CPE 471 Final Project - Skinned Animation

Gilenn Collado

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For my final project, I originally decided to create a short using skinned animation and a ballerina object that I have modeled in Maya. However, with the time and experience that I had, I ended up creating a scene with the ballerina object and animating her using translations and rotations with respect to time instead. On the other hand, I was able to create the same short that I wanted to create initially using animation in Maya. A video is included for your viewing.

What is Skinned Animation?

Skinned animation is the process of creating movement within a character and its environment using the character's mesh and skeleton. (Note: A character's mesh/skin is made up of vertices while a character's skeleton is made up of bones.)

A character's mesh/skin and skeleton are manipulated to create this type of animation. Basically, each vertex of the mesh/skin is assigned a certain number of bones, which are then assigned specific weights, depending on how it affects that vertex. As you can see in the image below, not every bone has a value greater than 0, because not every bone has an effect on every vertex.


To access this type of textfile, a modeling program like Maya or Blender can be used. These programs allow one to export an OBJ file of the model one has created and animated. (Note: there are models with this data available online for use)

Once you have that data, you can create a parsing tool that goes through each line and stores them to specific arrays and matrices. Then, use the equation below to create the animation itself.


Other Features

Although I was not able to complete a successful skinned animation short, I was able to construct a scene with that following features that mock an animation:



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Lessons Learned