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Niara Offline OP
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Once upon a time, puppers everywhere were sad, because their halfling friends were very confused.

Before:

[Linked Image]

Now, however, they can rejoice with great enthusiasm, as their smaller-statured buddies learned how to properly conduct a pet.

Now:

[Linked Image]

Hi folks! Jumping in again here to bring up some good news and some positivity! Though it didn't make it into their patch notes, it looks as though Larian are, indeed, refactoring and rectifying animations bit by bit. In particular I've noted that the poor animations I specifically made detailed reports about have been rectified now, though others that I've not filed in-dept bug reports on have not. Now; I'm certain that many other people besides me have been making many other reports on things like this, and the ones I made the most detailed reports on were some of the most obvious and easy to find poses... There is a chance that literally everything I report is already on their to do list, will get done, and that this is all functionally wasted effort. If that is the case, then I'll be really happy!

Just in case, though... I'm going to start pushing this thread forward doing screen capture comparisons and checks on existing animations and poses that we have access to - to pick apart where they are broken, improperly aligned, using the wrong pose data, or otherwise in need of fixing, comparing halfling sets to humans; Humans, elves, half-elves and tiefling all use the same animation and pose data, so that medium creature-to small creature comparison will be the most meaningful one to make. I'm aware that dwarves also suffer this in places, but they'll have to wait for their own thread, for now.

More images and analyses will be coming soon as I work through my image comparison library ^.^ (all taken as of the most recent patch)

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Niara Offline OP
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First up, the most obvious one that's not been fixed yet:


The poses and animations for Jump, for halflings, currently need a lot of work. The 'preparing' animation for Jump, for halflings, is a grossly stretched out affair that looks downright painful, bot for male and female halflings, and does not look at all like they are about to jump anywhere. The pose looks as though it is using the same foot placement data as the pose and animation for humans, which is what leads to this greatly warped look – they're reaching for foot points that don't make sense for their body (Aside from the fact that the back foot floats up in the air, and the forward foot sinks into the ground). Halflings need to have their own jump pose and/or animation, fitted to their body.

Compare (thanks shadowheart):

[Linked Image]

And:
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

A curious thing to note here is that when selecting jump, halflings briefly, for about half a second, pose up into a completely different pose, before sliding out to the stretched one. This other pose looks a LOT better from the front angle (though it is a little overbalanced on the centre of gravity, if you look at it from the side), and could much more easily be interpreted as a character about to jump or move quickly somewhere.

This pose is similar to, but not the same as the pose used for dash/throw; halflings, male and female, both use a slightly different pose for Dash/Throw, compared to humans – one that is a little bit off-balance, but looks acceptable if you imagine they are preparing to shot-put something.

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]

The pose they drop into for a brief second when you click jump looks, rather, like the pose data for Dash/Throw that humans use – but whether it is or not, that half-second pose we see first would be entirely acceptable for halflings 'Jump' pose, if it was actually the one they stayed in for the 'preparing' animation.

As an aside to this comparison: the human dash/throw pose and animation leaves some rather uncomfortable-looking neck stretching on the model, which could really be tweak in as well.

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Niara Offline OP
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Second one for now: Shove!

Shove did, at one point, use the human animations and poses, and it looked quite bad as a result of the anchoring points - a recurring issue. It has, however, been fixed at some point and now halflings, male and female, have their own unique shove pose and animation! Yay! The follow through animations are also unique and fitted, and it's actually looking pretty good now!

[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

I'll take a moment to thank the helpful models who agreed to prance about in their underwear for the sake of my testing, thanks to Dia, warlock of the White Darkness, thanks to Vivian, warlock of the Frozen Scintillation, and thanks to Shadowheart in a variety of differnt disguise-self forms wherever my other two lacked the spell or ability to pull up the required pose.

Anyway, this one is here because since that fix, male and female halflings preparing to shove someone become entirely static - the preparing pose is exactly that - a pose, which does not animate at all, making your character appear completely rigid. As an aside to this comment, the human standard uses the same holding pose for Shove as it does for Dash and Throw - I'm not sure if Larian intend to replace one or several of these at some point or not, but I'll flag that all three are the same, when, after being fixed, they are not all the same for small race characters.

That's all I'll do for today - I have to keep working on these save files to capture other poses and animations in cutscenes still ^.^

Last edited by Niara; 15/12/20 02:43 AM.
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Nice job on fixing dog petting anims Larian!

Also nice job on the comparisons Niara!


Optimistically Apocalyptic
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Niara Offline OP
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Okay, what's next....

Lying, Sitting and Climbing.

Lying down has been refactored as of the current patch; halflings no longer sink into and clip through the ground when lying down ,and they do seem to have been given a differentiated lying pose and animation, slightly. There is a problem, however, in that in doing this, we seem to have lost the independent male/female poses for halflings. Female halflings lie down using the same pose and animations as male halflings, when they used to have a different set.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

These are identical pose and animation idles, where male and female are different on other models. Also, for this pose, the hand is intended to be resting on the body, but it is floating significantly.

