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Suitability of mecanim for entities that don't require animation blending

Discussion in 'Animation' started by TheCatProblem, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. TheCatProblem

    TheCatProblem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Posts:
    22
    Although the (relatively) new mecanim system seems well-suited to entities that benefit from animation blending (e.g., characters that have walking and running animations), it seems rather inefficient (compared to the legacy animation system) for models containing animation clips that shouldn't be blended.

    For example, any animation that is meant to loop but doesn't return the animated object to its start position within the animation itself (i.e., a "jump" occurs between the end and start frames) is rather cumbersome to set up using mecanim. Checking off "loop pose" when importing the animation won't work, as doing so will make mecanim attempt to alter the animation such that it can be looped seamlessly (which is not always what is desired). Instead, the animator controller for the object needs to be configured such that it alternates between two duplicates of the animation clip using a transition with no blending. (An example of such an animation is an object on a conveyor belt that enters through a hole in one wall, travels along the conveyor belt, and exits through a hole in another wall before the animation is repeated.)

    Also, if an object contains an animation that it should be able to switch to at any time, this animation must be wired (via transitions) to all other animations (at least as far as I can tell). This seems overly complex compared to having a function that could (hypothetically) jump to a specified animation at any time with the option to use a transition with or without blending to do so.

    For now, of course, the legacy animation system can be used in these scenarios, but as it will (presumably) be removed in a future version I wonder if mecanim might be expanded to encompass some of its functionality.
     
  2. samuelmorais

    samuelmorais

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Posts:
    53
    The great thing in favor of Mecanim, in my opinion, is the ability to retarget animations to many kinds of characters. In the legacy you must have a exactly animation - transform/bone match. For example, in our project we downloaded many kinds of animations - .bip, .bvh, mixamo, and even legacy animations and all could be retarget to many differente characters with almost no cost...
    And you don't have to wire all the states, since in 4.3 you can do it through the CrossFade or Play functions to change the current state instantaneously.
    Regards,
     
  3. samuelmorais

    samuelmorais

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Posts:
    53
    The great thing in favor of Mecanim, in my opinion, is the ability to retarget animations to many kinds of characters. In the legacy you must have a exactly animation - transform/bone match. For example, in our project we downloaded many kinds of animations - .bip, .bvh, mixamo, and even legacy animations and all could be retarget to many differente characters with almost no cost...
    And you don't have to wire all the states, since in 4.3 you can do it through the CrossFade or Play functions to change the current state instantaneously.
    Regards,
     
  4. TheCatProblem

    TheCatProblem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Posts:
    22
    Retargeting is undeniably a very useful feature.

    Good to know (I'm still using 4.1, so I'll make a note to upgrade to 4.3 soon).
     
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