View Full Version : Creating A Human Template

29-04-2007, 01:41 AM
I'm in the process of creating a template of sorts for the running character in my game, Subject 33.

Since I want the sprite to look like a real human running as one would, I'm going to make a set of frames using line segments to represent each limb as it would look when the character is running.

However to accurately do this I've ran into a tools wall. I'm not sure what to use. If I do it by hand in Paint or Photoshop, it'll take forever trying to get the limb lengths right and redrawing all the angles required, etc...

What might make this easier is if I had an overlay of the original image that I'm using for reference. This one. (http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/images/muybridge_motion10.jpg)

3ds max, might be overkill as I only want to draw and rotate line segments to match human movement to be eventually drawn over to make the actual body, arms and legs, head, etc that will make up the character.

Anyone have an suggestions or things that might make this simpler?

29-04-2007, 08:51 AM
Personally I prefer Poser for such kind of stuff. I can do any human animation with it looking very very realistic. You can save the result as video file or even as single bitmaps. Poser has a built in "walk designer" where you can adjust many motion behaviours, so you can make a character running, walking, moving like a zombie or whatever.

Don't know if this helps but the result you get with Poser would be a perfect stencil/pattern/template for your bone drawings you mentioned. And the result would be much better than your template link...


Poser also comes with a skeleton model and with a "wooden doll" model like this:
So you could use this directly as your template later on...

29-04-2007, 03:05 PM
For 2D animation, after doing the work on Crashblock, I can heartily recommend using Rotoscope animation.

1. Record video of subject

2. grab frames

3. import frame into drawing program and draw or pose your sprite over the top.

4. Export to desired format.

The end result, you get lifelike animation if done properly.

I recently found a windowsXP version of Another World, on the site, the original author describes the process he took to make the game.


29-04-2007, 09:10 PM
Ah, nice find Jason. :) I've visited Eric Chachi's site sometime last year. The new version of Another World is pretty nice.

As much as I'd love to do some kind of rotoscoping, I don't have the equipment for such a thing. Nor do I have my old coveralls from the Navy either. ;) No I think I'll have to stick with more conventional means, unless someone wants to step in and help out with the graphics? :D

I might try poser... I grabbed the latest free copy released sometime last year so it might help. Just not sure how it'll look at 16x16.

I realize that this res is so darn small, but to be honest I don't have the skills or time myself to redo all the graphics at this stage. If I had a helper or a partner on the game that would be different, but I don't now so these are the resources I have to work with.

I'm sort of learning how to draw this by hand myself so anything in that way can really help. OR if you guys have such a template that I'm looking for, that might help too.

I've seen this done for an adventure game 'Hero6' (a homage to the Quest for Glory series) and it turned out pretty well. I'm hoping that such a trick might help me out too.

If anyone wants to join in on the project as an artist I'd love to take you on, provided that you can draw what I need. I'd reconsider the change from 16x16 to 32x32 as well.

Anyhow I'll post some of my results as I work at this. Thanks guys! ;)

30-04-2007, 01:46 PM
Your sprites are 16x16? That's pretty wee..

In Crashblock, the character is 50x100 and with the sprite animated with Daz Studio, it was small and hard to see. Poser @ 16x16 will be impossible, even 32x32 will be tough. You'd be better off hand drawing simple animations if they're that small 'cos you'll miss out most of the detail anyway.

If you're using OpenGL, I'd use something like 64x64 and scale down.

As far as kit for Rotoscoping is concerned, all you need is...

a) A video camera
b) A tripod
c) A Tape measure ( to make sure all your videos have the subject the same distance from the camera and so you can measure footsteps etc)

d) Some software to extract images from the AVI (I'll update with a link to the software I use later)

e) A Graphics App, to draw the sprite over the current frame (this can be something like Poser, Milkshape etc)

That's it really.

The guy who made Another World had a lot less.. He had a Video, a GenLock, A Camera and an Amiga500 plus some software he'd written himself. Oh.. yeah, and a Ton of patience ;)

30-04-2007, 02:22 PM
Well I've got even less. :P

It seems I don't even have poser. :? The free copy I was referring to was instead Bryce and my old copy of Poser 4 is all scratched up and I can't get it to install. :evil:

With some luck though, I've managed to find a really nice animated gif file with a running guy in it. Only 5 frames (well it's a black silhouette that repeats mine will obviously be a bit longer)

It seems to be doing the trick so far. I've just started on my sprite I've got frame 1 done. At least a rough version of it. That leaves about 9 to go, plus the standing. :) Then I get to do all other 3 directions. Running 180<sup>o</sup> the other way won't be a problem as it's the same animation, but after I'm done with this I'll have to imagine him 90 facing forward then back around facing backwards.

I think the tricky part (--thats if you don't consider digging down deep into my near untapped pixel art skills tricky ;)--) will be just getting him facing forward. After that I can figure out easily how he'll look from behind.

The impressive part is that he is still 16x16. :D The new template was 50x50 and I managed to be able to size him down enough so that it would fix though a touch blurry. But that doesn't matter so much as the general shape of the runner.

I'll post some progress once I get a few more frames done.

30-04-2007, 02:35 PM
If you want a poser style app, look at Daz Studio, www.daz3d.com
Depending on the character you want, you'll probably have to purchase a model, (software is free, models aren't* well some of them are, have a look in the free section) If I ever do a War game, My first port of call will be Daz3D as they've got some cool soldiers in there. (I'm all for buying generic content if it fits the game)

Good luck with your animations.. I've not done 16x16 animation since my Spectrum days. Anyone who can get convincing pixel animation get's Kudos from me 8)

Also, remember, if your character is a black silhouette, you only need half of the frames needed for a full colour animation as you can't tell the difference between left and right arms & legs ;)