Sitting used to be a big problem for our small-race friends. They would clip into everything terribly. this has been fixed now, and halflings can sit on chairs and logs in comfort now. Yay!
Unfortuantely, the same issue with lying down has struck sitting as well: female halflings are using the male halfling poses and idles, when they previously used to have their own.

Old problem:
[Linked Image]

New Pose:
[Linked Image]

Clearly fixed for clipping, but as you can see, the male and female poses are now using the same data, where they were not previously.

Lastly, Climbing.

Climbing... Climbing presented without need for comment:

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Okay, but commenting anyway - they're using the anchor and contact data for human-sized models, leaving them floating out form the ladder and stretching their limbs in ridiculous ways to hit marks that don't suit their bodies.


Last edited by Niara; 17/12/20 06:06 AM.
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Niara Offline OP
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Let's also look at the Help action today:

I have to be honest. It's hard to comment on the animation and pose for the Help action (also used in one spell casting animation)... because it's kind of hard to tell what it's Supposed to be in the first place.

I'll do all four here first, starting with human male, since Human Male is the most complete animation set, and is clearly the character for whom all poses and animations are designed for first. Human males don't have any misalignment or statics, for example; everything animates and lines up more or less correctly for them.... so let's have a look...

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]
[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

So... On the human male, it looks like a partial crouch pose, while you're... I guess, holding onto one of your arms, like it's hurt... but also making an open handed, ready-style gesture with the hand of that arm, held low. What's going on here? I'm just not sure.

Human male has some slight foot clip on uneven ground, but otherwise seems to line up correctly. Human females have developed a slight misalignment, and are clipping slightly through their chest (clipping against the chest can be done well; depending on what you're wearing it can be made to look like you're just compressing things a bit - this doesn't manage that; the arm would need to come up a bit to clip in way that might look like you're just squishing yourself a bit).

Halfling female... that does not track at all well, and male halflings, yikes! Not sure where to begin with that, beyond the pictures themselves, though I'll point out an easy to miss problem, if you get distracted by the more obvious ones - the female's halfling's foot is several inches floating off the ground, in the air.


Last edited by Niara; 17/12/20 08:42 AM.
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Doing Yondalla's work, friend.


Optimistically Apocalyptic
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Niara Offline OP
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Okay, weapon stances and animations...

So, things to note here are that we have 'ready' animations, which are the stance the character adopts when they are preparing a weapon skill or getting read to attack, 'active' animations, which are the execution animations of those attacks, and then recovery animations, which are the poses the characters slip into after executing an attack animation.

The first bit of good news, and what I want to say thanks to Larian for and point out as a point of light, is that I don't need to talk about active animations more or less at all. Every active animation that I checked is functional, fluid and works well, at least as far as weapon skills go. Yay!

Most recovery animations are good too, with only a few exceptions. Unfortunately, the ready animations are the ones with all the problems, and they're the ones we see the most.

Aside from misalignments and bad stretches, we also have places where female halflings are using male poses (in places where human-sized models use different poses for males and female); I don't know if that's intentional or not - it could be, given the size difference being the major factor. It might not be, though, so I'll bring it up. We also have a scattering of cases where the animations are not, in fact, animated - they're static poses that are completely rigid. I want to note on that matter that 'd be fine with static poses for readying things like attacks and spells - they're supposed to be you preparing to do something, the reality of which is a fluid action - however, I'd want them to be consistent throughout the game, either all animated, or all static, and they mostly seem to want the ready poses to be animated.

Ranged weapons first. I don't have hand crossbow yet - I won't be able to pick those up until I get my file to the underdark, sorry, but it'll come when I have a chance to check it. Here are the stances for bows and crossbows:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Comapre to human-sized models, and they look like unique poses:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

There are some impractical and unfitting elements, however... In particular, the bow stance sees the foreleg extends uncomfortably forward - it bears similarities to other cases where the feet are attempting to reach a 'mark' or and 'anchor' point that was intended for larger-sized creatures. The pose itself isn't BAD; if the foreleg wasn't quite so hyper-extended, it could still look good. It only needs to pull back just subtly, or else to bring the centre of gravity forward towards it with the rest of the body slightly - just so that it's not an extremely stretched yoga pose, but is still actively dynamic. It is a bit strange that they have an enforced downward angle - that makes far less sense to be the default for smaller race characters.

For the bows, too, there's a clear issue with the stance implying a drawn bowstring, while the bow itself doesn't reflect this. It they were actually hooked up with a 'drawn bow' model, and the string was in their fingers, with an arrow knocked, then that bit would be just fine, but with the static bow, it doesn't work. This is a case where they should add in a better bow model for the pose, rather than changing the pose.

On male halflings, the back food clips into the ground, even on flat terrain - though it doesn't with the female model, even though they're using the same pose data, or seem to be.

