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Sophisticated animation

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Hello, recently I dug out Escape From Butcher Bay and played it again. And again I noticed how amazing the animations are. Not only the cutscene ones, but also the fistfights, the overall character animations, and the first-person camera handling. I wonder: why is this still rarely seen in games? Why isn't it an area of research as active as shading? Good animation can compensate a LOT, while a stiff walk remains stiff and lame no matter how pretty the triangles are. To return to the EFBB example, has anyone worked on camera handling like in this game? I've had a hard time looking for resources about any of these topics...

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I think that good animation is not a technical problem, it just needs good animators and time. Or, if you've got a lot of money, motion capturing, decent actors, good animators and even more time.

The case is similar for the camera. There's a lot of knowledge about how to use cameras from film and photography. While not everything applies to games, many things do. The new problem in games is having an interactive camera, but the only big decision there is really how much control of the camera the player gets.

Technically, many aspects of dealing with cameras have good solutions already. The only things that are lacking a bit, are related to photography. But shaders are taking care of this more and more.

With all that being said, while are there so few games with great animation and great camerawork? I believe this is simply because these things tend to take a lot of iterations and therefor time to get right and they can easily be skipped.
So, if the budget get's tight, they get skipped.

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