This is a piece of filler text as I get around to finishing this blog post :)
So, it’s finally over! My redesign of a few screens from BL2 is done!
All in all I am happy with what I achieved. I learnt a lot, both about UI design and technical skills. This system was meant to represent the shift to flat design and fancy transitions in interfaces, and the question of how that would change Borderlands 2 if they were to redesign it. It was inspired by Google Glass and other wearable technology that overlays the real world with statistics- just as the characters in the Borderlands world might have.
Now that that’s done I’m going to sleep for weeks!
I experimented with several different fonts before I selected the one that was right for my project, Oswald.
I chose Oswald because it is readable at many different sizes, with a slab/sci-fi edge that make it fit the graphic style of the game and interface.
My final animation is done!
I am proud of the result as I believe it is the most convincing character animation I have done to date. The sense of weight and timing is much better than my work last year, and I feel my skills in Illustrator and After Effects have improved considerably. However there is always things that could have been done better.
In the end I could not include some frames or actions in my storyboards, as when I was testing the animation’s timings these felt clumsy, so would definitely have felt clumsy to a user looking for quick movements. Therefore they had to be worked out, but instead of removing them I should have found different ways to incorporate these more complex actions.
I feel the death could have been more convincing- maybe the man falling to his knees and having a dramatic, overblown Shakespeare-esque death sequence.
I think a ducking/slide animation would have given the character more personality and given more options for gameplay modes.
All in all, I’m happy with what I did. I definitely did a lot more research this time around, and it paid off!
When I finally got to animation production because I had fleshed out my character concept and technical specifications early, creating a ‘rig’ that worked well, the animation went quite fast. Below are some videos of the animation at different stages of completion.
Changes from the original design to the final one
Character set up
First walk cycle- I struggled with cycling the animations and not making it jerky. This is the first attempt in which it worked.
Walk cycle and idle animation- I built on what I had previously created, constantly revising my animations so that they all fit well together.
Jump animation – this took the longest. At this early stage I wasn’t sure of the height required or the distance that needed to be covered.
First render with transitions- I had to manually create the transitions between different cycles. This meant a lot of lining up frames and praying I had them pixel perfect enough to look seamless.
First render with smoke- this was added last as I wanted the smoke to react to the ways in which the character had moved.
One of my biggest problems was with file referencing and confusion with names. In the end I saved identical illustrator files of the character for each comp within the piece- not ideal but something I will remember for next time.