For the crossbow stances, again, unique models. The pose itself is good, and looks fine - the issue is again with it not aligning to the weapon model properly, creating very obvious clipping. In this case, the model size can't really change just for halflings, so the poses for the hands would need to be moved to accommodate. I would suggest that the back food for female halflings on the crossbow pose should probably be straightened, firmed up and brought in a touch, to strengthen the appearance of their stance.

Next, recovery poses:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The recovery poses let us see a couple of problems that should be fixed. Most obvious is that male and female halfligns are using the same recovery pose data - and on female hallfings, the male recovery pose data doesn't end up fitting them correctly at all. Male crossbow recovery looks good! Female crossbow recovery clips badly, but at minimum it could be fixed by adjusting the anchoring of the crossbow model.

Human-sized models use independent recovery poses for male and female models:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Once again, you can tell that these were designed for human males first and foremost - they're dynamic, smooth, well balanced and well aligned. Human-sized femlaes have their own adjustments and they look fine, though the hand on the crossbow could be aligned better.

This does leave the recovery pose for the bow on halflings looking... well... like a place holder, almost. It looks bad, and rather like a blank canvas pose waiting to get an *Actual* bow recovery pose put in. I hope that's the case. Either way, what looks bland and out of place on the male halfling just looks kind of bad on the female halfling. If they're going to use the same pose data, then one that looks good on both models is a must.

That's it for bow and crossbow. As I said, I don't have hand crossbow shots yet - I don't have a file up to the underdark to get the pair that are available. If anyone can point me to an earlier pair of hand crossbows, or ones that are fast or easy to acquire, however, I'd be much obliged.

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Hello people!
Altough this topic seems a bit focused on visuals, which I absolutely agree, I wanted to give some feedback about playing as a halfling overall and decided to post it here.

- Although I enjoyed playing as a halfling i think this choice of race only adds a difficulty level to the overall experience with no major advantage, like for example, shorter jump lenghts. Even thought halfings can enter holes other characters can't, I miss the opportunity to jump/climb and reach narrow/small spaces other characters can't. I played as a halfling hunter and as high-ground makes a huge difference in a fight, I constantly found myself wishing I could reach some narrow spaces in a hill to have some advantage. So overall there should be there should be more room available to reach jumping or climbing, comparing to a full sized character.

- As a hunter the lack of height hinders you constantly and I think that's great hahahaha I often found myself in a tought spot because I cound't shoot an arrow in my turn because a small bulwark was in the way. But I sense that enemies ignored those obstacles, don't know if you had this issue.

- About the dialogues, I think there should be a richer interaction with npcs as a halfing, overall we just get some simpathetic Merry/Pippin choices of answers that don't really get you anywhere, most npcs just ignore this "naive" answers making the player choose other races to interact and get more useful/fun info most of the time. I think a good solution is to seek a more compeling npc reaction to those answers, in a way that the player could feel a bond or some empathetic connection with this gentle race (as presented until now)

- This compelling reactions could be shortcuts in a dialogue to reach a favorable answer/decision sometimes or a hard to get item/buff/info given by some npc at the end of a talk to help you in the journey. That said, there could be a complete despise by some characters as well! I felt some despise by Lae'zel but nothing that could really be a stone in your way.

- About the visuals, the previous posts cover about everything I noticed so i'll skip this section.

That's about it for now. smile

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Niara Offline OP
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Heya, thanks for adding your voice Batazin ^.^ It's appreciated.

Today I'll look at spellcasting poses and animations. With spellcasting, we have six unique spell casting 'ready' poses - seven, technically, but one of them is just the 'help' action pose, and doesn't need to be covered again - it has all the same issues as mentioned in its own section.

I'll go through them one at a time, but first off, I'll mention an important detail that the screenshots themselves will not capture: Currently, the poses that female halflings are using for their spellcasting ready poses are all entirely Static - that is, they are rigid and not animated. The delivery animations work fine, but the one we see the most of is static (halfling males are animated normally). Compared to this, many of the poses used by human females are rather more 'bouncy' than really feels appropriate. Some animation is nice, but a couple of them bounce around like they need the bathroom.

I will say to this; I don't mind static poses for the 'ready to act' poses - in away a static pose makes sens,e since it's all supposed to happen in a moment, and we don't 'actually' spin all around trying to find the right angle with our bow before loosing... But, I also appreciate a lightly animated ready pose as well, so it feels alive. Either is fine, as long as the implementation is universally consistent. I'm fairly certain they're all meant to be animated, regardless, but I thought it worth mentioning.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

