you wish you could sometimes breathe life into the characters you model
and have them talk back to you? Although, current AI technology may not
allow you to have an intelligent conversation with your characters, it
may be possible to give them some degree of intelligence through
of laying out footsteps in front of your character to create a
walk-cycle, you just give it a destination and he?ll find a way to get
there on its own, resolving problems and avoiding obstacles in its
emerging field of technology will allow a new breed of characters to
exist in games, especially on next-generation consoles which will have
the necessary CPU to bring your creatures to life.
animation could probably be described as a mix of procedural algorithms
and AI, allowing your characters a certain level of autonomy and
unpredictability. You could for example push a character down a flight
of stairs and get extremely realistic motion and behavior, putting its
arms in a protective position. In a sports game such as American
Football for example, a tackle could be "generated" and the ensuing
motion would be simulated. Traditionally, this would be done through a
series of pre-recorded mocap sequences blended together. The motion
would almost always be the same. The new simulated approach in
comparison would generate new results each time.
Motion and its Endorphin software, now in its 2.0 version, does just
that. High-end film and VFX studios all over the world are already
using it. Game studios are integrating the technology directly into
their games for next-generation consoles.
recently had Dinner with Torsten Reil, CEO or Natural Motion and
discussed the technology and application of this exotic, and pretty
fun, new tool.
CGC: First of all, Endorphin isn?t for every budget, how much does it cost and who should use it?
A commercial endorphin licenses costs $12,795. For educational
institutions, we offer a 75% discount. Most of our users are
professional game studios and post-production houses. Currently,
endorphin tends to be used on projects that require lots of animation
data (like most games), or have shots that are hard to key-frame or
motion capture. Check out our website for how The Mill used endorphin
on the latest Pepsi commercial.
CGC: You have announced the release of Endorphin 2.0 for GDC. What?s new?
Most importantly, we have introduced the ability to layer Adaptive
Behaviors on top of each other. For example, you can now assign Jumping
to the lower part of the body, while the upper body adaptively catches
a ball. We also did a lot of work on the user interface. Among other
things, you can choose keyboard profiles for the most common packages
(like Maya, 3dsmax, XSI, Lightwave), so you feel ?at home?
straightaway. Finally, endorphin now supports Alienbrain and Perforce