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Office Tutorial 10 - Use Animations and Character Actions

Animate the character for a more realistic experience

We know that a real person would not just sit in one position in their chair. They would shift around and their movements would convey how they were feeling. They would also be making facial expressions and other gestures. We can add this detail through animations and character actions.

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Step 1: Add Animations

Step 2: Add Facial Expressions

In the Headset

Step 1: Add Animations

Start by adding animations to the three different branches. Use the "Apply Effect" resource. In this tutorial, we have chosen the character "Stacey" so we will use animations from the "Female Animations" catalog.

Add an "Apply Effect" resource to each of the conversation branches and choose an appropriate animation for each.

In this tutorial we chose "Female_SittingWorry" for the Unspecific Feedback event:

We chose"Female_SittingExplain" for the Specific Feedback Event:

And we chose "Female_SittingConfused" for the Fail event:

Save and test. You may decide you want to change the animations you choose after you see how they look.

Note that if you want the character's position to go back to neutral after a certain length of time, you can achieve this by adding a subframe with timers:

  1. Add a subframe
  2. Use a timer condition and decide how long you want the character to hold a certain animation.
  3. Add a new "apply effect resource" and select the animation you would like next. In this case, we chose "Female_SittingReg" to return her to a neutral position
add second animations


Repeat this process for each of the branches to ensure that the character returns to the neutral sitting position after a while. This is especially important in the frames you replay There can be some unexpected behaviour with animations unless you reset them. 

Here is what your frames should look like on the branch that replays:

If there are combinations of animations you would like to be able to reuse (without having to re-author each time) you can create template scripts. For more on template scripts see this article.

Step 2: Add Facial Expressions

You can add additional character actions to the Dialog resources you have used. We will add facial expressions to match what the character is saying.

Navigate back to the "Unspecific Feedback" frame and add a facial expression to accompany the "what are you talking about" line.

Add a facial expression

Repeat this for the "Specific Feedback" branch and the "Fail" branch. For more information on creating and editing facial expressions, check out this article.

Save and test. You should now see your character's face changing when they speak.

Other Character Actions: You can also use "Look at", "Turn to" and "Reach" to have your characters interact with you and other objects in the scene. For a full description of character actions, read this article.


In the Headset

This is how your scenario will look so far:


Next Up:  Office Tutorial 11 - Adding Guidance for Learners