First up, the hands-to-chest pose. This one is used for a lot of our traditionally 'divine' spells, most notably for healing, but also speak with dead. On the human-sized models (male and female use the same pose data), the pose line sup well, though it is very bouncy - too much, in my personal opinion. On halflings, however, we run into clipping issues around the hands and chest. Halfling males have their feet clipping into the ground in this pose - and in relation to this, it makes their stance look different, and narrower. It's hard to tell whether the intention was for them to have a narrower pose, or whether, when their feet are properly aligned with the ground, it will mirror the female poses. Meanwhile, halfling females suffer bad weapon clipping, especially with long weapons. The pose itself looks fine - it's been adjusted for smaller creatures already, and doesn't suffer any distension.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The 'front cross' pose is usually used for illusion-type spells and a few other miscellaneous ones - some other self-buffing and scattered others. This one comes out well! compared to human-sized models, the halfling foot pose is similar and it stands up acceptably well; I feel the foot stance is a little bit more dynamically broad than it perhaps should be for comfort, but it's not bad by any means. No clipping or distension here either. Once again, male halflings have an issue with their feet, which is altering the appearance of the pose, making it look weaker and less table; this will be the same issue as the first pose, and the solution, whichever it is, will be the same.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Alas, the good streak couldn't quite last. The 'self-cross' pose is used for other divine spells, and for most buffing spells. The front leg on female halflings is *incredibly* stretched out. It's like she's trying to do a difficult yoga pose. It's not broken, or infeasible, but it certainly wouldn't be comfortable. I'm torn because the dynamism of the pose looks neat, in its way; I can imagine a lot of people would be unhappy if this changed... but it only looks good while it's static. If the character was bobbing, as per the usual animation, the extremely extended stretch would end up looking off. I'm torn because I like it, but the practical woman in me says that the leading foot really should come in, just a little bit, so she doesn't look quite that hyper-extended on the front foot. Male halflings have their feet solidly on the ground again for this pose, and the leg positions don't actually look bad on them.

The real issues we have here is up top. On human-sized models, the character crosses their arms across their torso, like they're giving themselves a hug. It looks good. On halflings, male and female, this same pose data does not convey accurately, and we're left with them jamming their arms into and through their body or head, even to the extent of having their fingers poking out of their back. This part of the pose definitely needs to be fully refactored for smaller races.

(Image limit, post continues)

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Niara Offline OP
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(Continued)

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The summoning animation, predictably, is used primarily for summoning creatures and objects. The pose itself looks good as it is, but obviously for both male and female halflings (male halflings more obviously so), the anchor point for the spell effect needs to be fixed so that it is in the intended position and doesn't clip with your characters.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The attack pose is usually used for spells that we throw at other people - guiding bolt, eldritch blast and such. For female halflings, the pose looks quite good; once again, the front foot might be a little bit too stretched out, but not hugely so. The oddity that I'd like to point out here is that the pose itself, being the same one that medium-sized creatures use, makes less on halflings, since it's distinctly downward-angled. That aside, the attachment point for the spell effect is closer to the elbow for female halflings, and it should be fixed to sit above the hand, like for the other models. Once again, male halflings have a foot slip that leaves their back food sinking into the ground - this has a knock-on effect of making the rest of the pose look weaker and more unstable, but fixing the back leg to anchor tot he ground properly will probably fix that. It's worth noting that we have another weapon clipping problem with this pose, though this time it's with waist-mounted weapons, as opposed to back-mounted ones. Waist mounded weapons will end up clipping through the leg on both male and female halflings.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Finally, the 'warding' pose: this one is uncommon, but its used for some compulsion effects - charming, or turning. This one has the same issues as the previous poses: on halflings (male and female) the spell effect is anchored a little bit off from where it's meant to be, and should be brought down a touch so that it's just in front of, or on, the leading hand. Beyond that, the male halflings have their back foot clipping into the ground again, which leads to their stance looking unbalanced and weak. Other than that, however, this one looks good.

The major issues with the casting animations are functionally just a few, that repeat:

- Female halflings are all static and do not animate for any of their casting poses.
- Male halflings often have one or both feet improperly anchored, leaving it to drag down and clip through the ground, weakening the overall appearance of their stance.
- Spell effects need to be checked for anchoring to the correct location on the model, and potentially resized to prevent clipping with the models in the case of summoning.
- Halflings have bad weapon clipping on several of their poses, and both back-mounted weapons and hip-mounted weapons should be checked and adjusted for these poses.
- In some cases, the stretching of the pose risks being too extended, especially on female halflings, however, these are just pushing on the borderline of too stretched, and are just 'extremely dynamic' - as statics the poses look good. As long as they still look good when animated, this isn't a big problem, or a problem at all for some people, I imagine.

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Niara Offline OP
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Next up... let's see....

Two-handed poses today. (If I'm a little scattered here, I'm quite frazzled today...)

We have three main two-handed poses in game at the moment - Spears, Staves and Greatswords (versatile swords use this). For human-sized models, these mostly line up and work well enough. The only criticisms I'd levy would be that the human female model gets some neck distension on the staff ready pose and the spear recovery pose, and also, the model's holding of long weapons in the two-handed sword recovery pose, naturally means most weapons will clip into the ground. Other than that, they all look fine and animate fine; no statics, no notable alignment issues. Males and females use different poses for these weapons - though some are clearly very similar. Here they are quickly; each image pair is the 'ready' pose, alongside the 'recovery pose' for each weapon.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The greatsword has a very different recovery pose between the two models, while the ready pose is only very slightly different - close enough that the difference may be anomalies in applying the same pose data to different models, maybe. For Staves, the poses are quite clearly different. the recovery poses are very similar to the ready poses, but are tangibly different all the same; notably, the recovery poses are more relaxed, and lacking the tension of the ready poses. the spear poses are similar enough that they might possibly be using the same pose data, with anomalies between the different models; they're close enough that I *think* they're using the same pose data, despite minor shifts and differences.

