Once your VR game is in full on production, you should have all the parts of your pipeline in place and progress should be humming along. A good part of any game development pipeline is the daily art and code review. The VRGO live stream is a good example of what an art and code review might look like.
In larger studios, the art department and the engineering teams will most likely have separate daily reviews, but if you are a smaller shop, it is perfectly okay to combine the two reviews into one. During a review, the art team should show the progress they have made from the previous review. This should include any new concept art (if the team is still in pre-production), new 3D models, rigging, animations, textures and materials, etc. It might also include in-game art if assets have begun to be imported into the engine. The team should offer critical feedback delivered in a professional manner on each artist's progress.
Engineering teams will have similar reviews, but instead of looking at beautiful works of art, they will often look at prototyped gameplay in sandbox environments to review how new gameplay mechanics or other functionality such as physics, AI, etc. is coming together.
Animation in Maya LT
Maya LT offers alot of the same functionality you'll find inside Maya for animation. In Epsidoe 4, Cathy shows us some of the great tools she uses on a daily basis when developing both VR and traditional games, including the Game Exporter. Being able to create custom export options in the Game Exporter and then sharing those export options is a great example of one of the pipeline tools inside of Maya LT. Cathy also explains the various odd poses she uses when skinning a character to help her get a good skinning job, how and why she likes to use the Dope Sheet editor, as well as giving us an example of naming conventions she uses on assets. Be sure to check out the video below to see her workflow.
Some of the other great tools for animating in Maya that you'll also find in Maya LT include:
- The Graph Editor - a time-tested and intuitive way to make tweaks to the interpolation between key frames.
- The Dope Sheet - great for making quick timing changes to entire ranges of key frames.
- Animation Layers - fantastic for adding "additive" animations on top of other animations.
- The Time Editor - a non-linear animation clip editor; very powerful tool.
- IK Tools - for creating believable character animation in a short amount of time on limbs, tails, etc.
These are just some of the animation tools in Maya LT. There are quite a few more, making Maya and Maya LT one of the best tools, if not the best, for 3D animators in both games and film.
- Be sure to catch VRGO live next week (Tuesday at 10 AM CST) - www.twitch.tv/autodeskgamedev
- Rocket 5 Studios can be watched live at - www.twitch.tv/rocket5studios