UPDATE: Tomorrow there will be an update with those animations we’ll be including. Thanks for all the contributions, you guys are doing awesome, keep going! There’s also been a few questions, and here are the answers..
1. Yes you can use 2.46 to animate. To view Frank with glsl you’ll need an apricot build though. You can get one from graphicall.org
2. There is no deadline really
3. You can modify any animations you’d like, even ones that appear finished, if you think you can make it better, but please don’t change anything on the skeleton.

Here is Frank, in all his glsl shaded glory. Pablo has pretty much finished his textures and one of the tricky parts was the tail. I created the tail with the shell method, which means the tail mesh is duplicated multiple times and fattened(alt+s) so that it’s slightly bigger each time, with each outer shell having an alpha texture that is a noise pattern colored by the base color map.

Now, here’s how you can help out. Frank has some animations that haven’t been made yet. We considered working with a few externals like Peach had done, but thought it would be more fun to release Frank to the community and see what you can come up with.

So the deal is, download the blend file here, make some animations, then post a link to the blend file in this post in the comments below. We’ll look at all of the entries and if your animation is awesome, we’ll include it in the game and you’ll get a spot in the credits. We won’t be able to be the director to everyone making animations, so only animators whose work we include will receive a reply. When you post your work, be sure to leave your name and email address. All work that’s sent to us and is included in the game will be released under the same license as the game, Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution.

Some animations we have are placeholders that need to be redone, so look through the actions list in the blend file and find one you think would be fun to redo, and do it. Here’s a list of some of the animations we really need though. As far as style for animation goes, we’re looking for fun and exaggerated animations.

Idle(fun stuff, scratching his ass, etc.)
Jump
Double Jump(front flip, wing flap for boost, etc)
Getting hurt(minor damage)
Getting hit(impacted, rammed into)
Shimmy left and right while hanging on ledge
Falling(dropping down from a high place)
Throwing nuts



75 Responses to “Animate Frank!”
  1. Nice work. Frank looks good.

  2. very cool

  3. I like how his tail twitches at the end of the video.

  4. This sounds like fun. If I wanted to submit some animations for Frank, do I have to use a particular number of frames for each action, or can they be any length?

  5. Awesome - I’m definitly stoked!

    Is it ok if I put bones in new groups for my own clarity?

  6. @Iain, any number really, Id imaging we’d want to keep them less then 200-500 frames, though game actions usually don’t need to be that long.

  7. @Mike, really prefer you don’t, although if you do, and your animation is tops we could review it and incorporate the changes.
    However please appreciate that if 2 or more people do this, it could make accepting changes tricky and the rigs have been kept simple on purpose.

  8. Francisco Ortiz says:

    Hey cool! Francis will try to animate Frank. :P

  9. Francisco Ortiz says:

    Is 2.46 the way to go or… Does we need to download another version?
    :?

  10. Yeah - would we need the most recent build?

  11. When do you want them by?? This is a sweet idea by the way!

  12. Francisco Ortiz says:

    @Maul:

    Nice question! What is the deadline guys?

  13. BlenderLovingSquirrel says:

    wow this is just amazing

    he looks so high quality

    great work you guys!

  14. name: Michael Fox
    email: (Michael, we are going to use the one you submit with your comment, to not to show it public)

    actions: Frank_Idle3
    Frank_SecondJump

    File: http://www.dark-stone.com/mfoxdogg/frankanim.blend

    Comment: Hope you like them :)

  15. Awesome animations!
    Would help out if I had any skills at all (and had some creativity).
    Keep up the good work, please =)

    OTOH, Could we have some more teasers please?

  16. Wow, that looks really nice. Also, the game looks really good in the crystal space game engine but it looks a lot more like the movie on the blender game engine. Is there going to be a demo for both engines or just crystal space?

  17. IPO curves or actions only?

    Glenn

  18. I created a major-damage animation.

    You can dload it here:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?hgvgwzwldit

    Let me know if you like it generally, if so I will then refine it a little more… its surprising that there is no way for the squirrel to twitch his nose, i think that would bring some more common recognizable behavior to the character..

    Thank you soo so much for the improvements to teh BGE. I am greatful for all the work!

    Animashun

  19. Name: Joshua Huf

    Action? A minor damage hit. The tail might need a little more tweaking, still working on it.

    File is here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/yvc2l0

    This is awesome fun, by the way.

  20. Same animation as above, just tweaked right arm and tail. Its finished now, unless someone has a suggestion.

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/h6e48s

  21. pascal tempier says:

    Hi here

    I am wondering why you re not using the same animations than you used for peach (skeletton is too complexe for realtime?).

