Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ragdolls and battlefields

I'm currently working with something called ragdoll physics. This is a process that turns a 3d character model into - quite literally - a rag doll with loose joints that is affected by it's environment. In video games, typically when a 3d character is incapacitated (shot or otherwise killed) it's animation skeleton is 'switched off' and ragdoll physics take over. The character falls to the ground.

The aim is to be able to quickly place fallen soldiers and horses on the battlefield and have them look natural, not posed.

I'll be placing character models as casualties (soldiers and horses) just above the battlefield and turning on the simulation, which will allow them to tumble to the ground and settle. I'll probably go in and pose a few afterward - do a little tweaking if they've landed awkwardly.

This whole process is unnerving and difficult to deal with. I don't know whether I'll put up any pics of this in action, maybe I'll just show the regular soldier and horse models.