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behealed

Nice BVH Mocap animations library for game characters?

2 posts in this topic

Hey one thing I notice about all those free BVH file indexes online is, all the BVH files (animations) are not really good for games.

For several reason:

1) Even in the same "package" of BVH files, each will have hip root bones rotated different directions... not always facing "forward". So if you used these in a game without first editing them, the character would suddenly face different directions when different animations play. Not good.
2) ALL of them "wander around" as they walk, rather than walking in the same place as would be needed in a game engine. This causes ugly ugly in a game!
3) If they "turn", they actually do TURN. Whereas in a game engine, they would need to continue to face forward even though their legs and body make the "turn right" or "turn left" motion. I have not yet found any kind of one-click solution to fix these kinds of BVHes.
4) Most of the animations are not loopable. Most have lots of unnecessary garbage frames that would need to be trimmed out, etc etc.

In other words, most BVH packages I find around on the internet are a tun of work to get them to work right in a game. And fixing the rotation of hip root bones can be very difficult I have found. BVHacker freezes it to "zero" but that causes the feet to sweep around on the floor like mops. Also all would need to be trimmed, and made to be loopable.

I'm just wondering, surely someone has already done all of this? I hate to reinvent the wheel, if this has already been done.

So does anyone know of a nice list of male / female game-friendly BVH files with just the typical character motions you would find in every game? Where all hip roots are rotated and positioned in the same direction, where all the animations are loopable, and the motions don't wander around or turn?

The motions I'm looking for, when I say "typical character motions" would be these:

1) walk / run, forwards / backwards
2) standing still, maybe a few idle stances
3) sidestep right / left
4) falling (arms moving around) / landing after fall
5) jump
6) turn right / left (without actually turning)
7) optional: swim forward, swim backwards, swim idle

Sure, there are others like bowing, waving, swinging sword, etc. But I'd be happy just to have the basic 1-6 I listed above, for male and for female.

Optimally, for a game, the motions should be short and to-the-point, except for the idle stances perhaps. For example, the "jump" shouldn't be some long drawn-out thing. Shouldn't be longer than about a second max, or half a second.
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Anyone? If not then I'll make my own and post it here afterwards, so others don't have to go through the same effort.
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Heh, this was exactly my undergraduate dissertation project. Basically you feed it mocaps and a script; it cleans up all the mocaps then uses the script to trim/weight/blend/transition/loop them all appropriately to produce into a set of composite animations (like your 1-7) then you can declaratively spec out a sequence of behaviours and the higher-level motion controller will further combine the animations into a final cutscene animation (the future work section was to allow definitions of triggers to produce animations that respond dynamically).

Unfortunately, the uni owns all the code so I'm afraid to say this isn't the most helpful post to you, sorry.
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