When we look to small-sized models, however:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Male and Female halflings are clearly using the exact same pose data, all the way through. This may be intentional, or it may not be - we can't actually be certain, sine it might have been decided that small size overruled the need for sex-distinct poses. However, what is clear is that the pose data does not line up properly for female hallfings - it was clearly designed for the males, and then translated over to them, but it doesn't fit. Now, that said - I DO want to take a moment to say that the staff and spear poses look absolutely smashing for male halflings! They're dynamic, solid, and look like they mean business - they're great! It would only take a small tweak to take the weapons line up properly on the female models, without needing to change the pose, if they intend for them to use the same poses.

Where the spear and staff poses are excellent, however, the greatsword pose.... leaves a lot to be desired. At best it looks ungainly and overbalanced... but more than that, the leading arm seems to forget what it's doing and just drifts up and away from the body, crating this visible stretch and tear away - that arm has completely unanchored itself from the torso. On females, it also leads to a misaligned grip and clipping through the head.

The recovery poses also use the same poses and animations for male and female, and as before, this leads to unattached weapons, misalignment and clipping:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Most notably, the hands are misplaced on the sword pose, and the weapon is prone to clipping through the head, while the weapons are completely skewed for both staff and spear. Beyond this, once again, the staff and spear poses look good, but the greatsword pose, while it looks good from *Some* angles, looks badly overbalanced fro others, and could do with a reassessment.

A last note to say again, good work on those satisfying poses for male halflings, for spear and staff... and much humour at the fact that it looks like they were 'checked' from that most satisfying angle on the female model (the upper right shot in each), and thus the misalignment missed...

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Niara Offline OP
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Next up are shield-bearing poses and recoveries.

So, The game uses two main poses for shield-bearing stances. One for lighter/faster weapons, primarily daggers and short sword, and one for heavier/longer weapons, meaning versatiles, but functionally, is "the rest" - maces, scimitars and hand axes all use this second pose.

Human-sized models use the same pose data for males and females, and the same is true for halflings. Halflings do use a different pair of poses, however, and for the most part they're pretty decent, but there remain a few errors and clipping issues all the same. Let's have a look at them:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

All of these poses are animated; no statics. When I take these shots, I usually try to take the shot in at least close to the same point in the animation, for comparison, but that led me to a discovery that I hadn't noticed before. Human males may use the same pose data for their dagger and short sword ready animations here, but their animation data is not the same for those poses; the dagger pose bounces back further, while the sword pose bounces forward further. The screen shot shows the dagger pose more or less as far forward as it comes, while the sword pose is about as far backward as it goes. This slight does not seem to be present in the female human-sized model (and there's no difference in animation between male and female halflings, in their stances), and I thought it was interesting.

I've made four shots for the halfling poses here because of the first major anomaly: The first two images for both male and female halflings are both with shield and dagger. The first pose is the one they move to initially, and it is solid and looks good, except for some clipping with the shield anchoring on the arm... However, they only hold that pose for a fraction of a second, before their body 'slides' into the second image pose, which is clearly not fit correctly - the old familiar issue with the feet not anchoring properly and sinking into the ground, distorting the rest of the pose.

This ONLY happens with the dagger and shield combination; the short sword pose for halflings is ever so slightly different from their dagger pose, and it doesn't suffer the bug.

Where it comes apart, unfortunately, is with the versatile/heavier weapon stance for halflings. This is another one of those cases where it looks okay, good even, from one specific angle, but otherwise it becomes very visible that the stance is weak and overbalanced. Taking a hit on the shield in that stance would leave these poor halflings to crumple in an instant as the knee buckled. The leading leg also twists and clips into the body a little bit in the current stance, and end up looking like a graphical tear, so hopefully a fix to this will create a proper balance and power stance with the leading foot, which would, in turn, make the whole pose work well.

Stances aside, we can check on the recovery poses as well. This brings up an odd incongruity which is not a problem per se, but the lack of consistency bugs me....
Shield-bearing stances all use just one single recovery pose, regardless of the main hand weapon. However, they also use different poses between male and female human-sized models, or they seem to, unlike the ready poses which are the same between sexes. I'd like to know for certain whether it is Larian's goal to ultimately have poses differentiated by sex for all poses and animations in the game, or not... so I could tell what's intended or not... the inconsistency of this makes reporting faithfully hard. Oh well.

Let's have a look:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Anyway... Human-sized models seem to use different recovery poses for shield-bearing stances. This is one of the few cases where the female pose actually looks better than the male one - mainly because it's less rigid-looking; The female has a more relaxed weapon hand, and a slightly less broad foot stance, while their centre of gravity is more forward set, giving the pose a more forward-pressing appearance. They're both fine, however. I say "seem" to here because the differences are small, and they could be caused just by the effect of mapping the same pose and animation to slightly different models; there is a good chance that this is the case, in fact.

