HumanIK animation middleware is a runtime solution for creating believable, interactive character animation for games. Ubisoft first used the software on the original “Assassin’s Creed” title. As an integrated part of Ubisoft’s game engine on “Assassin’s Creed II,” HumanIK contributed to the realization of enticing game-play innovations such as climbing, flying and interactions with dynamic nonplayer characters (NPCs).
“One of the most important aspects of the ‘Assassin’s Creed II’ game play is the ability for characters to climb. HumanIK allowed us to build new climbing moves into the game and iterate them very quickly without ever having to worry about the quality of the IK solving,” explained James Therien, lead programmer, Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft. “Having a package like HumanIK allowed us to address our IK problems quickly without sacrificing results or performance.”
In creating a sequel to its award-winning “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, Ubisoft sought unique ways to improve and build upon the original. Having more interesting and diverse characters, greater interaction with NPCs and a broader range of moves, including flying and complex climbing for NPCs were core differentiators facilitated in part by the integration of HumanIK middleware.
Ubisoft has been a longtime user of Autodesk solutions, tapping Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk MotionBuilder software, in addition to HumanIK, as key creative tools for its titles. “3ds Max is our main content creation package. MotionBuilder was used to clean up all of the motion-capture performance data that was used extensively in cut scenes and fight sequences,” said Therien. [December 17, 2009]
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