Motion capture

Discussion in 'The Vault' started by Shadowdean, Dec 4, 2000.

  1. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    OK - just after a lot of thinking - who else here thinks virtua fighter needs to have motion captured animation, and unique animation for each character?
  2. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    I personally don't care what sort of motion modeling they use as long as it has the "VF feel" that we discussed before (KBCat made comments on it a month or two ago).

    However, to do it properly with motion capturing, might take quite a bit of work, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do that. I'm sure that quite a bit of it will be done with capturing... But I want precision in a gameplay sense, and for that, I still prefer the old system over any motion capturing I've seen by far. But they'll (AM2) know how to do it and they know what they want.

    Short answer of your question, I don't really care, flash or look doesn't substitute substance, but it's nice to have with the substance.

    Only real issue I see with motion capturing is that there might be drastic changes if it applied to everything... Also, they would probably have to spend a lot of time on filler animation and cases and what not... but maybe I'm misunderstanding the whole thing. They'd spend a lot of time nailing down the animations anyways, but to give it a natural look in-sync with the motion capturing... ah well, we'll see what happens.

    I just want the gameplay, with or without flash.
  3. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    no. there's nothing wrong with it as it is now. nothing.

    and why would you want it in the first place? why? do you think there something wrong with it that we should all know about?

    and, just about 99.9% of the moves in VF have animations unique to them. different execution, collision, and recovery times. high kicks, low punches, you name it. look at frame stats, or perhaps just open your eyes and -look at the game-, and you'll notice this.

  4. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    I have to admit and admit to believing that there is nothing wrong whatsoever with the way movement is modeled in the VF series. As far as design and gameplay goes, it's gorgeous imo. The reason being, animations don't confuse the hell out of you and what not.

    In fact, this is why I don't really like flashiness and even attacked the idea of motion capture in VF long time ago. I think it can retain the feel with motion capture, but I admit it won't be the same... Not only that, but the matches themselves wouldn't appeal to me as much...

    I don't know how to describe what I'm talking about... But first of all, the animations in VF look great to me. Straight forward direct movement, but there are a lot of additional animations. Not only that, but AM2 didn't resort to too much motion capturing and glitz or a martial artist. They crafted the animations in VF to suit the design, and this imo is where VF succeeds on design above all fighters imo. The game is designed like an art with a heavy science behind it.

    At least that's the way I see it. That is also one of the biggest reasons I think the game has matches that are much more structured and technical than a lot of other fighters (especially in 3d fighters). Block animations, recovery, stun, detection, etc... all the variables just feel great in VF and that's the thing I don't really want changed so much (in overall design I mean, I'm not saying every move has to be identical all the time in each version).

    I think a heavy reliance on motion capturing is likely to obstruct this. Especially if the game does get pushed to come out sooner than it should (from the design team perspective). After awhile, you probably get too much effort in creating animations around the motion captured one... for each time an attack is interrupted and what not.

    I guess the more I think about it, the more I go back to my old view which is, motion capturing is not the way for VF. VF is a technical fighter and that's why I love it. Flashiness has a tendency to camoflauge or even dim the beauty in a design... And that's what I think of motion capturing, a budget tool that's flashy. Wonderful for CG. Wonferful for games designed to look "cool" under casual eyes. But again, mostly wonderful for CG rendered cinematics.

    To me, VF is a game first and always. In a game, design will stand the test of time. Visual splendor can only carry for the first 6 months at most. A decent design maybe longer. But a great design is timeless and priceless. In that aspect, I'll take it for great design. I'll take it for great design and good looks even. But I won't take it for great looks and a lesser design.

    On a side note, I like how there's really almost no confusiion as to what's going on when watching a VF match. Animations are pretty unique, technique 1 rarely if at all looks like technique 2. Animations are straight forward and do a PERFECT job in VF. Nobody has an excuse that a move looked awkward or even distracted them. You pretty much know what's going on in the match. I can't say the same for other 3d fighters, especially those that use Motion Capture. Many of those don't even have block animations even (techniques tend to go through, tend to just cancel into standing frame, etc... I'm talking about the motion captured games here).
  5. Sudden_Death

    Sudden_Death Well-Known Member

    vf does use motion capture (since vf1!).
    partially that is. not every move was done by
    some software. (either that or i dont know what
    that guy with a black suit with golf balls all
    over his body is doing in some vf book i have).

    if i'm wrong please correct me.