Halflings use the same pose data for their recovery pose, but it fits the male models better, while the slight model differences cause the weapon for female halflings to clip up through the shield, which is also anchored a little differently. Female halfligns suffer the foot-slip issue here, with some slight clipping into the ground, which pulls their leading leg downward. This pose would look better if the leading foot didn't stretch out as far, and had a more vertical gravity to it - a strong stance puts your knee more or less directly over your heel, or slightly past it, and that would help a lot here. Outside of that, the stance is good, however.

If the recovery poses are meant to be different between males and females, then some tweaking to make sure they each look good on the model they're intended for would be good here. If they're intended to use the same pose and animation, and the differences we can see are just a result of that one pose being mapped to different models, then again, some double checking and individual tweaking so that each type of model looks like its pose fits it.

Overall though, I want to say that the poses and stances here are mostly good; they're certainly appropriate to the size of the model, or close to it, unlike some of the other ones I've reported on so far.

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This is the feedback thread of the year. Each page is excellent and informative

I would just like to add that I also cannot stand the notion of bobble heads and tiny toes for the halfling models.

Halflings should be a scaled down 1:2 version of a normally proportioned human.

If we must have this look, please leave it for just the gnomes, who should be way shortier as well, so its not so offputting.

Just as an aside, I almost wish that they would make a D&D game where the PC could be a Fae archetype: Faeries, Pixies, Brownies, maybe even a Wisp as a playable race. Just so they'd learn how to animate everything at the tiniest possible scale, instead of working backwards from Human models. I guess that's an idea for 6e D&D video games, but when I alighted on it seemed like a cool idea for a new Player class that could potentially be badass in a 3d environment and would be sort of new for D&D. They've only been done as familiars before, never attempted as a full player race. Obviously they wouldn't be able to carry regular weapons and equipment, they'd probably be hard pressed to carry bags of magic dust or maybe a ring if they're buff. But they could have magic shields and be able to fly around making them harder to hit, and do all the other fun things, fit through the tightest of spots. I think it could actually work for a PC race concept if the wizards of the coast put in the time to work through how they might balance, and if the computergame designers put in the effort to make the environments fun to explore and interact with at a super micro scale. I think they'd be at least as popular as half-orcs hehe. Anyhow just a riff. I day dream about an RPG game just called "Faerun" to come out someday in the distant future, where all my best ideas have somehow been realized lol.

But the main idea connected here being that they should really lean into the opportunity to make cool animations for the shorties. It would set the game apart as a more serious work of art.

For scale they should look at Alan Lee's illustration of Frodo and Gandalf in LOTR. That's the size and proportion of the halfling I want to see. The hobbit's skull is half the size of the wizard's.

It's right there in the name, they should shrink everything to half scale, not just the vertical from the neck down.
Otherwise the Halflings look more like little kids or cartoons, and they are too easily confused with what we should be seeing for the Dwarves, who are much larger and who's traditionally stout phenotype + beard make them harder to mix up for kids.

Anyhow, carry on. Sorry to interrupt the steady progress there, but yeah, best thread! Something in it for everyone.
Even the swimsuit clipping competition. With party hair to boot!
Nice work!

Last edited by Black_Elk; 24/12/20 06:13 AM.
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Niara Offline OP
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Thanks for the words of support ^.^ Hope everyone had a good unspecific celebratory festival day/Friday.

I'm almost to the end of the standard poses and animations now. Today it's dual wielding stances. Halflings have got unique stances for dual wielding, compared to human sized models, and they aren't too bad, however, there are some anomalies to look into.

On human-sized models, there are two dual-wielding ready stances - one for light weapons like daggers, and one for larger or heavier weapons, which is most other things. Halflings currently use the same stance for all dual wielding, regardless of weapons; No way currently to tell if this is intended or not, but here they are, plus the recovery poses for each.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

So, for heavier weapons, male and female human-sized models have slightly different pose data - only slightly, but there are tweaks. It appears to have been designed for human males first, and then altered to soften the pose for females. Halflings use the same pose regardless of sex, and it's okay - it doesn't look bad, per se, but it is a little off balance. As is often the case, bringing the leading foot in slightly would make the pose look more stable; only slightly though, and it's okay as is in a pinch. It's quite acceptable for a ready pose. On both models, the back leg clips up into the torso section a little bit, and this pose also goes an unfortunate way to showing off just how disproportionate the female halfling chest is with the current models.

On human-sized models, we have a different stance for light dual wielding - here, male and female seem to use the same base pose data, I would like to make special note of the fact that the human female pose for light weapon dual wielding is currently Static and does not animate.

Halflings don't have an alternate pose for lighter dual wielding - however on both male and female halflings, their feet do not anchor, and they slide into the ground, distorting the rest of the pose. As the pose animates, you can see the feet slide around, and the model swivels on a floating anchor point that is closer to the hip area.

