01:28:48 pm
Thanks for the response guys :)

....did you try looking at Castlevania? Those whip animations always looked pretty great...
http://www.castlevaniacrypt.com/games/dx/sprites.htm

Yes, that was one of my first thoughts. Unfortunately the character design has a small but important difference; in Castlevania, the player sprite doesn't hold his whip in his idle pose, so they never have to animate retracting the whip.

I considered changing my design to mimic that, (it would certainly cut down on frames,) but as the weapons are equip-able, it has to be clear at a glance what a given foe is armed with, and what the player will be attacking with.

Try having him turn his body as he whips. Also, his legs look very stiff. You don't have to move them so much, but suggest his legs are at least turning. One trick I always do is to do the animation myself in front of a mirror. The animation is also similar to throwing a baseball, maybe looking at some of those references can help you.

The body below the shoulders hasn't been animated yet, as that will all be secondary motion and will follow the head and shoulders, so I agree that it looks stiff at the moment, but I can't change it until I've finalised the motion of the shoulders, arms, and head.

This is also is probably why it isn't clear that the upper body is rotating (or rather, will be). As the left shoulder comes up, the texture on the torso in the final animation will be shifting to the left, and the knees and ankles will show the rotation as well. :)


The thing I'm most concerned about is the motion of the whip itself, and how it behaves after an impact. I'm wondering if there is a solution other than having it pulled back over the head like this.

Offline Phlakes

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Re: Whip Animation C&C

Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 03:13:38 pm
One big thing is that you're only rotating the arm on one axis. When you swing a whip, it's furthest back position is usually with your hand up by your head and your elbow even farther back. It's almost the same motion as throwing a football, so that might be a good thing to reference. Just make sure the arm isn't going straight up and down, pay attention to its depth.

Offline ericbloom

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Re: Whip Animation C&C

Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 04:04:02 pm
A thing to think about is what kind of chain is this? Is it a light, ninja-like chain that will CRACK on impact? Or is it a heavy street-brawler chain that is really more of a blunt weapon than whip. Right now it feels like the animation is fighting both these ideas. The final frame has a crack and the frame right before feels heavy (like he's swinging a thick rope).

If you want the whip like feel, remember, you don't need the movement frame. Just a lead up and reaction shot. Check out the Castlevania sprites:



Four frames to wind up, one for the arm to shoot out with the chain lagging, and two final reaction frames.

However, if you want a heavy feel. Make it *heavy*. End it with a THUD. Have the character get thrown around a little by the weight.

Keep us posted on progress! I like it.

Offline Scarab

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Re: Whip Animation C&C

Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 09:33:23 am
A thing to think about is what kind of chain is this? Is it a light, ninja-like chain that will CRACK on impact? Or is it a heavy street-brawler chain that is really more of a blunt weapon than whip. Right now it feels like the animation is fighting both these ideas. The final frame has a crack and the frame right before feels heavy (like he's swinging a thick rope).

If you want the whip like feel, remember, you don't need the movement frame. Just a lead up and reaction shot. Check out the Castlevania sprites:



Four frames to wind up, one for the arm to shoot out with the chain lagging, and two final reaction frames.

However, if you want a heavy feel. Make it *heavy*. End it with a THUD. Have the character get thrown around a little by the weight.

Keep us posted on progress! I like it.

Ah, yes. I hadn't thought of that.

Initially I was planning for a heavy whip, as the game centres around street gangs, but I think I'll lean more towards a lighter whip to differentiate this weapon from others.

Current progress:

I've started animating the rest of the body and cleaned up and coloured the first few frames.
I'd love to hear people's thoughts.
I'm hoping to get some critique on the overall motion of the body. Does the energy transfer feel natural?
I still think the last frame is the weakest, I may have to add another couple of frames in there.  :/

Any comments are appreciated.  :)
Regards, Scarab.