Ask Me Anything with José

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Re: Ask Me Anything with José

Postby Cpt.JackSparrow » June 28th, 2014, 5:12 am

Whats the next item,equipement you guys working ?
Whats your favourite weapon ?
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Postby jpm1 » June 28th, 2014, 6:50 pm

Hello José . i missed precedent AMA so i'll ask my questions here , i was angry cause i missed last AMA . and guess what now there's another AMA i forgot what i wanted to ask . so i'll ask what i can remember

- are fishing or bow-fishing things that are discussed in the team
- is a gallery pictures manager or at least a function that would let us delete unwanted stuff something actually planned
- is upcoming new species carnivorous or herbivore

i know some questions have nothing to do with animation . but maybe you heard of these things

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Jose Diaz
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Re: Ask Me Anything with José

Postby Jose Diaz » July 3rd, 2014, 4:08 am

AMA Questions and Answers:

1 : Will anytime the reloading-animation of the muzzleloader fixed?

If you are talking about the bullet being in the wrong place, it has been fixed 3 times by me and tested thoroughly, and the animation looked fine every time.
But then after it comes live the bullet is on the wrong place again.
It is an annoying bug we have. I have a plan of a way to fix it and will get to it as soon as I get some time over.
It’s on top of my bugs to fix list.

2 : If you could hunt one of your colleagues, who would it be?

Emil, he disappointed me today.

3 : From what I understand, the art team will make a model, then you will do the animations for it. How much exchange between the two groups is there during development. Is the product pretty much finished art wise when you work with it or is there more parallelism between the two?

When I get a 3D model it is not finished, and the first thing I do is not to animate. I first set up a skeleton for the model to be able to be animated and then I start testing the model by posing it in several extreme poses that the animal should be able to be in. If we have to do changes to proportions or anything else we do them. After that I can start animating it. But even that model is not finished yet :) Often the model will start to get finalized at the same time I start animating it.

4 : Speaking of the muzzleloader, do you ever devote some time to redoing old animations or is it done in bursts every so often?

We do that sometimes, but often we have too much to do, so we only are able to make time to take care of the bugs we have.

5 : How do you transfer real-life animations (from movies I guess?) onto an animal or person? Do you use motion capturing technology or is everything done manually? Can you post a "how-to" movie without giving away too much?

We do not use mocap at EW. I will not make a how-to movie because I don’t have the time, but I can explain my workflow a bit.

When an animal or weapon is ready to be animated, the first thing I do is research. My mentor thought that to get great animation you should expend half of your time planning your animation.
He maybe exaggerated a bit or not, but planning and research is super important for me.
I use all material I can find on the internet. For an animal, I will study its anatomy, its movement, behaviour, etc. I will look at documentaries on the particular animal, look at a lot of pictures and read about them. I will watch several hours of reference before even starting to think about animating.

After doing that much research it is actually not so hard to animate an animal, it's just time consuming. Our animals usually end up with more than 100 animations, and I always want the current animal I am working with to have more animations and behaviour than the previous one :)
But it all goes hand in hand with the amount of time I get and with what the design team has planned and what the programmers have time to implement.

I could go even deeper on my workflow but it will take too much time.

6 : Will hunting dogs ever be added to hunt/retrieve small game (boars, hogs, rabbits, birds)?

We want to do this but it is currently not something we are working on.

7 : What was the funniest thing you did in your life?

Getting one of my friends to eat a kind of chili from Peru that looks like a regular paprika :) It was this one

I can’t describe his behaviour after he took a bite but I am sure you can imagine :D

8 : what animation are you really proud of?

It’s a hard question, but at the moment I am proud of the flying animations on the mallard duck. I had never done flying animations before that and I learned a lot about fly dynamics during the time I animated the mallard.

9 : if you could do anything to theHunter, what would you personally change/add?

I would add a dog.

10 : will we get more animals that interact with each other and objects in the reserve in the future? (like wariness of predators etc.)

It is something we have discussed and want to do.

11 : What did you include in your portfolio when applying to EW/your first animation role? What sort of things would you look for when hiring?

I included and updated version of this. Actually, it had just one more shot showing I could handle quadruped animations.

For EW, I would like someone that is very comfortable with body mechanics. Especially quadruped mechanics. Acting shots are not important, but a good bonus.
And because we are a small studio and everything I do is not only animation, I would want someone who can show that they know a bit of a TDs role, like Rigging, skinning, etc.

12 : Thinking back to when you were just starting out - what have you learnt now that you wish you knew back then?


One big thing is that being an game animator requires a lot more technical skills than for example being a feature film animator.