    I didn’t checked, but did you tried to re-use the same meshes or use multires during devellopement to keep a version for peach and another for apricot, then generate the normal map as for apricot?

    Stuff like baking textures from peach and use them in apricot does it works or there s too much difference between both.

    Basically how much did you re-used or modified a bit to-reuse it, Do you think you re-used enought material or it could have been better if from the begining you made the peach object with in mind that they would be re-used later in apricot?

    For monsters i think if you get short on time an easy option is to make variation (typically color and size: “frozen blue, green, big red angry, small sick with pustules”) of existing monsters, if you get 3 colors that multiply number of monsters by 3 easily.
    In fact i think that if you ask community for alternate textures and provide an existing textures and the polygon outline, i am pretty sure you ll get a number of responses back because that s not too hard to do compared to let s say rigging and weighting bones.

    I made a site to do this kind of thing long time ago, but what may also be motivating, interesting would be to provide a gallery to see submited textures, peoples enhencing and viewing each other works easily, create some emulation like “i made a better texture than him”. Actually my idea was to vote on textures and get best voted textures in-game (actually the idea of the site was to allow to submit everything game related “objects, rules, characters, textures, quests, etc.” and make the game like this).
    Btw i am unemployed, so if somone want to try to find a way to monetize on this idea with me(i d like to get some renenue from the stuff i am doing at a point) by ads, in game ads, subscription, object sells, etc they may contact me at pascal.tempier *A*T* laposte.net

  22. I think the main run is a bit too jerky. And, as it’s probably the action most seen in gameplay (going by the demo) I think it should be silky smooth. I have tried to even it out a bit using IO curves but I’m not sure you can use those in BGE (that’s why I asked earlier :))

    Here is a rough test. The feet go through the floor etc but it’s a run with a smoother arc..

    http://www.glennmelenhorst.com/misc/blender/frankanim5.blend

    Glenn

  23. Joshua Huf says:

    Glenn - nice run cycle. If I could make a suggestion…?
    Maybe make the tail flow a bit more (on the way up, the tip feels like it should be pointing down a bit more), and the head bob a little. Otherwise, I think its better than the current one …

    Here is a nut-toss. He jumps up as he’s throwing, to give a little more power to it. Hope it’s ok.

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/q4a0a0

  24. Thanks. I hadn’t touched much other than the body :) i would like to play with it if I get the time. it’s all about economy of movement. Overlapping curves of claen moves. I use IPO extend mode to see how the lead in and out of a cycle affect eachother.

    Glenn

  25. First of all, Wow! what a great Saturday morning surprise, just downloaded all your animations for review…. more on that later…

    @Francisco Ortiz, 2.46 should be fine but you wont get GLSL shader goodness.

    @maul2, soon as possible ofcourse, but within 2-3 weeks would be great.

    @Centx More teasers? - Keep an eye out for something more interactive next ;)

    @cooper, we plan to showcase both engines.

    @Glenn Melenhorst, actions please.

    @pascal tempier, peach rigs use features not supported in the game engine like MeshDeformation and even if it was supported, would be too complex for realtime playback.

    We didn’t reuse that much.
    The meshes are just poly reduced a bit and re-textured.

    The materials in peach were applied to fur and skin which has to be done differently in a game engine.

    Regarding your last paragraph, one thing I think wouldn’t work well is the competition method of selection, there needs to be a LOT of content before that can work and Id rather people cooperate on what needs to be done rather then having 10 Franky textures to choose from seems like a wasted effort and also takes time to manage this.
    You could look at selling models on http://www.turbosquid.com - try making high quality UV mapped, weight painted models. vehicles, buildings, people etc.

    ok…. animation review is probably better done by the artists, but Im sure we will use some of them.
    Ah one comment tho - Fixing up OUR animations is also much appreciated.

  26. going to do some. Really looking forward to it.

  27. OOh nice :) I’ll see if I can make some too, see if I can work out blender keyframing from a maya background… :O Looking good guys, he looks very optimised from the screenshot there.

  28. Ok didn’t change bone groups.

    Action : Frankie_Jump

    file: http://www.watchmike.ca/wp-content/uploads/2008/26_frankjump.blend

    e-mail : mikejamesbelanger@gmail.com

  29. Action: Frank ShimmyR

    !^_^I animate him using is feet also and only now I realized that it may not be suitable for all ocasions :/

    file:
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/kkyl6v

    e-mail:
    rogpertoons@yahoo.com

  30. What kind of squirrel can’t climb trees, or wall ivy?

  31. Bmud, climbing tree’s would be great but Id prefer to get the game logic working well, before adding new abilities. We also need to see how it fits into the game play we already have.
    However we did some tests and it dosnt look toooo hard.