    <font color=red>PICCOLO</font color=red>
  6. GodEater

    GodEater Well-Known Member

    No, I believe you are right. In VF2 SEGA
    even credits a Motion capture studio. If
    that is not a good indicator I don't know
    what is.

  7. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    action studio 21(?) ? i remember reading that was the voice acting/recording studio.

  8. nxw0016

    nxw0016 Well-Known Member

    I think it looks very good already! It does have some unreal moves, but those moves actually increase the excitement don't you think so?
  9. GodEater

    GodEater Well-Known Member

    huruhm....I'd have to see the game screen again. Going
    on memory here but I was almost positive. I remember
    a large discussion on Usenet regarding motion

  10. uk_kid

    uk_kid Well-Known Member

    too much motion capture would make virtua fighter-x look like shitty pit fighter of mortal kombat. no, no, no. what's wrong with the existing animation? it's already smoother than anything else out there, and i'm sure vf-x will be even smoother.
  11. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    A note:
    Every roundhouse - save Shun's and Taka's - the same.
    Each side kick is almost thrown the same...
    I think adding more motion capture would help add to the feel. I think you can motion capture, and then overlay it the frames system to keep the basic gameplay premise...I think more variety would HELP the game...we all obviously have spent the time to play the game to no ends, so if it takes us a little bit more to adjust to the differen't attacks, then that's good - just gives us more of a challange. I'd like to see the round house thrown by Jacky to look like Bruce Lee's hook kick, I'd like to see Akira's side kick look like something from that style - even if it is just hitting with differn't parts of the foot.

    As long as we are on the topic of changes/improvments...
    I'd like to see environments have more of an effect -- if you really get wet - you should be slowed down a bit...maybe the clothing clings to you...if you land from a long fall on sand, it should hurt less than concret...
  12. uk_kid

    uk_kid Well-Known Member

    i understand where you (shadowdean) are coming from about possibly making the staple moves more unique to each character, but surely motion capture wouldn't be necessary in order to be able to do this. in vf2 akira's low kick was more unique than what it is now (and in fact looked a bit like bruce lee's low blocking-type kick - the one fei long has in street fighter), and personally i prefer the one he (akira) has now.
    the point you made about concrete and sand sounds sensible in theory, but could become confusing in practice (not knowing exactly how much damage a move does on every different type of surface and what not). as for clothing, maybe there could be moves that differ (damage-wise) according to which outfit you choose - baggier clothing could make you slightly easier to grab hold of or something.
    these kind of fairly radical suggestions probably won't be implemented into vf-x though (imo). improvements will probably, nay hopefully, not overshadow the game's spirit that the series has always had. personally, i would be more than satisfied if there weren't any MAJOR gameplay innovations (such as clothing getting wet making you heavier or whatever) and am2 launched vf-x with the customary virtua fighter improvements - richer graphics, (some would say 'just') 2 new characters, better, more elaborate fighting environments, significant enhancements to the existing fighters' repertoire of moves, etc. that is not to say that i wouldn't want reasonably significant innovations though - maybe low-chain throws for wolf or something, TT low reversals for aoi (to add to her high ones),and akira could be given a new combo in the DLC/SPoD mould.
  13. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    you wanna "think" that over?

    Shun, Taka, Sarah, Lion, Wolf, Jeffry, Akira, Aoi have completely different df+K sidekicks. Lau, Jacky, Kage and Pai have similar looking sidekicks, but differ in exe, co or rec or AD times.

    not the same.

    Pai, Shun, Lion, Taka, Aoi have high kicks completely unlike the rest. the remaining differ in exe or co or rec times or AD times.

    not the same.

    why the fuck i'm even explaining this, i don't know. i might be predictable in my "hostile" posts, but shit like this is really pathetic. open your damn eyes, josh, look at the game, and try and engage your brain before you blather on.

    back to the point, a few moves do share similar looking animations. technical nitpicking aside about them not being identical in every way, why exactly is it a problem if they look similar, josh? a couple of knees, low punches, some elbows and roundhouse kicks look the same. how exactly is that a problem? how could motion capture fix this? these are very, very basic what would you expect them to look like?

    i challenge you to find a game that uses motion capture (any game) that has better animation, not just in individual moves but also as far as how well everything works together: height and terrain changes, foot placement, how fluid moves progress from one to another, with throws and such..etc etc.

    i also ask how mo capping would make something that works really well already work even better.

