3D Fiddling

Near the beginning of the UK’s first 2020 national lockdown, I decided to try to attain some basic familiarity with 3d game development tools. Initially this started out as learning the basics of modelling in Blender, but grew into a small project to implement procedural animation to a player-controlled humanoid skeleton, based on the excellent Bonehead tutorials by WeaverDev.

With no specific goal in mind, and the uncertainty of how long the lockdown would last, this was definitely more in the vein of poking around with the tools than aiming to create any kind of finished product. It was probably not a great idea for my first ever 3D model to be a full stylised low-poly human skeleton, but I’d been reading Paul Koudounaris’ The Empire of Death and had weird religious skeletons on the brain.

Once I’d modelled the full skeleton, I went through Blender’s video tutorials on rigging and animation, and ended up with a result I was pretty happy with: I’d learned the basics of Blender, and my skeleton could now shrug, dab and give a thumbs up – the three cornerstones of any animated character.

However, I’d recently seen a cool looking gecko on Twitter that was moved entirely using procedural animation. With no other real goals in mind, I decided to see if I could follow the tutorial for the Gecko, and adapt it so that I could use it on my skeleton model. This involved working in Unity (which I was familiar with) in 3D (which I was not), and presented a pretty big challenge for my previously 2D-only brain.

Eventually, after a lot of trial and error and minute adjustments, I achieved what I was looking for; I’d successfully adapted the gecko tutorial to work on my bipedal skeleton, as well as changing it to be directly keyboard-controlled by the player, rather than following an object that the player moves.

And then… I modelled and gave him a shotgun. But that’s neither here nor there.

I also made this normal human guy, but the less said about him the better.

Tools used:

  • Blender
  • Unity
  • Visual Studio 2019

Languages employed:

  • C#