Home Riot Creative Contest 2017 - Animation

[Riot Creative Contest 2017] - Brandon Berry

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BrandonBerryCG polycounter lvl 2
Hello everyone,

let me start off by saying, I wish I saw this contest a lot earlier! Namely because I literally just finished a very similar project maybe a week or so ago. I learned a lot from it, especially on the recall animation, so hopefully I can apply what i learned to my official entry! If you want to check out that project here are some clips from it. 

(Just a reminder that the following links are NOT my entry for this thread)
Recall:  (off-brand VFX included haha)


Run Cycle:

(Just a reminder that the above links are NOT my entry for this thread)

For the contest entry I will be trying something new and using two rigs for the same character. I'm going for a character that slips in and out of being possessed by a ghost. The rigs I will be using are Kiel Figgin's Adventurer rig and his Gentle Giant rig. My last project used his Foxy Scout rig and I absolutely loved the amount of control I had and it seems these are just as amazing. 

After I bought the rig I noticed that the adventurer rig is already used by another entry so I tweaked the textures a little bit to help differentiate the two. I apologize if it causes any confusion. 

OK! So For the entry I already know what I'm going to attempt for the walk/run cycle which i will be blocking out soon. But for the second piece, I'm unsure.  I want to try animating an ultimate attack, but I really need to spend some time brainstorming what it could be. My two main objectives for an ultimate attack are:

- I want it to be appealing and fit the character(s) I am portraying. Ultimates need to feel GOOD to use. Most champions don't have them on a short cooldown. So when they tap that beautiful "r" key,  they need to feel like they are not only turning the tide but standing out in the chaos of a team fight. 

- I want it to be implementable in League of Legends. Ultimates in League are fairly quick and if it's going to be stunning another player, its gotta be even shorter usually.  Most stuns are in the 1.5 ish range it seems. Ashe can stun a player for 3.5 seconds but she has to land her ultimate from long range. Malzahar can suppress another player for 2.5 seconds but he has the trade off that he also loses control of his character for the duration. So maintaining the balance between looking flashy and well... game balance, will be my greatest hurdle.  

Now here is a quick pose to show what I'm kind of going for. I still have to adjust the textures on the ghost (mainly tweak the transparency) but that shouldn't keep me from starting my blocking out 

I'm trying to decide whether or not to give the adventurer a heroic personality (as if he was unaware that he was constantly slipping in and out of being possessed) or a constantly terrified adventure unsure when his next blackout will be. Im leaning towards the terrified adventurer one since that would have a interesting contrast with attitude most champions in League have. 

So that's the basis for my animation. I'm very late to the party, but I think I can pull it off. It's better than not attempting. I'll just treat it like crunch time!

Feedback and critique is always welcome! Good luck to everyone! 


  • KielFiggins
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    KielFiggins polycounter lvl 3
    I like the stylization on the new characters!  Clever!  Glad you liked the foxy rig, well done!
  • BrandonBerryCG
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    BrandonBerryCG polycounter lvl 2
    Oh wow, thanks Kiel! And thanks for making these rigs so affordable, they are a joy to work with! 

    As for my entry:
    Unfortunately, I had a bit of a family emergency that set me back quite a bit, but I'm going to still aim for the deadline. I guess I just wont get as many revisions as I hoped! 

    Where I stand now is that I got a rough animation of the walk cycle in two similar styles. One style (the left cycle) being more of a tip-toe and the second style (the right cycle) being more of a careful walk. I will be adding secondary action with animation layers once I polish up the main animation. However I was hoping to get some feedback on which style I should animate further. I haven't added in any facial animation aside from some slight teeth chattering on the tip-toe one that is so subtle that it gets lost in the motion. 

    https://youtu.be/m3mTs0iHpzE  (edit: Added a gif!)

    In the meantime, I'm going to down some coffee and start roughing out the ultimate attack. 

    I appreciate any feedback or critique anyone can give me. 
  • BrandonBerryCG
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    BrandonBerryCG polycounter lvl 2
    Looks like I won't be able to make it in time, but I did have a good bit fun increasing my pipeline speed. But it's my fault for not noticing the contest until two weeks before the deadline haha! I'm going to continue working and posting my progress here (unless things get deleted or moved). I could have probably submitted a rough version, but I wouldn't want to submit something without being able to polish it a fair amount. Either way, here is my progress on the ultimate attack:

    So the functionality of the ultimate is as follows. 

    1) The player activates his ultimate on a single target in range. His ghost that he's possessed by will appear behind the target "Cursing" the target for 3 seconds. "Curse" is a new status effect that randomizes movement inputs every second. Meaning you can adjust and somewhat mitigate the effect of the debuff if you are quick-witted. 

    (if no additional input happens for the player, there is an animation of the champion reacting to the ghost. Mainly showing anger, since the thing that causes him to slip in out of consciousness finally appears in front of him.) 

    The player has 5 seconds to recast his ultimate a second time, channeling for 2.5 seconds. If the channel is complete the player launches a hex at the ghost (and the target) causing a slight damage over time aoe zone of nearsightedness for an additional 2.5 seconds.  

    (If there is no additional input there is an additional animation that plays out of the champion returning to his normally timid demeanor)

    Here is the very rough blocked out animation I've done for the ultimate so far. (I'm fairly new to making gifs, so I may post a video link in a bit)

    The strengths of this ultimate are that the nearsightedness can disorient a team prior to a team fight if they didn't take the time to clear away from
    the cursed champion. 

    The weaknesses are that the damage potential is on the lower end (solely for balance) and that there is a fairly long channel time that leaves the champion open to being interrupted. 

    I worry that it may be a little too heavy on the CC for the initially targeted champion. While you can mitigate the curse by figuring out and adjusting to the new inputs, AND being able to walk out of the nearsightedness. It is still 5.5 seconds of light cc, which can be on the non-fun side of things. I just hope the channel time and low damage are good enough trade-offs. 

    Another note is that the "flavor" animations will probably not be often seen, as if you are using your crowd controlling ult,  you are more than likely going to immediately follow up with spamming all your other abilities. I'm also worried that it will feel too clunky to use, but it probably is fine as there are already reactivatable ults in game. 

    Either way, I'm glad I got the chance to participate in this competition and good luck to all the other participants. I saw some REALLY impressive animations that fit right into the league of legends style! Good work everyone! 
  • BrandonBerryCG
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    BrandonBerryCG polycounter lvl 2
    I've finally had the time to develop the ultimate attack further. I kind of feel I should cut some actions so that I have more space to play with the timing and refining of the others. But I guess the only uninterruptable part would be the channeling animation of him throwing the black orb. So maybe I could afford to give the other no input animation a little more frames. 

    I still learned a lot from this and actually had fun playing around with the primitive VFX of it. 

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