  14. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    i'm almost certain that there is no or very, very little motion capture used in the vf series. i could swear i remember reading some translated interview where this was mentioned. i have never once seen any photographic or translated evidence to suggest otherwise.

  15. Jason Cha

    Jason Cha Well-Known Member


    Just to note that the roundhouses for Pai, Lion, and Aoi also have quite different animations.

    I've always wanted them to make new animations for many of the moves. Such as punch kick looking the same for many of the characters. So in that regard I guess I agree with you.

    But I frankly don't think it's a big deal because even though moves may look the same, their actual game properties are quite different. Sidekicks, p,k's, are very different in their effect. Just consider the difference between Pai and Lau's standing P. Looks pretty much the same, but I personally would rather have Lau's. You'll notice whenever I play Pai, I almost never do a simple standing P, but instead do P,P, while with Lau, the single P, (MC then a d/f, d/f pg throw) is quite beautiful. You just can't do that with Pai. Even though the P's look the same, they play quite different. And it is _that_ variety, not in animation, that really matters to most of the good players I know.

    Would motion capture changes add to the feel? Maybe. It's not necessarily a good thing. I'm not against it per se, but I think there is a lot to be said for subtle differences that deepen the gameplay than just superficial ones that just add complexity or eye candy without any depth. And I can't help but think of games where there is a lot of variety without any depth whatsoever. Complexity that doesn't add anything or leads to randomness is not a good thing.


    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by jason cha on 12/5/00 06:02 PM.</FONT></P>
  16. akiralove

    akiralove Well-Known Member

    Chanchai: when you talk about the games which use motion capture and look lame, which games do you mean? I know tekken also used a mix of captured and hand made, and DOA is all hand made, but maybe you're talking about ready 2 rumble or something.

    I think the animation in the UFC game looks pretty good, and they used a lot of motion capture.

    Personally, I don't think using it or not using it makes something inherently better or worse. I think the end result is what's important, not how you got there.

    There's a certain beauty to the way actual martial artists perform certain moves that cannot be easily replicated by hand animation. A good example is Kage's P+G "Tai Tou" basic throw, which is an Ippon Seoi Nage, or one armed shoulder throw (Paul alos has this move in Tekken). This animation looks nice, but is a bit different from how it works in real life. In actuality, you have to turn your upper body far to the left as you pull your oppenent over your shoulder in a diagonal motion. Both Kage and Paul pull the opponent straight over the top of their backs, and face forward as they throw. This is done mainly for effect I imagine, as the throwee flies through the air vertically with feet high at a 90 deg. angle to the ground. But when done in real life it has a grace and speed that's really unique, largely in part due to the movement of the person getting thrown as well. In this case it's the hand crafted version that comes off as more flashy, not the real one (if you were to motion capture it by any of the people I know who have command of the throw).

    It's just a matter of the mood you're going for, I feel.

    I think great benefit could be reaped by fighters going at it in free practice sessions, and watching what happens and how they really interact. Another example is escaping throws. Usually, when a fighter counters a grapple or throw, the result usually isn't a brief window where suddenly no one is touching each other (like escaping Akira's d/f+P+G). Usually the countering fighter will instantly go into a technique of his own, or the attacker will change direction into a new techique, using the resistance of his opponent against him; so that often a throw counter ends in a new throw (similar to what you see when escaping wolf or jeffry's body slams, although those escapes do no damage). I feel learning from these kind of real situations could only help make the game deeper and more fun.

    Imagine that when Jacky escapes wolf's body slam, we see what we do now; but when Jeffry escapes, then enters another command during the roll, he ends up in the mount on top of wolf, and a new set of options is available to both players.

    Either way, whatever happened between VF2 and 3, I feel the animation really suffered, and many of the common moves aren't nearly as smooth or cool looking as they were. Like Jacky's hook kick(B+K), it looked cool in 2, but now it looks totally shitty and game-ish. I feel the same way about many of Shun's moves, and just about all of Lion's. Jeffry's basic hell stab (D+P+K) looked great in 2, but now (P+E) it looks really lame and weak, while the middle hell stab looks good.

