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Backstage: Acting Out Animation

Posted by The TTR Team on September 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Hello, you wacky animated animals! Andrew here, one of the 3D experts here on the team! You may also better know me as "Ziggy" or "Flippy Cheezer". I'm here to talk about an exciting topic for our team, our recent achievement of...


Making Toons Tick

"So, what in the world makes a Toon tick?"
I'm glad you asked, mysterious voice in my head!

In the Tooniverse, just about any action you perform is playing an animation. Is that Toon throwing a pie? That's an animation. That Cog getting splat in the face? An animation. Did it just explode? Another animation. Is the other Toon just standing around? Even THAT is an animation! These Toons, Cogs, and just about anything that uses an animation is called an "actor", which is quite a fitting name for our cartoon characters!

"That's great Ziggy. Now how does it all work?"
Another great question, me!

Just like real actors, our Toon actors are comprised of a bunch of movable bones called "joints", which allow people and objects to move and bend in all sorts of fashion. Those of you at home with movable joints can try it out for yourselves!*

*Warning: Moving may result in exercise.

Animation for Actors

"What does this got to do with animation, Ziggy?"
Oh boy, are you in for a treat. It's got everything to do with animation!

When real actors act something out, they have a script of what they need to say and do. Our Toons are just like that - they have scripts of what they need to do, but on a much more detailed level. Toons have a script that tells them where each and every joint should be posed for every frame. When these frames are played in sequence, the actor will look like it's moving!

In our game, the FABULOUS Toontown Rewritten Engine has to calculate each and every joint for each and every frame of animation. However, the more frames it has to work, with and the more joints there are for each frame, the FABULOUS Toontown Rewritten Engine has to work even harder! Just like real animators, too, if the FABULOUS Toontown Rewritten Engine overworks itself, it will go on a strike! That means we have to be careful with our animations, to make sure they're optimized correctly and not causing unnecessary load on that would slow down your computer.

As you can see, these animations are making up to be quite complex. They're even tailored for every individual actor. That means if a Cog gets an animation made for a Toon, for example, it'll look at it strangely and explode in a frenzy of nonsense. I kid you not about that last part!

Putting it to Practice

"But Ziggy, really, how do you make animation?"
I'm getting to that, me. We had to cover the basics first!

Our animators are like puppeteers that work in a magical puppet workshop called "Autodesk Maya". Before an animator can even make an animation, they have to make a puppet to use as our actor. Our Toons, however, were already created puppets -- and this is where things got tricky.

Unless we wanted to completely redo every animation, in order to add new animations to Toontown we had to figure out exactly how these puppets were meant to be animated. Otherwise, everything falls apart! This is where our Toontown Rerigged project came into play, which we talked about during ToonFest at OMG!Con 2016. Yours truly has spent countless months researching those specific details, and sure enough, we've now reached the capability to add new animations for every Toon in Toontown.

We've spent a lot of time creating a fine-TOONed "rig" (the puppet strings we use to animate) that will give us with the most creativity and efficiency to create awesome animations at a quick pace. It wasn't easy, but it's a process that will be worth it in the months to come!



To wrap it all up, this whole explanation here means one simple thing: We're now able to put new animation into Toontown. Not just any animation, but quality animation! Amazing animation! Animation that won’t explode! (Not yet, at least.)

Some of this new animation could be coming as soon as ToonFest, so keep your eyes peeled throughout the event and the weeks to follow it. With full control over the animation, art, and design of the game -- we're able to create brand new things that will really make Toontown shine.

I hope you've enjoyed hearing about the details of how we've managed to Act Out Animation, and I hope to see you at ToonFest 2016!

Comments

Sorry! Comments are closed.

Ooowoo said on September 16, 2016 at 2:23 PM
Can't wait to see these new animations in game. This is definitely a step in the right direction to modernize it. Once they're out, I'll probably be running around trying to see all the animations.

Onion Hunter said on September 16, 2016 at 5:56 PM
This looks Toontastic! Keep up the good Work TTR Staff!

Violet said on September 16, 2016 at 6:04 PM
Awesome! I can't wait for ToonFest!! :D

Princess Sandy said on September 16, 2016 at 6:46 PM
Awesome! I have loved all the animations in the game since I began playing. Now that there will be more, I can't wait to see them in action!

Gold Mouse Cool Toon said on September 16, 2016 at 7:59 PM
Wow, thanks for all your hard work and efforts! I'm a big fan of animation, so this is amazing news!