The recovery poses are unique on male human-sized models, being different for heavier and lighter weapon dual wielding - thought he males have an odd clipping issue where the left leg meets the hip. Female humans have their own recovery pose, but they use the same pose data for both heavy and light dual wielding. Again, I cant tell if this is intended, but it is inconsistent. The recovery pose itself is fine.

On halflings, the recovery pose itself is pretty decent, but Male and female halfings both use the exact same pose, for both heavy and light dual wielding, with no variation anywhere. The result is that for larger or longer weapons, we end up with bad weapon clipping. Though it uses the same pose data, this recovery pose looks better on female halflings than it does on males; if they are going to change one, they should give the males something different. The visual causes males to look back-heavy on their centre of gravity, and they don't have enough forward weight to maintain it, while on the female models, their centre of gravity looks much better, and the whole pose results in looking more balanced overall. This is exacerbated by the way the male halfing's foot placement end sup ahead of their knee, while for females it remains more vertical, creating a more solid forward anchor.

Not too bad here, compared to other things. Just a couple more to do, and if I'm quick, I'll have picked up the weapon type I'm missing by that point.

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Niara Offline OP
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Today while I was doing many bug reports throughout the goblin camp, I discovered something I had missed!

All thanks to miss Roah Moonglow for quickly whipping out a shield and javelin combo to try and stab me with while Astarion was being ham-fisted in her pockets.

As it turns out (news to me), we have got a spear-and-shield type pose, but it only shows up with javelins, since spears don't have the versatile property. Let's have a look!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

So, from the left we have the ready pose for javelin and shield, the recovery pose for javelin and shield, then the ready and recovery poses for one-handed javelin alone. On human-sized models these mostly look okay, and they're our baseline. Male and female models use more or less the same pose and animation data here, with slight differences meaning that the males have more solid stances, while females have a softer ones. There is only one place where they actually use tangible different pose data, and that's in the one-handed recovery pose, where the male and female models have deliberately different free hand positions. Aside form that, though, I'd say this looks like they're using all the same data for the other three stances, with the differences coming about from differences in the models.

So, let's see how halflings fare (Apologies for the odd drop off in image quality on the halflings. I'm not sure what caused it, other than the visual effect that was happening to Dia):

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

These are just the shield poses, because the first issue that pops up is immediately apparent. When you adopt the ready pose for halflings using shield and javelin, they initially drop into the pose depicted in the first image - it's their dual-wielding pose ,and clearly not appropriate. This is obviously a bug, so I won't criticise it further than that. After hitting that pose for a brief moment, they then slide into the pose depicted in the second image, which is anew one, and is clearly designed for this weapon set up. the pose itself isn't bad, though it does suffer from that same hyper-dynamism of the foot positioning (that leading food needs to come in behind the shield, unless they want to get it chopped off). The main issues are the leg tearing around the groin area, on both models, and the fact that the shield and weapons clip with the pose, and with each other, on both models. With the recovery pose (third image), aside from the over-extended front foot again, the pose is actually fine here, although a straight or upward tile to the weapon would make more sense on small-sized characters.

Unfortunately, between those ready poses and the recovery poses... is the attack animation, and for the first time in these discussions I really have to make note of problems in the attack animation itself.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The limb extension is not a problem here - it's a fast action and it's meant to be a reach anyway. The issue, more pointedly, is the terrible clipping with the gear and the models that is very visible even in the fast attack animation.

Finally, the one-handed poses:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

As with the javelin and shield poses, we have a pose slip here. Upon entering the ready pose for one-handed javelin, both male and female halflings adopt the first pose shown; it looks pretty good as far as poses go, and is quite satisfactory, except for the way that the weapon itself clips with one hand on males and both hands on females. We only see this pose for a faction of a second, however, before they slide into the pose in the second image - recognisable as their "throw" ready pose. This is also clearly a bug.

Without the shield in the way, the attack animations work well enough, however, the models draw back and end their attack animation in the pose show by the third images; this would be fine, except that they flick to the fourth image, which is their recovery pose, as soon as they finish drawing back, and it causes a jitter in the arm and spear because the end of the animation and the recovery pose that it moves into do not mesh or align properly at all. There's nothing inherently wrong with not having the end of the attack animation align with the recovery pose, however, in this case it really needs to be smoothed properly so that the arm and spear don't jerk and flip around. I'm not going to be too harsh on the clipping through the hand of the javelin in the draw back because it's the end of an animation, transitioning to something else, but getting it anchored properly would be good. Unlike human-sized models, there is no tangible difference between the recovery poses of male and female halflings here, but that's not really an issue; I just don't know if it's the intention or not.

I wonder how many other animation sets I've missed? I know of a couple I'm missing for not having the weapons to hand yet (hand crossbows), but if I find others along the way I'll try to cover them too ^.^

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Thank you

- Do you know anything about gnomes? It's the only other small race we will probably get as player. Do you think they will get the same animations as halflings? Do we have a gnome in the game other than the windmill guy?
- We fight a lot of goblins in the game, another small race. Do they have the same problems as halflings? I do not remember another small race in the game. I did not try to fight the tieflings children.