13 : What are your top tips for great animations?

I'll give you three.

1 : Don’t ever jump over your planning.

2 : Make a solid blocking, that’s the foundation of your animation. If that doesn’t hold up the final animation won’t either.

3 : Polish your animation, this is what sets apart a mediocre animator from a kick ass animator :)
With hard deadlines it’s often hard to get to polish. If you do tip 1 and 2 really well you have a better chance of having time to do nr 3 :) Depending on what studio you work at, you will get more time to get a shot to a polished level.

a bonus one

4 : Never stop developing your workflow, that and experience is what will make you a fast animator. Every employer wants a fast animator that can deliver awesome shots.

14 : Do you prefer creating all your animations on a single timeline and then exporting them one at a time e.g frame 1-50 "walk" 51-75 "jump" etc , or do you create them each on their own - what pros/cons do you find with this method?

I prefer doing several takes.
We use motionbuilder and in that software you can make a take for each animation shot and have them all in one scene.

Having several shots in one single timeline can get messy very fast.

15 : Do you prefer bones or morph targets for facial expressions and why?

I prefer morph targets but our engine doesn’t handle morph targets.
You can get a lot more specific with what kind of shapes or expressions you want with morph targets.

16 : Max or Maya ?


17 : What is your favorite reserve to hunt?

Logger's Point.

18 : What was the most frustrating animal to animate and why?

I don’t find any animal I have animated frustrating.
Challenging, yes. But not frustrating.

The most challenging was the Mallard.

19 : Teach me a good chat up line in Swedish

I hope I got the question right. I am not good at this.

Gud måste vara upprörd i kväll, han saknar ju en ängel.

20 : Have you considered making more animations and give already existing animals more natural and lifelike behaviours?

Yes, to several of the already existing animals.

21 : Brown Bear Animations... BB has been out for 18 Months +-, why are they still not walking on the surface (like most animals feet sinking in the ground)?

I was not aware of this. Make a report in the bug forum and we take a look at it.

22 : Will bears and other animals animations ever be changed so they can walk uphill without headbanging into the sides of the hill?

It has not been discussed. I don’t know.

23 : From its library of animations, you could produce a video of them?

I don’t understand the question.

24 : Is AI part-and-partial to your job?

A very, very, small part. I can discuss both with design team and our programmers about behaviours I would like to see. I can do animations that show different behaviours but the decision if they are going to be implemented often is made by the Design team and programmers.

25 : Does adding animations add a lot of AI to each animal?

Not necessary. If a new behaviour is added it will probably need new AI.

26 : Does increasing the AI of each species increase the draw on system resources, let's say, as much as the graphics and textures?

That question you have to ask one of the programmers or someone with more technical knowledge than me :)

27 : If each animal is at near max animation capabilities, would it be possible for user to choose max level animations over highest quality textures.

You are not getting the lowest level when you play the game.

28 :
Hello José .
I have just a main question , and never anybody from the staff talked about it until (i hope so ) now.
Can you tell me what is the technical reason of all those shaking in theHunter , almost everything is shaking ,
the weapons , the hands , all the animations , the trees when you stand near , the blinds , the lures well everything even the ground
textures are shaking when you look carefully at your feet .
Why this shaking does not happen in Just cause 2 (almost the same graphic engine).
Why do we have also the head shaking when we walk ? (up and down) just take any bino and look at few meters from the feet when walking and you will found out about what i am talking .
Why any ragdoll have to shake when the animals are killed ?
Thanks for any comment about that

There is a very good explanation but to technical for me to answer. Try asking it to one of our programmers when one of them has an AMA.

29 : the reload animation, for all of the anscutz, lever-actions and the pump action shotgun are wrong. if you reload without completely emptying the magazine. after replacing the required number of rounds back in to the magazine, the animation shows you cycle the action unnecessarily and spitting out a live round at the end of the reload sequence.

also the reload on the 20 gauge semi auto is wrong . it inserts 3 rounds into the mag but dosent cycle the action. the gun needs to be cycled if it dosent have a live round in the chamber.

the last 1 isn't wrong but its just a pet peeve of mine. all but the single shot 12 gauge, upon first reload after leaving the lodge have the weapon ejects spent or unspent cartridge. as if the gun was put away with a live or empty cartridge in the chamber (not good gun practice).

im aware this is probably down to guns just having a single reload animation but in most cases they just need croping down to remove the weapon action cycle at the end. only the 20 gauge needs more adding

will or can this ever be corrected?.

All of this can be corrected. Put it as a bug report and we take a look at it in the future.

