Animation Logic

Animation Logic

Remember these logic puzzles? You’re given a brief story and a few seemingly unhelpful hints (e.g., Wanda’s partner doesn’t like roses), and then you have to proceed through the hints, crossing off the non-solutions until you arrive at the solution.

Lately, I feel like I’ve been working through a logic puzzle, only in script. At first, implementing Chip’s animations seemed easy. We only had five animations: walk, jump, throw a ball, hang by his chin, and die. Sounds easy enough, right?

That’s what I thought too. Very quickly, I realized that these animations weren’t mutually exclusive. Chip might jump and throw at the same time, making for a very twitchy looking Chip.

Back at the animation boards, we knew we had to separate out Chip’s body parts in order to run simultaneous animations. But which body parts? And from which animations?

Here comes the logic puzzle. Regardless of what Chip’s doing (walking, jumping, etc.), if he throws a ball, the throw animation should play. So first and foremost, his arm needed to be a separate piece.

Next came the more nitty gritty. When Chip is jumping, even though he’s also moving forward, he’s no longer walking. Similarly, when chin hanging, even with forward inputs, Chip should not be walking. And above all, if Chip is dying, he shouldn’t be doing anything else.

After a few days piecing it all together, Chip has come alive and is now quite animated!