OK so I’ve heard that it’s very difficult to make 3d models that have their bellies expand and gain weight without a lot of knowledge on 3d modeling. But I was wondering if you use a stop motion animation for that or what
There is no reason why you cant use stop motion, and while rare some games to make use of stop motion animation for their assets. The main problem is that stop motions is actually very time intensive. From my understanding you could rank the difficulty of animation like so (keep in mind I am not an artist):
- Stop motion
- 2d frame by frame
- 2d puppet
- 3d animation
You could also model the 3d model physically first and use a 3d scanner to then scan it to make it a 3d model but this can require some expensive hardware and/or software to do.
Really in the end though most 3d modeling software has some sort of sculpt mode that allows you to treat the 3d model like it is a piece of clay so I dont see any major advantages to doing traditional stop motion over 3d modeling.
It’s extremely easy to expand a model and lock it to either a - morph target/shape key or animation. You can practice this with a basic cube.
Since blender is easy to get and also free, I’ll use it as an example:
Opening blender for the first time, cancel out the splash screen and you’ll see a cube
Click the upside down triangle to in the right side panel, click the + next to shape keys to make Basis, then click it again to make Key 1.
Click on Key 1 then press tab, click on any of the cube vertex and move it, press tab again to exit edit mode.
With Key 1 still selected, you’ll see a value of 0.00 you can either double click the value and manual entry or slide the slider.
Congratulations, you made your first “slider” in game terms.
No need to do any crazy stop motion. It’s easier to make a key to do one thing, another to do something else, then blend them together. For example, expanding, then sagging - like at 0.4 expansion you include 0.22 sag.
Make sure your model is final before messing with keys if using blender. If you continue to edit the model, the key data has a high chance to become corrupt, and blender has no way to recover any of it.
How hard it is, depends on many factors. Most important is – whats your desired quality. Annyway, knowledge on 3d modeling will make it easier in every case. And as far as I know, 3d modeling is not so hard (if you are good at arts). If you are looking for some starting point try this one out: Blender.
It’s reasonably complex to create any 3D model, however if you’ve planned ahead the actual expansion would be comparatively straight forward; that’s compared to the model creation - though there are shortcuts with pre-built models of course, but you will need two, one thin, and one fat with the same mesh so you can morph between them. You would need artistic talent, and animation talent too.
I’m not sure what you are thinking of as stop-motion animation; it usually refers to manipulating real world objects between frames (think Ray Harryhausen effects, Magic Roundabout, Morph, Gumby, Walace and Gromit, or most things Aardman) - and isn’t to do with 3D modelling software. So if you had a plasticine model of a character, and the artistic talent to do so, it would be relatively easy to add a little more plasticine between each frame. But you do have to do that for each frame (or every other frame if you are working on twos) and there are a lot of frames in a few seconds of animation.
Contrast that with CG work which has much more to learn and study to get started, but the actual animation once you got it all set up is something a computer can just get on with while you sleep.
Time is a factor in the reduced popularity of stop motion, as well as the physical costs of equipment, tools, modelling clay, etc.
The advantage of digital animation is the low cost once the underlying rigging and such are set. You can reskin and alter the physics rather than having to build a new model for every stop motion character. Want to change lighting in stop motion? You’ll need real-world lights. ETC
Ultimately, I think the best thing for wg games would be a system for 2D-rendered 3D that can be shared and altered for individual projects. bottom line? Unless you really want to go low-tech, stop motion is a lot of work.