Hour 7 - Our First Plants!
Plantasia finally has some plants to call its own! I spent some time researching different ways that I might be able to create nicely animated plants. I'm using Blender to create my 3D models and it has some really nice features for creating and animating shapes based on bezier curves, which can create results like this:
Unfortunately, while this works great within Blender, I couldn't find a way to export these animations in a way that Unity could understand. Which makes sense, I guess, as the animation is achieved by editing curve-specific parameters. Once the model is converted into a polygonal mesh, that's all lost. "Baking" the animation didn't work for me either.
After trying a few different approaches I decided to just fall back on what I know: rig/skeleton-based animation! I can still use bezier curves to generate the actual geometry for various plant stems/roots/trunks, but now I'll just convert to a mesh within Blender, chuck in a simple skeleton, and animate like I would any other object. Results seem promising so far! :)
Some procedural animation would be cool, but for now the plan is just to create a few different "growth" animations for each plant and pick between them randomly. You can see a taste in the video above. I've also started using butler to upload my builds so you can grab small patched versions if you use the itch.io app. Either way, if you're on Widows feel free to grab the latest build and have a (very) brief play. :D
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