It would be very interesting to play as very unusual race in a game, such as the fairy suggestion. But not in BG3, the tadpole itself would be as big as your skull ;-)


groovy Prof. Dr. Dr. Mad S. Tist groovy

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Because there are too many people who work on artificial intelligence already :hihi:
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Just a few things:

- Its hard to record motion capture for halflings, since most martial artists you will find these days seem to be human wink
- Once you have your motion capture data, it isn't finished, you need to clean it up, put some handy work into it so that it reads well in game because games (especially stylized and isometric ones) are different than real life (simple example - as a fighter you wouldn't be foreshadowing the moves as much as you see them in-games because it would be a deadly mistake in real life, but in games its a necessity to make user understand what they see and be entertained)
- after all that work you have 1 animation set done - for regular males only. you can apply it on other rigs for different bodies, but as we see it doesn't look good. Now before you start adjusting it, you better be sure you are happy with these animations in the first place or you will be repeating all changes for all body sizes in the game.


What I'm trying to say, at this point in the development there should be no reasonable focus at Larian to make half-ling animations polished before they are finished with other stuff. Its not that hafling's don't deserve it, its just the typical way you work to not have to re-iterate things more often than absolutely necessary because it eats up manhours like crazy. I seriously doubt any of these animation issues are unknown to Larian (some fixes actually might be blocked by code adjustments as well). And I honestly don't think they will be able to fix all issues simply because of priorities and production reality. You always end up with clipping in games, even more so on uncommon body-types.


I'd not worry too much about animations at this point smile On the other hand if you think that the body proportions are off - this is the right time to address it as it affects all art assets related to halflings and also their animations.

Last edited by biomag; 27/12/20 09:51 AM.
Joined: Jun 2020
Niara Offline OP
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Hey Mad,

Where possible, I try to keep my terminology here to 'small-sized characters' and 'human-sized characters', because yes, the intent is that we'll have more than halflings to pick from soon enough. I don't know any more about that than anyone else, but certainly I'd say that the gnome in the myconid camp is written and pitched to be a possible future companion. I don't know what they'll do in terms of poses and animations for them. Initially I expect they'll probably be mostly the same, but if we're lucky we might see distinct variations filter through in time.

Similarly with goblins, a lot of their assets are already sorted out, but they lack hook ups for all of the poses and animations necessary to be playables for the time being. It's a possibility, but likely a more distant one. I don't know anything beyond what the community knows, unfortunately.

To Biomag...

Yes, non-human body types pretty much always get the shaft in video games, and always suffer bad clipping, bad placement, poor anchoring, misaligned positions, disjointed cutscenes, inappropriate camera work, and are usually immersion shattering at important points because of it. Should they be? Should we accept that as okay, because it is the norm? You can if you want; I don't. This game, more than any that has come before it, stands at a prime point to not do that, and to get it right, for once in the history of gaming... I intend to do everything in my relatively minor and inconsequential power to help ensure that they do. The top of this thread talks about body proportions in great detail (though I could go back and replace some of the in game shots with better images, probably...), but I've said as much as there is to say about that, and can't do any more without simply repeating myself on that score. I noticed, however, that Larian are actively fixing small-race poses and animations as they go, even if they aren't making a big deal about it in their patch notes, so I'm adding this to this thread in light of that. Do Larian know about all of this? No, actually they don't. They know about a lot of it, yes, but in my reporting I've received responses a number of times indicating a known animation issue, and a number of times indicating a new, previously unrecorded, one being sent through to the animation team. They will fix them on the timeline that they deem is appropriate, but they have to know about it and have it on record to fix it, and we don't know for certain what ones they are aware of and what ones they aren't. So I report them all.

The changes to the model only need to be subtle; in most ways, it is unlikely to affect their animations and posing, since it is to do with hip width and depth, chest depth, head size and the proportions of their lower legs. None of these features, if altered on the model, will affect relational poses, height and relative placement of limbs, or any of the other major factors in smoothing an animation.

Thanks for your input; let me leave you with an anecdote:

When we build a tower of bricks, we find the magnitude of the task hard to comprehend, and the size of the bricks impossibly small. We only have one pair of hands, and even if there are others helping us, laying one brick can seem insignificantly small compared to the magnitude of the tower. It can even look, if there are many people laying bricks, that a single person's individual placements is so insignificant that they are functionally wasting their time and effort doing it. However, every brick must still be laid, and each brick laid down by someone is a brick that the next pair of hands can be grateful for when they lay their own. Indeed, the only person who is actually wasting their time and energy is the person who stands to one side telling other people that they are wasting their time and energy.

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Regarding goblins, I wanted to ask if they look good as NPC and enemies.
I did not want to imply that they are a playable race.

It's the most frequent small NPC race we meet.


groovy Prof. Dr. Dr. Mad S. Tist groovy

World leading expert of artificial stupidity.
Because there are too many people who work on artificial intelligence already :hihi:
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