Serena’s first non-placeholder art: a walk cycle

In the last article, I showed Serena’s (mostly) finished model in its base “T” pose, with no skinning, rigging, or animation (the stuff that makes 3d models move). Today you get to see what Serena looks like when she’s doing every game character’s most important animation– the walk cycle.

Serena walks!

Serena had previously been walking around the world in her ugly mismatched placeholder art, but look at her go now! So fancy!

Serena's walk cycle, front

Serena's walk cycle, left

Serena's walk cycle, right

Here’s what she looks like taking a stroll through the park level:

Serena walking through the park

I never bothered to post in-game video clips before because her standing pose sprites had her redesigned dress, but her walk cycle frames still had the old design. It was an eyesore, even by placeholder standards.

3D model stuff

I made some minor changes to the model to prepare it for skinning, but I think I’ll need to go back and make some more changes before the game launches. For example, Serena’s hair part looks fine from the front and sides, but it looks unnaturally straight from the back view.

Serena's walk cycle, back

For those wondering what the bones for this model looks like:

Serena's 3D model rig screenshot

Anyone who is especially well versed in 3D rigging and animation is probably cringing in pain at the sight of this screen grab right about now. I’m notoriously bad at rigging, but thankfully I’m the only animator who will be working with it. As long as I know how to make it move, that’s all that matters.

A good start, but a long way to go

Serena’s finished walk cycle marks the first piece of final artwork for the game. I’ve been working on this project for years using just placeholder art to get things up and running, and now there’s finally a hint of what I’m envisioning the final game will look like. This is a major milestone, but there is so much more to go.

Leave a Reply