  32. Some of the only good squirrel reference I could find…

    http://www.vimeo.com/371392
    (first third, wmv link at bottom)

    if you’re doing the jump, search corbis.com for “fyling squirrel” for a couple high shutter speed photos especially MD002492

    That’s all. Stay away from google video or image searches. You’ll just turn up a bunch of time-wasting crap.

  33. Heres make cut on the “Shimmys”,
    left and right.
    The games looking really nice.

    http://www.thehive.se/blends/frank_shimmy.blend

    robbibob@gmail.com

    cheers
    /Rob

  34. I have made an idle animation, it took me a while to get tail right and hope you like it.

    Action is called:
    Frankie_idleyawn

    Email:
    cowgoeswoof@hotmail.com

    Blend file is available here:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?o5hqybgjmdd

    Thank you, and this is really fun! :D

  35. this fixed up the shimmy a bit added some more detail more swing on the tail and more motion on his ears etc. email: nathangull (at) gmail (dot) com. heres the video http://www.vimeo.com/1249900 hope you like it. :)

  36. MangoJambo says:

    here is my contribution!! Frank Showing off!

    http://www.mediafire.com/?miam9qz2vxv

    Hope You like it!

    Cheers

  37. Hey guys,

    unfortunately I don´t understand a thing animating a charakter with blender, because I´m a total noob. But I applied a fluid simulation on Frank :)

    Here´s the result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVmRLuNYStQ

    Hope I´ll get into Animation soon…

  38. I have created another animation for frank. 2 x damage actions

    1. Major Damage
    Frames 1-130 / Layers 1 & 2

    2. Minor Damage
    Frames 1-60 / Layers 1 & 3

    Download file here:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?hkmovuuekuh

    Thank you!

  39. Joshua Huf says:

    Another animation, this time an idle action. He wiggles his tail inside his ear, with a bit of a blissful look on his face.

    Frames? 265. A little on the long side.

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/3appou

    -Josh Huf

  40. This is a great idea and it shows the power of an open project!
    I which my animation skills would be good enough to help.

    P.s.I would not write emails in the comments as is because spam bots can find it and will spam your email.

    Unless you write it like this

    myemail(at)gmail(dot)com

  41. Hee! I want to contribute! But do I need the latest svn version to animate Franky?

  42. This is Frank falling

  43. My email address is armonboss (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Make sure to click my name to download the file.

  44. Do I need a SVN build for this? When I load it up it feels like there should be more constraints on the bones than there are.

  45. mangojambo says:

    Here is rendered… the Frank Showing Off!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBJOKFGfn4Q

    File: http://www.mediafire.com/?miam9qz2vxv

    I forgot to say that was 840 frames animation (for 40fps)! Converted to 25fps are + - 524 frames! I did try to do a version with sound… funny, but bad audio!!! lol

    Oh!! Almost forget! I had problems with the mesh under the arms (the “wings”)… you can see that looks pretty bugged in some poses!
    I used the blender 2.46 … There was no IK for the legs… so … I did an “fake IK” like in the arms… that help me A LOT to do the animation, but no real IK makes me loose more time correction soem “tweenmotions”, adding new frame keys…

    Mike Futcher
    I don’t think so it have other constrain (may be yes), I think because it is a “low armature” for games … I really don’t know… If I am wrong, please, correct me and live the new version link to download… I’d like to play with Frank!!I think I’ll do other animations with him … but with some IK animations is easier the FK!! ;)

    Cheers!

  46. Mr. Joshua Huff, nice work I like your animations! very nice.

    If you are interested in doing more open source animations for blender come see me at GameBlender.org create account and introduce yourself in the introductins page, we can chat there about it.

    thats right! this is a hi-jacking!

  47. Blender 2.46 should be ok. The armature is simple because it needs to run in the game engine.

  48. Hello, Blender. I made one animation (listed as “Frankie_DoubleJump”). Obviously, it’s for the double jump. I suggest that you use it for a gliding action, like how you did on Spyro the Dragon (for those of y’all who ever played that game), you know, press the jump button in mid jump and make it a glide or something.

    Here’s the link: http://www.mediafire.com/?hwv41hwxysh

    Also, I tweaked the left shimmy animation, made it so it looked like his bottom momentum carried his butt a little farther, and then swings back.

