Parametric animation is an animation technique used in computer software, such as in computer games, that blends two or more separate animations together to form a new animation. This new animation is constructed in real-time by the game engine, and is not stored in a separate file like a regular animation. The technique was first used in an early build of the Half-Life mod, Team Fortress 2, and it not only heavily reduces artist workload during game development, it provides for much smoother animation as well.
Example of use
In the early days of video game development, animators were required to create entirely new animations to reflect multiple actions performed by the player. For example, an animator might be required to create animation for shooting, reloading, and jumping. If the player was to jump while shooting, the artist would have one of two choices:
- Allow the game to display the animation with greater priority — in this case, shooting
- Create a separate animation which depicted simultaneous jumping and shooting
As development continued, the artist would be forced to create an oversized plethora of animations; running while shooting, running backwards while shooting, running left or right while shooting, running while reloading, and so on. With Parametric Animation, an animator might (for sake of simplicity) only be required to create the three base animations from which the remaining 25+ animations would be constructed.
How parametric animation works
It combines different layers of animation automatically. The whole process controls by program, determines which animation layer should be used and also controls the method of combination like override, additive, overly or ... and the amount of density.
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