We'd like to dedicate today's blog post to the amazing community of Blender developers and users.
We began our animation journey with 3ds Max, wanting to use the Character Animation Toolkit plugin. Soon enough it became clear that due to bugs and missing tools, we'd need to look elsewhere.
The constant cries, threats and desk-banging by Cenda (our animator, video wizard and former Softimage user) have finally paid of. Other team members found out that Blender is incredibly powerful and easy to use 3D software. Blender is also free and open source. What a combo!
Blender fit right into our workflow and export to Unity is a breeze. Cenda is making good use of Python scripting language for add-ons that further speed up the animation process.
What we enjoy about Blender:
- Great skinning tools (drastically reducing the time needed for skinning)
- Robus and efficient bone system (very easy to understand, great for reusability)
- Managing of animations and support for multi-animations in Unity
- Tons of free add-ons to customize your workflow
- Magically real-time bug fixing by the dev community
Features we'd also enjoy:
- More intuitive motion capture retargeting
- Ability to customize all hotkeys, some of them are still hardcoded
- Editor in the likes of Softimage Keying Panel (or Maya Channelbox)
With this great animation user experience we could very well use Blender for modeling as well. We are looking forward to PBR Viewports, currently in development. And hoping to see close collaboration between Blender and Unity.
Time to demonstrate what we mean. With our animation progress reaching a satisfactory level we are happy to present the salamander taking a bite.
Here's the main character walking.
This is the animation process.
And here you can see it finalized for Planet Nomads.
Customs Addons to Blender
Thanks again to Blender and its relentless army of developers, who made this possible.
PS: Want to follow the development of Planet Nomads more closely
Check the list of features, past, present and future, on Planet Nomads Trello board.