Loopy Lollipop Fizzlemash said on September 17, 2016 at 12:23 AM
This'll be exciting! I can't wait until Toonfest! ^-^

Captain Rollie Jumblemarble said on September 17, 2016 at 1:48 AM
Thank you, Ziggy! I'm sure Toontown will be 10 times as fun with what you guys have in store!

Opal said on September 17, 2016 at 4:36 AM
I'm excited to see what the new animations look like!

Mallory said on September 17, 2016 at 6:22 AM
I cant believe they are still bringing toontown back from the bottom. Now it seems like toontown isn't on the bottom.

MissVictorybell said on September 17, 2016 at 6:29 AM
Out of all the things you guys put up concerning Backstage, this and Touching Up Toontown are the things I'm very excited for. Keep up the excellent work!

Mister Chirpy Featherzapper said on September 17, 2016 at 6:29 AM
Wow! I'm really into coding in different languages like JavaScript and Swift, so this was a REALLY cool post for me to read!

Twix said on September 17, 2016 at 6:39 AM
Awesome! Sounds like fun!

Cool Pinky said on September 17, 2016 at 6:51 AM
I can't wait to see the new animations! Thanks TTR! I can't wait till Toonfest! :)

Sunburst Ohuru said on September 17, 2016 at 7:02 AM
Nice work there! Animation is weird, so it's cool that you've found a way to do it at a quicker pace! :)

blue steel mouse said on September 17, 2016 at 7:59 AM
This is going to be fun great work TTR Staff you guys are awesome!!!!!

Cool Furball Wonderpop said on September 17, 2016 at 8:12 AM
w8 does that mean that i'm a puppet

Lollipop Sparkletwist said on September 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM
Can't Wait to see these animations added to the game!!!

said on September 17, 2016 at 8:32 AM
Wow! This will surely bring out more new animations to the game, including new custom-made storyboard animations to trailers. You know, I think we may need new animations to replace the already recycled animations to many places, including Trolley Games & Cog HQs.

Pickles said on September 17, 2016 at 8:43 AM
Thank you for all you do for this game. I am excited to see the new animations!

Master Popcorn Thunderspeed said on September 17, 2016 at 8:51 AM
I can't wait to look at the new animations the TTR team has done. I really will like them! Keep up the good work, and remember, stay tooned!

Marshmallow Madness said on September 17, 2016 at 8:56 AM
This is amazing news! I'm interested in coding and whatnot, so these news really caught my eye. I'm so excited, I don't even know what to do with myself!!! I seriously cannot wait until ToonFest! Ya'll are the best, keep up the fantabulous work!! :D

Ciaran two said on September 17, 2016 at 9:01 AM
I love toontown rewritten and i am happy to know how it is made

LemonNation649 said on September 17, 2016 at 9:09 AM
Just joined. I am so glad to relive childhood nostalgia!

Peaches said on September 17, 2016 at 10:01 AM
At least toontown online didn't do this a lot. TTR rules!

Astro Jabberpaws said on September 17, 2016 at 10:10 AM
I still don't kind of get the Fabulous Toontown Rewritten Engine joke. Still, this is pretty cool...

Ned Sourfuddy said on September 17, 2016 at 10:13 AM
What you are doing is good. With more animation added to our toons, we'll look even toner than ever before. Don't give up your job.

Rainbow Icecream said on September 17, 2016 at 10:16 AM
Nice!

Blossom (PowerPuff Girl) said on September 17, 2016 at 10:41 AM
Keep up the good work, TTR Staff Members!!!

Sir Leroy Flipperquack said on September 17, 2016 at 11:00 AM
I am glad I'm playing TTR!

Umbra said on September 17, 2016 at 12:06 PM
I'm excited to see the new animations and models, I hope you guys don't have much trouble with all that 3-D modelling and animating!

Wasabi said on September 17, 2016 at 12:11 PM
Yay!!!!

dasaun said on September 17, 2016 at 12:23 PM
yall did good on thedetails

Haywire said on September 17, 2016 at 1:26 PM
I cant wait so see my toon move and groove!

Bentley Nuttyton said on September 17, 2016 at 1:34 PM
Can you do a segment on the programming involved in making the game?

King MacNugget said on September 17, 2016 at 1:44 PM
Nice job TTR team, just awesome!

Loopy Z.Z. said on September 17, 2016 at 3:24 PM
How exciting!!! Can't wait to see all you guys hard work!!!!

