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Chapter 16. Animating for Games > Animation Categories

Animation Categories

Real-time animation is handled differently from big-screen animation. To make the game truly interactive, each animation has to be handled separately, so that the correct one can run when the player requests it.

In all, real-time animation can be separated into the five principal categories discussed in this section. Each animation you create will fit into one of these categories.

Idle and Fidget Animations

When the player stops controlling the character, it will begin to cycle randomly through various animations. If, for example, the character is standing still, a default breathing animation will play, in which the shoulders and chest rise and fall and the arms swing slightly—this is the idle animation. Once this has played for a while, another animation will randomly kick in; this could involve the character’s looking around aimlessly, tapping a toe, or picking their nose; the intent is to give them variety and some feeling of life. These variants are know as fidget animations. Both idle and fidget animations need to be looped or cycled and so could also come under the next category, cycle animations.


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