Like I said in the last post, I had to completely redo all of my animations from this point on. Not gonna lie, that was extremely demotivating. My productivity dropped a lot over the next 2-3 weeks. I still did work, but I wasn’t pulling the same long hours I used to and I had a harder time focusing during the hours I worked.
Animations are already hard for me because of my lack of experience, but having to redo all of them felt like going backwards. There was this lingering fear that I’d have to redo them again a third time too, which would be really devastating.
Two things happened though which helped me get out of this funk. The first is that I finally got everything set up in Blender and UE4 to export animations as they’re made, so I can see immediately if there are any problems with it in the game. This makes me way more confident that I won’t have to redo these a third time, and in hindsight it should have been the very first thing I did. Perks of being a complete newbie to game development, I guess, is that you find out a lot of things the hard way.
The second thing is that as I got through some of the animations, I realized something encouraging. I’ve gotten better at animating. Don’t call Pixar or anything, but look at these two animations and you’ll see what I mean: Old vs new. I guess it’s only natural to improve at something you work hard on, but it caught me off guard in the best of ways.
Anyway at this point I’m almost caught up to where I was before the redo, so I’m really excited. Very soon it’ll be back to new content!
My normal pace for making animations is to start and finish at least one or two a day. Some days I can get 3 or 4 done if they’re short or simple animations, and likewise if they’re very complicated it might take another day or two to finish a single one.
I have a spreadsheet with every animation that needs to be done, both in the prototype and in the final game. There are 111 animations to do per character in the final game, but I count 81 that need to be done for the prototype. That is to say, there are 81 animations I consider essential for the game to be playable, but 30 that I would like to add into the final version to make the game look nicer.
My goal is to finish two animations everyday so that I can get done with animating in about a month and a half, but I think the more realistic estimate is that they’ll be done in about 3 months. On the plus side, since they pretty much plug and play into the game, once the animations are done there will be very little left to do before the prototype is finished!
P.S. Here’s a link to all the most up to date animations I have. Depending on when you read this, it may have all of the old animations replaced, but at time of posting there are still a few left to redo.