Giggles Razzleberry said on September 17, 2016 at 3:34 PM
Animations? NEW?????? SHWEET!

Amy (The Cat!) said on September 17, 2016 at 4:55 PM
Aw this looks cool! I always wanted to see new animations! Oh my gosh, I'm so looking forward to this!

Baron said on September 17, 2016 at 5:01 PM
Hopefully we get to see some new stuff at ToonFest 2016! :)

Twinkleberry said on September 17, 2016 at 11:08 PM
Hmm. I wonder how this will look? I don't know voice in my head. Guess we'll have to wait until it all shines upon us during Toonfest in October. I can't wait! I don't care when it is, as long as we still have it.

Kitty said on September 18, 2016 at 6:11 AM
When I read the line: "we've now reached the capability to add new animations for every Toon in Toontown," I automatically screamed, "ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN!" Good job, TTR! Love you!

Mento said on September 18, 2016 at 6:27 AM
This sounds toontastic! Truly one of my favorite things to study is animation, and this is simply amazing to see.

Murky Dizzynugget said on September 18, 2016 at 8:30 AM
Out of curiosity, how much difficulty stemmed from the toons being pre-made and having different shapes? Even a change in species results in a different size (though the overall shape doesn't change), and I bet a difference in size would result in a difference in how the animation is carried out...

Stitch said on September 18, 2016 at 9:24 AM
Sounds awesome! Can't wait for these animations to come. Hopefully one day we could make are own and get it verified. :)

Ice Blader said on September 18, 2016 at 10:21 AM
I love the fact of those new animations!! <3 I cant wait for Toonfest 2016! Have a toontastic day everyone!!

Jimmy said on September 18, 2016 at 11:36 AM
This is gonna be cool.

Professor Curly said on September 18, 2016 at 12:43 PM
I've played so long Disney still had the rights...New animations will be so nice!!!!

Skids said on September 18, 2016 at 1:02 PM
This is Toontastic! Can't wait for the new animations!

Jumpin' Jessie Jujubee said on September 18, 2016 at 2:19 PM
SHWEET!!!

awesome said on September 18, 2016 at 5:29 PM
those new animations look really cool good job TTR Staff! maybe next doodles 0.0 please lol

KodYDT said on September 18, 2016 at 7:01 PM
I love how such talented people work on this game! Keep up the good work!

Melvin said on September 18, 2016 at 7:28 PM
So, since you are making better animations and better textures, are you going to make the 3d models better? (Like more polys to make objects smoother?

prince pancake picklepreztel said on September 18, 2016 at 7:51 PM
i love toonfest im going to get a special prize from it and iits cool to see everyone about friends love ones and everyone

skippynuterwoof said on September 19, 2016 at 4:22 AM
I cant wait to see them, and use them. This is going to be gooooooood

Dusty said on September 19, 2016 at 5:38 AM
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I LOVE U TTR TEAM

Knight Of The Craft said on September 19, 2016 at 8:41 AM
I Can't Wait! these should be amazing! wonder if they'll add special animations for certain items...

Barney Wondersnout said on September 19, 2016 at 10:09 AM
AWESOME!! New animations!!!!!!!!!

Racerboy said on September 19, 2016 at 10:32 AM
This was such an interesting article, thanks!

Alex Avel said on September 19, 2016 at 12:50 PM
Pretty awesome knowing the best game of my childhood is going to be getting even better. One thing I'm wondering, though, is are there any plans on updating the games engine a bit to make it a bit more up-to-date? Computers are far better now than they used to be, so running an updated engine shouldn't be any problem for any computer.

Sarge said on September 19, 2016 at 2:11 PM
It's great too see any new animation added into the game, can't wait too see what they have in store!

Lollipop Sparklepop said on September 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM
Really informative. Thanks for all your hard work, TTR staff.

Smartytoon said on September 20, 2016 at 11:02 AM
Sounds great!

Muse said on September 20, 2016 at 11:10 AM
i'd love it if we were actually able to sit on things, or lay in our beds~

peaches said on September 20, 2016 at 7:39 PM
Toontasic! to me i think animations are imporant because whats a game without a animation and it takes a while because of the graphics and sometimes do you have to code for it to work?

Reine said on September 20, 2016 at 11:35 PM
This game hit me right in the nostalgia. I just joined, but I appreciate it :) keep up the good work.
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