    My email is ezekiel_hiksunami@hotmail.com in case you want/need to contact me.

    Happy Blending!

  49. hmmm i wonder why the shimmy is so popular :P

  50. I worked on the double-jump. Flips are tricky maneuvers to get right!

    http://nathandunlap.animadillo.com/Apricot/frankanim.blend

    Fun!

    -Nathan

  51. Hey everyone,

    I’ve enjoyed what you all have come up with.

    I have a suggestion: could you name your files something like “frankanim_myname.blend” ?

    I’m collecting everything that’s being submitted, and such a naming convention would make it easier to keep track of which animations were done by whom.

    I have done 2 idle animations - “itchy” and “stinky”, in one file.

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/4bn1nb

    Notes are in the file.

    Cheers!

    DT.

  52. Joshua Huf says:

    Nathan - Really awesome jump man, absolutely sweet.

  53. Hi, i’m giving this a shot, it’s the first time i’m animating in blender, and this rig makes it easy to start.

    I’m doing a simple eye wipe as and idle movement. however i have some issues with the deformations around the armpits because of the wing mesh.

    I suppose we can’t change the bone weights, or can you add some helper boneso you can move those vertsaround, instead of just opening/closing the wing?

    http://users.pandora.be/cybit/images/forums/Frankie_FD_Idle_WipeEye.jpg

  54. Is there anything in the file which is considered finished such that it’s not worth messing with?

    The “Blink” could do with a couple of more frames on the closed point and the end frames pushing out a bit to accommodate the new frames. At game speed, the blink as it is would barely be seen. I can do this if you like but it’s a two second duplicate and move.

    Can the blend be posted with just one action in it or is it best to keep it all together?

    So many questions :)

  55. Hey I give it a try to this frankie contest that’s fun !!

    so here the blend file:

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/2a1ya1

    and a link to the animation result :
    http://www.vimeo.com/1257566

    my mail is : dorbani_bruno@yahoo.fr

    and I my name is :
    bruno dorbani (quite obvious no?)

    that’s to bad there is no IK setup on the leg it make it difficult to handle… is that a limitation of the game blender engine or a rigging choice ?
    it make him difficult to crouch I find.

    anyway fun stuff ! keep on the team !!

  56. hum…I forgot to mention that the action is named frankie_throwrbuno
    (I misswrite it in blender too)

    I don’t use often blog so I don’t know if it is possible to edit Comment so I create a new one … I just have to go and wipe myself with a barbed wire

  57. Well, I see this post and I get the frank blend and I decided to see how it works, but when I watched the geometry i get so confused, and I asked myself if this is the object to be used in the game or if it’s only for test purposes and I will explain why.

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/aprico/frank_triangulations.jpg

    I looked the wireframe model of frank and the first I noticed is some triangulation (or Fans, fanning) in geometry and well, I think it should be fixed.

    So i decided to make some kind of proposal/criticism, I take the model and correct it (according my point of view and my experience), the first I get
    was some lacking of simmetry in the model and an example can be found in the link below:

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_simmetry.jpg

    And the hands, I get different polycount in both hands, and I think it has too many polygons.

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_hands.jpg

    The ears of frank, again I think they have more polygons than needed. If normal maps are going to be used then the normal map should do their work: simulate geometry.

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_ears.jpg

    Frank foot, again I think it has to many polygons (271 tris)

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_toomany.jpg

    Frank mouth.
    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_mouth.jpg

    And the UVsets maybe should be more optimized to get most of the area covered by the surface’s object.
    The normalmap looks so flat, different than I get from the bake (hi->low)

    And here the original frank and the modified one (from me)
    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_hand_optimized.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_back_optimized.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_opt.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_optimized.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_prop.jpg

    here the blend (sorry for the file size)
    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/Frank_mod.rar

    Well this is only a suggestion, I think if the models are optimized the game will work even better on more systems.

    And good work, animations look very good :)

  58. Here is a shimmy to the right. You can see a video of it at:

    http://squamashii.blogspot.com/search/label/Apricot

    I don’t know how to upload the blend file to get it to you, so if anyone knows - please let me know.
    -SCB

  59. Here is a shimmy to the right. You can see the video at: http://squamashii.blogspot.com/search/label/Apricot

    I don’t know how to upload blend files to send to you, so if you like the action - email me and I can send it to you. - Squamashii

  60. Hello There!

    I did one more animation, its a StandStill, the end of the action is a little rough… everything can always be refined if direction is received…I was thinking of another animation where frank leans back on his tail similar to what i have here, but instead of springing off, he grabs his toes maybe, and then of course goes to the washroom in some sort of way, like the ending of BBB? anyway im not going to do that one unless im directed, im gonna do some other work.