30 : Hello, My question is in regards to the Blaser R8 Bolt Action Rifle . Basically is there any chance if possible in the near future to make the time between shooting and reloading to be shortened? in the description it says "lightning fast succession of shots " but I can get just as many shots off in the same amount of time using the Anschütz 1780 Rifle, Just a Second-Half Second increase would make this rifle so much better, yes its quick, but not lightning fast.

Sounds like a legit bug report submission.

31 : Me and a few buddies of mine are starting to think about animations and what not, and there hasn't been a new animal animation in a long long time it seems (well at least on our old animals). you guys plan to add some more animations for animals this year to say or soon?

Adding animations to our old animals has been discussed and the latest animal that had some animations added to was the turkey. I am aware that our old animals should get more love and we try to get time to review old animals and update animations made on them.

32 : is there a possibility a call animation for elk and sound known as chuckling could be added to game? this is a personal opinion, but that's my favorite noise they make irl.

It sounds interesting.
I will bring it up with the team.

33 : will bow penetration ever be changed to fit more realistic hunting based off real life? cause the bows perform less than what they should, a recurve for instance should be able to get double lunglung on an elk even at 40 yards with around a 60-70lb bow. and for deer even further. compounds at 60lbs like I have used irl can double lung an elk at 70-75 yards just fine.

Don’t know, those kind of things are set up by the design team.

34 : will we ever receive arrow pass through's? a bowhunting aspect that seems to be missing, with bows 50lbs and up, you should get pass through's a bit, unless its a longbow or recurve at those pounds, 60+lbs will get you pass through's on a recurve and a longbow a little lest than that.

Another great suggestion, not animation related but I will bring your point up with the team.

35 : add more bows to game? we haven't had a new bow in a long while. The various compounds and traditional bows can be heavily improved on based on the variety out there. heck I wouldn't mind a week of just you guys making bows for the game

Let’s just say that you have not seen the last bow in theHunter.

36 : possibility for flu flu's to ever be added to game? if you don't know what they are, they are like huge fletching on an arrow, normally bright colors like orange, yellow, red, etc. they are meant so the arrows don't fly over a long distance like reg. arrows, best for wing shooting or for rabbits even. after long distance they slow down the arrows... eventually the arrow lands, normally they land sticking up. and don't go far at all. would have to be reg. broadheads on them for geese and maybe some snaro points for small birds like pheasant, ducks, and rabbits even. a snaro bird point is a blunt that has 4 snares running off of the blunt, works really well on small birds. the part of having flu flu's would eventually being added retrieving them for reuse, obviously if you loose one its gone and you have to buy more, heck even tracers can be on these as well which is really fun early morning or late evening hunts.

I can’t say that we will never have them, but they have not been discussed.

37 : another hint on new species maybe

I could give you two hints but I am not allowed.

38 : possibility of adding more ammunition for other weapons? like 65gr bullet for .223 or buckshot for 20ga, etc.?

Possibilities always exist.

39 : will we get an alternative way to travel in the future? by horse, vehicle, etc.

The possibilities have been discussed in our team.

40 : what do you feel our game needs the most as in improving the realism aspect of the game?

I would like to see more animal interactions I think that will increase the realism a lot.

41 : do you think the ethic system should be improved and worked out in another way? like .270 ethical for elk, or .243 ethical for elk with right grain of bullet, but instead just limit the old .243 (standard) to hunting what its used for now and make a new .243 with different ammunition for bear, elk and what not?


42 : will the heart be moved to a more normal position on deer and elk, etc. its a bit forward, irl its just right behind the shoulder, in game its under the shoulder.

I was not aware of this, submit it to the bug forum and we can take a look at it.

43 : could the vital responses I guess you could say, will change? for instance irl animals don't drop on double lung shots or lung and liver, or heart shots, with a bow that is. It has happened but its pretty rare happening. and on spine/neck shots they kick around there legs like they are running almost but on there side so they can't. this could level out if you guys ever put in more realistic bow penetration. bullets on the other hand use shock to drop the animal, arrows don't have that.

It’s a good suggestion, we have not discussed that feature but I will bring it up.

44 : this is more of a comment and I didn't know if you guys knew this, but the black bear and as for penetration, its close to a deer, their hide is less thick than an elk. that's why in the state of Oregon, they have it so its 40lb draw weight minimum for deer, cougar, antelope, and smaller game, and at least 50lbs for elk and anything bigger. fun fact, for Idaho its 40lb at least for all game.


45 : What do you find most satisfying about animating?

The challenge and the fact that I am always learning.

