Thursday, April 17, 2008

Animation (Part 2) - アニメーションががんばっている その2

Original ZeldaPower article here.
(Monday, 03 September 2007)

Ocarina of Time Staff Interview 1-10: Looks Like the Animation is Incredible in This Zelda (Part 2)
Original Interview Link (1101)

Looks Like the Animation is Incredible in This Zelda (Part 2)

Naoki Mori (Cinema Scene Director):
Another person and I were in charge of the demo production, but since we both liked movies I think we had a foundation to work from. I graduated from the film department in university, but when I joined Nintendo the Super Famicom was still the major system and there wasn't much film-type work for me to do. Now that I'm able to, I'm pretty happy about it.

It was the first time for either of us to work on a Zelda game, so consequentially we found ourselves occasionally groping around for the right way to do things. When you compare it to the rendering of polygons on the CD-ROM games, the information volume of movies fails. I was trying to think of a way we could cover that. In the end, I spent all my time fussing with the camerawork.

I wanted to do camerawork that could only be accomplished in a polygon game. If we were doing a live scene, for example, we'd have to put together the set with cranes or something. CG is really practical for creating scenes freely.

We also wanted to have something more beautiful than a fixed layout. We thought about the camera movements in relation to the action scenes and the symmetry needed for the emotional scenes.

With the limited information volume of polygons, we initially recognized that we might not be able to improve the quality of the characters' facial expressions. However, during the stage when we incorporated the angles, scenarios, and direction we tried to make them symbolic. We made textures for Zelda to have her looking sideways at Link, for example, thinking a setup like that would work great.

When the polygons freeze, their information volume suddenly greatly decreases. In the beginning when Link stood still, the camera fixed itself, but the information volume was too small. So we made a wait animation, in short, a basic animation, made from the animation when Link is standing perfectly still, we derived all animations from that.

In terms of the animation, we divided the work between programming and animating, deciding which to apply where. Finally this year we established which method to use.

The very first Space World version was just a simple demo but I didn't think it was frightening or dreamlike so we fixed it by adding sound effects like "KABOOM!", cut the sequences to make them shorter, and had a black fadeout. Eventually all the little cuts accumulated and we were able to produce that dreamlike feeling, something I was very happy about.

Toshio Iwawaki (Program Director):
Last year, we had a lot of trouble getting ready for Space World. At the very last minute, our playable demo's animation patterns disappeared. The movement reactions were slow and most of the animation vanished. I felt it was really a disappointment because we had worked so hard on making the animation beautiful. The response of the players was really important to us. What a waste...

We made some changes after Spaceworld. For example, before you'd press the button to draw your sword and then press again to swing, which lead to complaints of the animation being slow, so we changed it so you could draw and swing with one tap. But Link drawing his weapon and swinging suddenly didn't make for a picturesque movement, we wanted the player to see Link taking the time to unsheathe his weapon first and changed it a little accordingly. *laughs*

Super Mario 64's frame rate is 30 frames a second, but Ocarina of Time's is only 20. I wanted it to go more quickly, but speeding it up made the game look a lot worse and I began to think that maybe 30 would be impossible, finally deciding that 20 frames per second added to the realistic look. I actually still would have liked it to be faster.

"(1-10) Looks Like the Animation is Incredible in This Zelda (Part 2)" has ended.
The interview continues from here, so please check back for updates!



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