Plant critter

This is the official thread for the creation of the Plant critter. Take a look at the Hero card on the roadmap.

The plant critter is a creature that the player stumbles into early in the game, as the first hostile encounter. Since it can't move, it doesn't pose much of a threat, but if the player gets too close, it will bite.

As an idle, it could be interesting to just make it look like a normal plant (so no mouth) so that it blends with the scenery. Good for a small scare the first time the player encounters it.

When defeated, it withers to the ground (for a while?).

Since it's a character, we need:

All these phases don't need to be tackled by the same person!

You can get some more info on the Critters on the corresponding card on the game design wiki, or in the cards for the individual tasks linked above.

And for art guidelines, you can refer to the Rock Critter already present in the project.

6523495--736162--PlantCritter2.jpg 6523495--736165--PlantCritter1.jpg

Hi there!

I am giving a try to model this creature. Here is a first test with a basic texture.
6524696--736439--upload_2020-11-15_1-39-3.png

6524696--736436--upload_2020-11-15_1-27-28.png

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An update from today. I have started to rig it and try to build some drafts animations.
It is more or less the first time I am doing that, so nothing is at the level of the existing asset… So, if anyone has texturing/rigging/animation skills, they are more than welcome :slight_smile:

Iddle state test:

Warn state test:
6526809--736878--plant_critter_2.gif

Attack test:
6526809--736872--plant_critter_1.gif

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@treivize That's definitely not bad. My first chicken I tried to animate was far worse (the lesson I learned is that the start position - the equivalent to a T-pose - should be a good compromize between to the extremes you want to reach - I had modelled the chicken with it's head up high and wanted it pick on the ground - and I couldn't make so much deformation of the mesh look natural. If I ever make a chicken again I will have it's head stuck forward, pretty much like the phoenix chick's T-pose).

About your plant critter:
Not sure whether are any tiny movements in the idle state, I don't see any. Typically you simulate some breathing, maybe opening the mounth just a tiny bit, increasing the x and z scale a tiny bit, and the top leave moving just a tiny bit . You might have some random - looking slight leaning forward/backward/sideways as well. Maybe you do have all that but it's to small to be recognized.

I would also say the attack is extremly symmetric. Why not a small leaning left or right during the forward movement on top of it (the end position still the same)? And the left leave doing something little different from the right leave?

I could help with the animations if you want me to, but think you can handle to improving the animations yourself. If you like I will help with the texture. I just wait for your pull request to be processed.

4 Likes

Super cool!

My feedback too:

  • I agree with @Smurjo that the attack animation is very symmetric.
  • For the idle, it's true in the card I mentioned that the plant was supposed to be in disguise. So if you implement this breathing animation, it would have to be very subtle... actually, it could be a bit of movement to the sides so it looks a bit like the wind on normal plants.
  • The correspondence to the concept is 90% there. I'd make the shape more round, bigger leaf on top, and have the smaller leaf too. Also those half-baked eyes in the texture could go, in my opinion. I can also give a pass on the texture, if needed!
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Hi @cirocontinisio and @Smurjo ,

I am really glad that globally it seems to meet some of your expectations for the plant critter! Again thanks for your feedback, it was my goals posting this early WIP here to get some directions.

  • The idle state was just an image in my previous post. I did not start creating an animation yet. Just the initial pose, I might have mentioned it. Indeed I was thinking also on something not that static for the idle. I was thinking about a little leaves movement, like reacting to the wind. for the breathing it is a good idea, given we want to keep the predation of this plant secret, I will try to make the whole head inflate/deflate slightly without opening the mouth. And also have the side movement as explained by @cirocontinisio .
  • Agree the attack is currently very mechanical, not something matching a living creature. I will try to enhance based on your comments. I might reach my skill limits here.
  • I will update the mesh also based on your comments, based on your comment, I am just realizing that indeed the small leaf on the head is missing! It is my mistake, the model contains one, but it is currently a planar shape, I need to extrude it to make it two-side rendered in Unity.

Fainting is not started yet, but I was thinking about introducing another animation state: "Be Hit" state when our Hero successfully hits the plant.

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Hi everyone!

Thanks a lot for your encouragements!

I reworked UV and the texturing first today.
To improve the UV, the first attempt was splitting the head in 4 quarters which was not good to have seamless texturing, so I have changed for a cylinder projection and caps for the top and the bottom of the head:
6529970--737462--upload_2020-11-16_22-34-20.png 6529970--737471--upload_2020-11-16_22-36-5.png

I tried to improve the animations as much as I have been able to do.

Idle > WakeUp > Alert > Attack > Alert > Attack > Alert > Idle:

6529970--737492--plant_critter_3.gif

@cirocontinisio , the plant has been "spherified" for its idle state :smile:
Everything has been pushed in my current PR.

5 Likes

It would be nice if he opens his eyes when attacking. Why else would he have them?

Hi @Smurj,

It seems indeed that baking eyes in the texture was not the best idea, I was a bit too lazy at the beginning :p
I corrected it at lunch time :)

Here is the same animations with glowing eyes!
6532169--737894--plant_critter_4.gif

Is it better like this?

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Hi carnivorous plant lovers!

I have added additional animations to it! Again everything is pushed in the on-going PR. I am waiting for your feedback!

6533246--738122--plant_critter_5.gif

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I like the lack of eyes, all the famous carnivorous vegetables didnt have eyes. Like piranha plant and Audrey II.
Really cool job Treivize!

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Yes, I would also remove the eyes and stick to the concept art!

Sure, indeed plants have no eyes, it makes them even more frightening. removing the eyes was an easy update.

Here is a small demo with a proper animator:


Again it is available in the PR

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Super cool :) I swear I'll get on the PR soon :)

(in the meantime, I did a little tweet about it as part of this ongoing chain)

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Hey! Really nice work! I have almost zero experience in 3d modeling and seeing this post is giving me a better understand of the whole process.

I like the animations. But, in the Alert animation, I find the leaves animation could improve. Maybe all leaves could go outwards and inwards instead of forward and backwards (I have no idea if doing this is possible hehe)

Really good result! It got me really interested in trying some 3d art

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@cirocontinisio , thanks a lot! I am really glad to discover some of my contributions in your tweets! It is really motivating!

@erizzoalbuquerque , thanks for your warm feedback! I have pushed an updated version of the alert animation, indeed the animation of the leaves on the side were not great

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Hi all, I am new to the project and I love what I see. I can not wait to see how I can learn and help out.

@treivize - this is looking so great and I can not wait to learn a bit more about the workflow of getting a rigged and animated model into Unity. Am I correct that that you built that model in Blender?

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Hi @danten66 , welcome on board! I am glad you like what is going on!
Indeed, I am not a pro in computer graphics, just hobbyist so I am using Blender/Gimp to do everything about 3d assets (modeling/texturing/rigging/animation). If you need help how to export things from Blender to Unity do not hesitate to ask

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Thanks for the (future,) help. I’ll poke around a bit over the next few days and see what questions I come up with in the meantime and then look for a place to hop in to this exciting project.

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Merged it! Thanks for this fantastic contribution, @treivize !

I left a couple of notes on the PR. Nothing you need to fix though.
https://github.com/UnityTechnologies/open-project-1/pull/190#issuecomment-735235728

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