46 : A bit of a duplicate question I believe.. What inspirations do you research for modeling animals?

I don’t model here at EW, the 3D artists do that.
But when I do some modeling of an animal or anything that is going to be animated I research from the inside out. That means I start with the anatomy of the animal (skeleton, musculature, etc). There is a difference in modeling and modeling for animation. If you are modeling for animation you should know the range of motion of the animals different body parts. That will help you to model the right topology and make it so much easier for the td when he is going to rig and skin the animal. And the deformations will look much better if the topology is correct.

47 : What do you think tH 2018 will be like, what do you think should evolve to get there?

Cloudy? with a chance of meatballs?

We have a lot of plans of how to evolve theHunter and make it better.
I predict we will maybe have done 70% of them by 2018.
To make all of our plans reality, our team has to evolve by expanding.

48 : What do you most enjoy now, when playing?

I don’t play games so often these days.
Don’t have the time.

But I always enjoy games with a strong story behind them.
Those are the sort of games I can get lost in for hours.

49 : What is it like having to learn the movements and actions that are used in animations?

That’s one of the most fun parts of animation.
It’s the exploration and the learning that makes my job exciting and fresh.

50 : Winchester 1873 rifle or Winchester 1883 shotgun?

I would like to animate both of them.

51 : Will there soon be theHunter's version of the Feared Five? (Most Dangerous Animals in the game)


52 : Colt Peace Maker or Taurus Raging Bull? (Revolvers)

Raging Bull looks awesome I would like to animate that one :)

53 : Can the turkey be changed or fixed so he does not look like a flamingo with the head cranking animation they don't do that, at least I have never seen one do it.

They can. Submit it to the bug forum and we will take a look at it when we have time.

54 : I think a lot of animation could be added to deer IE, rack rubbing, scratching neck ear with hind leg, pawing at the ground, foot stomp when danger is detected lots of others that would make it cool
just to watch them.

I totally agree.

55 : Is there any plans for being able to lean left and right, even slightly ?
like when we are bow hunting and behind a tree having the possibility to lean a bit left or right without having to make a full step or more to see what is going on and doing this often taking the risk to spook the animal quickly when a quick lean of the head to make a rapid look will be so much better.

No plans are being made for that, but it is a great suggestion.

56 : Why with bows it is not possible to move while in crouch position having the bow " armed " with an arrow in aiming mode, it is possible to do this while in standing position so why not when crouch ? ( pretty sure it is possible irl with bow not too long ) Will this be implemented at some point ?

We don't know if it will be implemented but we currently have no plans for it.

57 : About the animals, i often find myself chasing animals that were really strongly hit and have serious damages, yet they seems to run and do everything at a normal speed, not affected by one arrow in the middle of them body or 2 bullets that hit them, I find it a bit too unrealistic that an animal heavily damaged can flee at full speed like it does when not damaged and this for a long long period of time with some species , is it possible to change the animations of the animals when they are severely hit so maybe they run less fast or for way less distance before start trotting slowly or else because they took too much damages and just can't run anymore like when they are perfectly fine ?

They already have different animations when they are hurt and navigating.

58 : Can you stop rain in Hirschfelden ?


59 : OH!! I completely forgot one!! And I actually cannot believe I did forget this because this is IMPORTANT! ANY deer hunter will tell you the importance!!
A REALLY big thing: when bucks spook, or notice you, they make a very distinct blowing sound. We call that getting busted. The animation is already there, when the buck stops and stares at you. It is at that point you should hear the alarm, the "wheeze" if you will. A couple of vids for ya to show you what I mean:

I cannot stress the importance of this sound. To a hunter, this sound means the gig is up, don't move a single muscle. This is something that has been missing in this game from the very beginning, and had always had the animation or at least the start. What do ya think?

This is very interesting. I will bring it up with the team.

60 : Will Caribou ever be an animal to hunt?

It is very likely because a large part of the community wants one.

61 : What type of reserve do you think would be the best reserve to be added next?

If I answer that question you will know what reserve we will be doing next.

62 : Would you like an African or Australian map to be released?

Of course I would like that.

63 : Whats the next item,equipment you guys working ?

It’s a surprise.

64 : Whats your favourite weapon ?

Recurve bow.

65 : Are fishing or bow-fishing things that are discussed in the team

It has been discussed.

66 : is a gallery pictures manager or at least a function that would let us delete unwanted stuff something actually planned

I don’t know.

67 : is upcoming new species carnivorous or herbivore

It’s a surprise.

Thank you for all the questions hope you are satisfied with the answers.

José Diaz.


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