11Animation Systems

The majority of modern 3D games revolve around characters—often human or humanoid, sometimes animal or alien. Characters are unique because they need to move in a fluid, organic way. This poses a host of new technical challenges, over and above what is required to simulate and animate rigid objects like vehicles, projectiles, soccer balls and Tetris pieces. The task of imbuing characters with natural-looking motion is handled by an engine component known as the character animation system.

As we’ll see, an animation system gives game designers a powerful suite of tools that can be applied to non-characters as well as characters. Any game object that is not 100% rigid can take advantage of the animation system. So whenever ...

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