    Either way, Had fun with this rig, and cannot wait for my copy of apricot to arrive along with the finished build…!

    Thanks Blender!

    All animations are here,

    http://www.mediafire.com/?hfsjwdw6jgx

    1. Major Damage
    Frames 1-130 / Layers 1 & 2

    2. Minor Damage
    Frames 1-60 / Layers 1 & 3

    3. TaleBalance
    Frames 1-80 / Layer 1

    woot!

  61. Well, i got the frank blend and I made a little review/crit of it instead an animation.

    I looked the wireframe model of frank and the first I noticed is some triangulation (or Fans, fanning) in geometry and well, I think it should be fixed.

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/aprico/frank_triangulations.jpg

    So i decided to make some kind of proposal, I take the model and correct it (according my point of view and my experience), the first I get
    was some lacking of symmetry in the model and an example can be found in the link below:

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_simmetry.jpg

    And the hands, I get different poly count in both hands, and I think it has too many polygons.

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_hands.jpg

    The ears of frank, again I think they have more polygons than needed, Frank is a small character and don’t need that level of detail. If normal maps are going to be used then the normal map should do their work: simulate geometry.

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_ears.jpg

    Frank foot, again I think it has to many polygons (271 tris)

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_toomany.jpg

    Frank mouth.
    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_mouth.jpg

    And the UVsets maybe should be more optimized to get most of the area covered by the surface’s object.
    The normalmap looks so flat, different than I get from the bake (hi->low), can be found in the blend.

    And here the original frank and the modified one (from me), and of course I have to remove every shape key.
    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_hand_optimized.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_back_optimized.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_opt.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_optimized.jpg

    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/frank_prop.jpg

    here the blend (sorry for the file size)
    http://salvador.mata.com.mx/apricot/Frank_mod.rar

    Well this is only a suggestion, I think if the models are optimized the game will work even better on more PC systems.

    I know that apricot will use peach models for fast development but I think they should be modified or adapted to video games

    And good work, animations looks very good! :)

  62. Mataii! we’re putting our hands in your model now, that helps a LOT!

    And reviewing the animations as well.

  63. the video was set to private should be fixed now.

  64. Thanks Venomgfx!! :)
    And sorry about double posting :S

  65. blengine says:

    Yeah, Mataii, great work.. I didn’t expect that kind of help but it’s much appreciated. We haven’t had a chance to sit down for a few days and do some optimizing, so this helps a lot, and heck of a job too. You are the master optimizer.

  66. Thanks Blengine :)
    And thanks to give to the community the opportunity to collaborate in some way in the project ;)

  67. Someone with more skill than me should make him pull out a hat, a wand, and tap-dance!

  68. Happyzippy says:

    Nice to see blender developing so fast with this game, Great work!!!
    Hope I’m not too late with this animation

    File: http://www.esnips.com/doc/d6118eaf-d63c-408b-b9f0-bc47ee6ac348/frankanim

    AC: “Frankie_ilde3″ (Hurry up)

    – Emil
    gecko3d AT gmail.com

  69. Hey! This is an idle animation titled “Scratch Sniff and Wipe Away”
    Take a peek and let me know what you think.

    -Luis
    Lourod10@msn.com

  70. Hey! This is an idle animation titled “Scratch Sniff and Wipe Away”
    Take a peek and let me know what you think.

    File:http://www.esnips.com/doc/aba526d8-3666-42d2-a79f-1351e287057c/frankanimidlescratch-sniff-and-wipe-away_LuisA.RodriguezIII

    AC:”frankanimidle3″

    P.S. Sorry for previous post without link.

    -Luis
    Lourod10@msn.com

  71. Marcus Feital says:

    This is my attempt to help! First animation using Blender! :)
    I miss some of that old long-time-idle animations, so here he is falling sleepy and then waking up ready to defend himself! It is a little rough on the edges, I may return to it to exaggerate/polish some parts.
    Hope you like!

    [url]http://www.sendspace.com/file/l9rab5[/url]

    Cheers,
    dEspadas (Marcus Feital)

  72. I guess this would be considered an ‘idle’ animation. It’s Franky looking around a bit.

    Movie: http://uploader.polorix.net//files/1249/LeftRight2.mov

    File: having uploading problems. If you want to use this, email me and I’ll send it to you.

    Hope I’m not too late! Game looks great so far!

  73. Hello to all :) I can’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Help me, please

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