    If motion capture could remedy these animations, it'd be nice. But it seems in general 3 was a little rushed in the animation dept.

    However they do it, I hope it all looks smooth, fast and hard hitting in VFX.

  17. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comments, Spotlite. They were appreciated.

    First of all though, I never said motion capture looks lame. In general, I was awe-struck when Soul Calibur came out in the arcades. The way the moves looked and everything, it was absolutely gorgeous to me.

    However, as I mentioned, it's the "feel" in terms of design and gameplay that I strive for. And yes, graphics is something aside. It doesn't make it better or worse, generally. I didn't mean to say they were the same thing.

    As far as UFC is concerned, I do like the game quite a bit and it's cool for what it is. A huge leap forward in the grappling/striking wrestling game genre imo.

    Back to the point... The reason I prefer animations done by hand is because they end up representing the design as intended, generally. When it comes to motion capturing, my impression is that it is usually the design that is working its way around the subject of motion capture. I view VF as a game, not a fighting simulator. And as a game, I want the design represented first, then the packaging afterwords. However, a nice package is great. I'm not saying this can't be done with motion-capture, never did.

    I just mentioned that there is a lot of effort involved when you "work-around" motion capturing. Or at least that is my impression. Not only that, but to model instances that were not considered by the motion-capturing, that will have to be done by hand (or maybe TONS of motion capture sessions). In such cases, a lot of time has to be spent to make the handling as fluid looking as the motion capturing. However, there are shortcuts of course.

    There are games for being games... Maybe it's just me, but VF is that way... There's a degree to which it bases itself off of elements we see in action movies and some martial arts. But it's not a martial arts simulator by any means. And then there are games that are trying to emulate reality or at least cinematic action. I like both, but VF is in the "it's a game" department for me. For a realistic fighter, I would go for another title, despite VF having the word "Virtua" in it.

    However, I have to admit that to me, the beauty of VF are in fact some of the borrowed, "reality-based" applications... In a sense anyways. I mean, a single Punch functions as a jab or backfist (Chinese backfist that is). I love this in fact, I mean, how important staples are. How important setup is. Complex in the scope of a game, simple when compared to reality, and yet all of this makes it a complex design of a simple game. And I love that. I think that is something that hand-done animation is great at though.... It's built around the design. The design isn't compromised around "it."

    Does that mean it's impossible for motion-capture to perfectly represent design? No. Motion-capturing has so much potential, obviously. I admit, it looks great when done right. I admit, hand-done animation is what makes the old CG cinematic sequences in games look way too funky.... But both have the same potential as the other, actually. Just two different approaches.

    However, one is closer to getting what they really want with hand-done. At least for straight-forward things. With motion-capturing, you tend to get a more natural look because it's emulating in detail (as far as time and space) nature. Thus there are often compromises where both techniques are used. A natural look that is tweaked to suit the design. However, if this was done for every move and whatever else is to come, this will most likely take a lot of work and time. And well, a programmer might feel he's secure with how much he's getting paid. But the investors and contributors to the project have to race against time and a market, so they'll end up pushing the programming and design tema to finish it up (unless it's something almost guaranteed and has a name backing it that's so huge and the investors and company are already well off).

    Would I like VF-X to have mind-blowing animations that just immerse me into the game from the get-go as if I was watching some well-choreographed action flick? Yeah, I could never complain about that and it would be a treat. Would I like it to have a hard hitting impact that would make me feel the hits? Sure, of course. Again, would I want that at the sacrifice of design and the mindgames which only the VF series have represented? Not on your life.

    It's probably my bias to VF already, but I just don't want VF to go too far out of its own scope. The most important thing to me in the series is the setup, the mindgames, the psychological warfare, etc... If it uses motion capturing, it will only bother me if it sacrificed the gameplay. Other than that, I'd be perfectly happy if not extremely impressed. However, if I start seeing uncounterable sweeps and attacks because it was too hard or too time consuming to implement after all the motion-capturing, then I would be depressed.... That's unlikely of course. I'm just giving examples to make my point. I don't care how the graphics are done, I just want the gameplay as the main priority.

    As far as a game like Soul Calibur is concerned, I actually do like the game... Though it's ridiculous how uncounterable just about everything is in the game... Which is why you have to Guard Impact in that game, which is fine by me, but it pushes the game to be heavily offensive. Oh well, it's probably more to do with design than motion capturing, but it gets a bit crazy... I want VF-X to be a VF game, though.


