Making 3d Animations in Milkshape
3D animations used to be a very time consuming thing. An artist would have to draw every individual frame of an animation. If it was needed for a model to walk a lot of work went into drawing many different pictures that had to be assembled together. With animation programs you just have to define the beginning and ending point of the animation and the program figures out all the middle steps.
Milkshape does most of the work for you when it comes to your animation. But you are going to see, as you make models that there is a bit of distortion that occurs. Milkshape will move your animation in specific ways and as your models get more complex you will see that the move distorted things in ways that you don't want. This means that you would go back into the model and adjust the screen mesh and the faces. Something like this comes with experience and with a little bit of practice you will be able to see and do this well.
For now we are just going to learn the basics of animating a model. From there you will have the skills to improve yourself.
Frames and Keyframes
We talked a bit about how you will define the beginning and ending points of an animation. These points are called "keyframes" and milkshape will figure out all the points in between these two points. It does this by building its own frames. These are just normal frames.
You define the keyframes and milkshape puts the frames in between.
If your model were to move its arm up into the air you would define the hand in the down position and then in the total up position. These are the two keyframes. Milkshape would figure out all the frames in between.
Each frame in an animation from beginning keyframe to ending keyframe is a position, and a time interval. You will define how long it takes to move from frame to frame.
Joints Bones and Skin
We are finally getting to the joints and bones of the skeleton. We discussed these in the beginning of this tutorial but until now we have never used them. We just focused on the look of your model which is the skin.
When animating a model you have to work with the joints and bones. These are what move and the skin will move with them. And this is where you can see that experience and practice will come in. As your joints and bones move the skin will distort in way that you don't like. You would have to go back and tweak the look of your skins to get it more appealing.
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