The schedule for the 2017 Game Developers Conference is coming together nicely, and today organizers are excited to announce that the developers of Gears of War 4 will be at the show to talk about how they did more with less.
In his talk on "Motion Warping in 'Gears of War 4': Doing More with Less," The Coalition technical animator Steven Dickinson will reveal the techniques and technology developed to increase flexibility and reduce scope on Gears of War 4. For example, he'll show you how motion warp points can be used alongside traditional animation content authoring approaches and how this approach is philosophically critical to the animation process at The Coalition.
Blending multiple animations has traditionally been a way of dealing with distance, direction and environmental variance. However, the amount of assets needed for adequate coverage in today's large AAA titles can be crushing. Multiple animation blending also reduces visual freedom as blended animations must be of similar style and timing. Some games have tackled this content explosion by dynamically warping motion to meet the spatial constraints. These are often ad hoc/specific to particular actions and not exposed to the animator. For Gears of War 4, The Coalition developed a generalized solution by introducing the concept of warp points.
So make time for it in your GDC 2017 schedule, and don't miss your opportunity to save some money by registering early -- the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is January 18, 2017. GDC 2017 itself will take place February 27th - March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.