AuthorTopic: Rippling grass animation  (Read 4198 times)

Offline cels

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Rippling grass animation

on: May 27, 2014, 11:13:14 pm
I've been trying to work out how to do a rippling grass animation, like when the wind is sending ripples through the grass. It should look almost like ocean waves when it's done right, but I can't seem to find a good balance that looks realistic, yet isn't too detail-heavy and hard to render.

I mean, the ripple effect comes as each "wave" of win bends the grass, causing it to reflect light in wave patterns. So the grass needs to grow brighter as the wind bends it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytGHqImtS8U







Has anyone seen this done for pixel art? Is it simply too hard? It seems like it should be doable, but... my attempts so far have all failed.

Offline Manupix

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Re: Rippling grass animation

Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 01:16:56 pm
Second version is best by far.
The grass blades should swing more wildly though, as their change in angle relative to light is what makes the 'light wave' appearance. The swing could take more time too.

For what it's worth, here's a random ref you've probably seen already:

Offline Decroded

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Re: Rippling grass animation

Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 07:41:41 am
bloody Life ay??

Haha sorry if I suggested a prick of a thing to do but it could be cool if done right u reckon?

It depends what ur after.
In my mind it would be calm with no movement, then there would be a small "gentle" cycle for each tile, then a "stronger" cycle.
and you would use gentle cycle as a lead in as the "wave" passes over.
It's really just an idea I've been wanting to try for a while don't know if it actually works but I might have a go if I get time!
An in-engine transparent cloud shadow layer would top off the whole thing though that's breaking out of strict pixel art I suppose.

second one has a cool wave effect but too much constant movement too.
third is good that it's animated but no wave so pretty standard affair.

Offline HarveyDentMustDie

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Re: Rippling grass animation

Reply #3 on: May 31, 2014, 11:11:58 am
Yesterday I catch my self watching grass movement form a faculty window and thinking about this post.  :crazy: Damn.  :)

Like most guys here, I like second version the most. Problem with this animation is that it's too fast. You should add couple more strings of grass and animate "light green frames" in speed and manner of third animation. Second animation is also better then the rest because grass length isn't constant across the field.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 11:15:18 am by HarveyDentMustDie »

Offline lachrymose

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Re: Rippling grass animation

Reply #4 on: May 31, 2014, 07:56:43 pm
Maybe a blend of both one and two?

Have some of the more defined grass moving at random, then have a "gust of wind" blow through that makes them all bend in the same direction for a moment.

Offline cels

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Re: Rippling grass animation

Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 01:15:01 am
I'm starting to think that it's going to be extremely difficult to get the desired effect by just animating the individual leaves of grass. It will not give me the ocean-like effect I'm after. I think I will need to work on a bigger scale, animating the 'waves' instead of every drop of water, as it were.

Failed attempt:


@Manupix: Thank you, I had not seen that ref. :)

@Decroded: Thank you, you're quite right about the rhythm. I need to avoid a constant pulse, I think. I think you could use layers to do moving shadows from clouds very well, without making it NPA. It's just a matter of combining layers, opacity and a limited number of colors. I don't have the skills to do it, but I think it would be possible.

@HDMD: Thanks! I'm surprised that no one has done anything like this yet. At least, I'm assuming  no one else has done it, otherwise someone would give me a link :)

@lachrymose: That's an interesting idea, although I think I'll try to do the next version without animating individual grass leaves. If that doesn't work, I'll look at your suggestion.