    P.S. Regarding my "uncounterable sweeps" comment, I don't mean they are bad, depends on the character and the focus of the design of the character with it. Depends on the function or aspects of the sweep too. If all sweeps were uncounterable, I think that would be bad.
  18. GodEater

    GodEater Well-Known Member

    It's just a matter of the mood you're going for, I feel.

    I wholeheartedly agree! There would be times when M-capturing
    would not benefit the game because what was being displayed
    was unrealistic (how about Kage's shinsodan).

    and personally I don't think m-capturing would "remedy" any
    animations from VF3. I too don't like Jacky's axe kick. I
    thought it looked too jerky from its VF2 counterpart but I
    don't think that was due to anything being rushed. I think
    it was intentional. None of the animations in VF3 look like
    mistakes to me, just different to what I had hoped for or
    envisioned. Jeff's d+P+K hell stab got a work over in VF3.
    They added two more hits two it so the animation changed. It
    wouldn't make sense for it to have the same extension and
    reach of the old move since he's repeating it. Poor
    plodding guy, he'd never get two out if he had the same
    animations as before (at least not fast)!

    I think any game (but in particular VF) runs a risk
    when it tries to make certain things more realistic
    and involves those things in an un-realistic premise.
    Fighting? realistic, for sure but most of the moves
    and their application in the VF series are not.
    Kage's TFT, Lau's crescent, Wolf's short shoulder...
    their all exagerations are they not? I could be
    wrong and VF-X (should it come out) might prove
    me to be so but I think the animations in VF3
    have found a nice balance between realism and the
    opposite. I think the animations are super smooth
    right now so the only think m-capturing would lend
    the game (in my totally biased opinion) is a sense
    of the "real" which might prove counter productive.

  19. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    Arg - this is a bit frustrating - my point for the motion capture is much more for asthetics. I think it would help remove some of the maniquine feel from the game. I am NOT arguing at all about the properties, I know that they are quite differen't. But even with the basic ppp - almost all the characters look the same - Jacky, sarah, kage, pai, lau. I just think adding a bit more to the animation would help people associate better with a character and would draw more people into the game.
  20. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    In response to Godeater, I really have to agree with what he's saying. Actually, the more accurate statement is that I don't disagree with what he's saying in his last post. And that's basically a lot of what I have been personally posting in my, um... Essays.

    As for Shadowdean, I hear what you're saying... But I have to agree with a lot of what's been said by some, such as Rich. Generally, PPP might look the same, but to me it looks different among characters... Why? Probably because I'm looking at it in terms fo what Rich looked at them as (at least my impression of what he's said). The properties of those attacks. Priority, frames, etc... They make a huge different and PPP is not the same for every character that way. And actually, they do have different animations, trust me, they do. As subtle as the animations may differ, it's a result of the speed of the attacks that they look similar, because they are quite different.

    It might look subtle, but when you realize the applicable differences, the more you see how different the animations are, even visually. Lau has quite a different PPP string than everyone else, this is almost obvious to me from the get-go. I mean, he's doing a backfist to start out with and it's range of movement is slightly different from everyone else's. It actually took me some time to get used to Sarah's (as stupid as it sounds) Punch strings, even PPP. It's priority is quite different, and honestly, it does look different. Kage's punches are just a bitch when you're fighting against him.

    All I can say is that I can both see and feel the differences in the punches. Maybe I am delusional, but then, why can't I use everyone's punches like everyone else?! And then given that, why do my eyes tell me that there is nothing wrong with the picture and that if I used it wrong, I can actually see why? Unless I'm delusional, it's because all the punches are quite different and they make quite a difference, even when there is only subtle differences. Differences go a long way in VF. At least imo.

    VF wasn't designed to look beautiful, but to me, it sure plays like a dream. And beyond that, I think the game does look gorgeous anyways.

    I can see where you are coming from though, Josh. You are an avid martial artist or at least a huge fan of martial arts. You want the game to really display what the martial art techniques should look like, and actually, I'm pretty sure you would want the martial artists to apply their systems as intended in the actual, real-life counterpart of their martial arts. However, in VF, I found something I love. And it's not a simulator. It's a game with a wonderful design when you can accept it's a game.

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