Animation in YG

There are a number of different ways to create animation in YG, ranging from simple movement and rotation to complex character animation possibilities. Animations can run independently, or in response to user interaction or other events.
The basic methods of creating animation are:
  1. scripted interpolations using the timer node: this method lets you animate an object between two locations, by controlling its position with a timer node. You can also animate other attributes, like light, color, fog, sound volume, etc.
  2. path animation: load a file with a path, defined as a series of points, and move objects along that path.
  3. flipbooking: the flipbook node loads a sequence of object files, one for each frame of an animation. it then flips between them to re-create the animation. this method lets you create very sophisticated animations in Maya or another animation package, including deformers, bones, dynamics, cloth simulations, etc. this is a sort of brute-force approach to animation that, while somewhat tedious and wasteful of disk space, can create very smooth and fast-playing animations.
  4. morphs: the morpher node takes a series of objects and attempts to morph between them, often with fairly bizarre results.
  5. Maya Animation: the mayaAnimation loads a Maya .anim file and uses it to animate an object. This lets you animate in Maya and use the animation sequence in YG. You can also export multiple animated clips for the same object, and switch between them in YG in response to user interactions. This method supports object hierarchies, so you can animate things like the wheels on a car or a character's arm movements and walking motion.

All these methods are pre-scripted animation techniques, meaning that the motions are defined at the beginning and can't change while YG is running. When simulating complex objects and behaviors, this can make the objects seem stiff, repetitive, or just plain fake, since real-world objects and people often move in response to other things in their environment. For example, if you wanted to make an object that would move towards you when you walk near it, you couldn't just animate that using a path, because the user won't always be in exactly the same place.


(c) Ben Chang