Unity Biped 2.0

I finally emerge from my work cave today with an update to my Unity Biped tool, now compatible with Unity’s Mecanim animation system! Take a look at the 2.0 feature video below to get an idea of all of the new stuff. I just submitted it to the asset store this morning, so keep your eyes peeled, and please let me know about your experiences using it.

On Accessibility

Up to this point, I’ve always done motion retargetting in MotionBuilder. Just this week, I finally tried out Maya’s HumanIK tools. I really like a lot of the design work that has gone into them! Setting up a character and getting up and running was a snap. Graphical views, as well as type-in fields with autocompletion really made everything a pleasant experience. If you haven’t looked at Maya’s HumanIK tools before, it’s worth checking out two different views of the character definition controls:

Human IK GUIs in Autodesk Maya

Unfortunately, for a not insignificant portion of the population, the same GUI looks like this:

Human IK GUIs in Autodesk Maya

While much about this GUI looks really nice and is laid out well, those of you out there with colorblindness are seeing the same image twice, and are unfortunately missing some of the most important information these GUIs convey about the state of the character definition at a glance. It’s nice to have the detail text in the corner, but not really ideal.

It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in technical/architectural pedantry or in details of layout and workflow, so it’s important to also keep accessibility in mind when we design tools for others to use.

Book!

In keeping with my lack of information about when our book will be available, it turns out Amazon has actually had the Kindle version available for about a week, and the hardcover will be available in a couple of days! Thanks to a diligent reader, Nicholas Breslow, I was made aware of this fact today, so I’ve opened up the book’s companion web site today as well.

Thanks in advance for anyone who checks it out, and do please contact me with any errors you find so I can note them (as well as any second opinions). It was quite the affair to get it wrapped up, and I’m sure plenty of things slipped through the cracks.

Biped Editor Update

I’ve been pretty silent lately, but I’ve also been busy! In addition to getting our place ready for our first baby (!), I’ve been wrapping up stuff on the Maya Python book. I’m happy to report the proofs have been well under way, and it will be going to print soon. Our official sale date is at the end of November. I hope some of you out there find it helpful!

With baby due any day, I am frantically trying to tie up a few loose ends, and so made time to put together an update for my Biped Editor on the Unity Asset Store. The main new feature I added is some simple mechanisms to help characters intelligently get up from ragdoll (a request I’ve gotten from quite a few customers). I haven’t had a huge number of test cases, so do please let me know if you have any issues so I can get it fixed! (Note also I will be increasing the tool’s price, so buy it now while it’s cheap and get the free upgrade as soon as it hits!)