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Arid: In-Game Cinematic

Arid: In-Game Cinematic

Lizzy Wilmer
by lizartanimation on 31 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

This is an in-game cinematic made in UE4 for a newly released (student-made) game on Steam: Arid. I am the 3D animator on the team and very excited to show my work!

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DISCLAIMER: sadly, none of these videos have audio. The sequence still needs the audio design to be implemented, and the in-game footage got exported without sound. Just a heads up!

My entry for this year's Rookies contest is an in-game cinematic I animated and created for a game released on Steam recently that I have worked on as Character Animator: Arid. The sequence is rendered in Unreal Engine 4 using a Level Sequence and 1 Camera. I always start blocking out my animations in Maya (character credits: Bryan Boomsma (model) Samuel Habekotté (rig)), splining and perfecting them in Maya with a camera animation too (since it's first person, so the camera movement is just as important!). I then export the animation, import it into Unreal and create a sequence with it!

The flare gun (credits: Ruben Hochapfel) I rigged in Maya so it had a skeleton, and the trigger-controls had attributes with values 0 to 10 for easy animating. Having constrained the gun to the wrist of the right hand, I create the animation and later on bake it onto the skeleton of the gun. These animations and meshes are separate; but perfectly in sync in-engine :)

The VFX for the flare shot was created in Niagara by Joshua Rizzo.

Below here you can see in-game animations that I also created. Apart from the keyframed animations themselves, I have learned (being my lead programmer (Thijs Bouwhuis)'s mentee) to make functional blueprints and in this case, use the BlendPerBone node to blend 2 separate animations with each other. 

In this case, you can see the 'empty bottle' animation at the start, and then the 'equipping torch' animation. When pressing G to drink while holding the torch, it blends seamlessly. You can see that the original 'empty bottle' animation uses both arms; and when blending, only the right arm. 

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