Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent the Next Video Game Animation Disaster

How artificial intelligence could prevent the next video game animation disaster

  • Human character animation has gotten much better over the years, but it’s still one of the most recognizable issues when enjoying video games.
  • The uncanny valley is a particularly hard one to escape.Now, a research team from the University of Edinburgh has developed a new way to animate game characters using neural net computing, which could help developers make more fluid and realistic animations, while decreasing the system resources and time involved.
  • What exactly makes this different from other animation methods, and what’s happening in the neural net to make the magic happen?Neural networks (or NNs) are a way to train a computer with millions of differently weighted data points.
  • “We change the weights of the neural network depending on what point in time in the locomotion cycle the character is,” explained Holden, those weights being the data that influences what the animation will be.
  • It took 30 hours of NN training and 4 million data points to create the animation in the video and, to me, it looks pretty good.

Human character animation has gotten much better over the years, but it’s still one of the most recognizable issues when enjoying video games. Animations are normally a predetermined set of canned motions, and while real enough looking in the right setting, can totally break the immersive experience when they stray out of bounds. The uncanny valley is a particularly hard one to escape.
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