With the deadline for our groups game around the bend I have stopped work on concept art and now started tackling the required 2D pieces for our hand in starting with the 2D intro cutscene for our game.
Above are a collection of notes and sketches I did while planning out the sequences for our intro based on past groups discussions. The essential parts where that I show the girl in a library, reading a book about flying machines and then falling asleep and entering the dream world our level is set.
As I started work on the animatic I made sure to add in a few hints to some of our game’s core mechanics such as the movable bookshelves and ladder in the first shot.
Preparing frames for Unity
For the hand in our intro cutscene was only expect to be at animatic stage, with the condition that it was animated within the unity engine itself using our frames as in engine 2D assets, not a movie file done in an external software like flash.
In order to animate in unity I exported all the separate components and keys images of shots as png images and then made 5 empty gameobjects in the editor to act as my layers for my back, mid, foreground and key images.
The .png’s that made up shots 3 and 5
It is worth noting here that(at least to my knowledge) unity’s animator is not made for scene based animations(at least not without plugins). Unity’s animator is made for single object animations for things such as run cycles. Because of this my attempts to animated using 5 different game objects as layers ran into some problems 1. that I could only playback or edit an object’s timeline individually, meaning I would constantly have to check all my frames across all 5 objects were synced up to each other manually, and 2. I could not see the animation as a whole without having to start runtime, that prevent immediate editing of errors.
With that in mind I will be blunt if the assignment brief didn’t require the cutscene being animated with in engine assets, I would have used a external software like flash and simply imported it to unity as a movie file since I can not see any benefit to not doing so.
Some character sketches I did to reacquaint myself with the design
Despite the above I manage to translate the animatic to the unity engine with even a bit of extra motion, however I was not able to fine tune the timing as much as I would like due to the issues I mentioned above would have caused it to take too much time and risk unforeseen errors.
Note: In the final game the cutscene cuts after the player character goes to sleep however since those frames were still animated before that I am showing the longer version here.