The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim "The Animation of Skyrim" Developer Diary

A fourth entry to Bethesda's developer diary series for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is here, and that means we have a new podcast, video segment, and diary to point you over to. This time, we get to check out the various monster, spell, and melee animations the game has been loaded up with, while also hearing about the challenges involved with creating them from the team:

From the text portion:
(We kind of reinvented the whole thing,) says lead animator Josh Jones, (and started with a brand new animation system. From there it was like, what do we do with this?

(We have a lot of flexibility in terms of NPCs interacting with the environment, with each other. We have much more complex combat [in this game] than we had before.)

Every area of animation was examined and marked for improvements, right down to the most basic motion (graphs) like walking and running.

(The whole [movement] system that we have now is pretty cool,) explains animator Jeremy Bryant. (We've got directional walks in all eight directions, as well as directional runs. I'd say the motion set is probably the best we've ever had, in terms of how fluid it is.)

Even going for a simple stroll in a game such as Skyrim can present some interesting and sometimes entertaining scenarios for the animators to deal with.

(You can paralyze people,) says Bryant. (There can be a lady taking a bite of bread, and you can cast ice form on her, have her tip over and fall into a stream. Then the stream has physics, so she goes down river, wakes up, and she still has bread in her hands.

(So now you have this NPC in this crazy state: 'Hey I'm in water. I'm eating. I'm swimming.'