Evolution of Video Game Animation Throughout the Years

Learn more about video game animation advancements through the decades.

Video games have evolved to a great extent since the 1980s. It is not just a few pixels or picture elements on the screen of computers or mobile devices. Video games are now intricate art pieces which require time to develop. Video game animation or movement also advanced significantly thanks to technology.

Progress of Game Animation

Only recently, character video game animation was limited to stiff movement since developers were unable to create a complex gaming rig without forgoing game experience. This has gradually changed due to improvement of graphics. Flexible and believable animation entails creation of complex characters whether it is traditional hand-key or automated motion-capture. Developers’ expectations are rising as graphics improve. The level of character video game animation is also going up.

Video game animation escalated ten times because of sophisticated consoles. The hardware is better and enables animators to control characters. 2D or 3D computer animation which is the essence of motion-capture improves facial expressions in modern games such as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. The older 8-bit color graphics was useful despite the rigid and minimal character movements. Said technique stores image information in the PC memory or image file. Each pixel is represented by an 8-bit storage unit or byte.

Computer graphics were idle before so it was simply enough to see the character running, jumping or attacking.

Video game animation is an essential component of game creation. It puts life into characters making them look like real persons. Aside from facial animation, players can see character traits seen in animated motion pictures.

Nowadays, video game animation is more vivid regardless of platform. It can be the Full Motion Video (FMV) cut scenes or rich in-game simulation. The FMV may be computer graphics or sketched manually. The generation is the same in production of video or film content. FMV sequences are used most of the time for narration.

Evolution of Video Game Animation Throughout the Years

Interactive Animation

Interactive is the key in video game animation. In gaming, players must have absolute control over the characters and camera. This is why animation must look good from all angles. Game animators create animation for multiple characters which include fantasy creation, combat operations, battle scenes, giants, super heroes, and orchestrated events.

There are also different cycles in video game animation. For example, video games breathing, idle position, crawling, and walking cycles. Majority of video games are propelled by so-called body mechanics. Developers devote time to perfect this stage so the video game will be successful. Timing is determined by player participation. Reload game animation requires perfect timing to improve the game play. It needs to be quick enough so players can return to action right away. Likewise, it should be measured to make the game more realistic. This is an additional challenge for players.

For video game animation, the turnaround is faster compared to film animation because the latter is more complicated. Movie animators need several months to complete one scene depending on how convoluted it is. Game animation may not be as perfect in movies but this should still look good in gaming.

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