Better Animation Transition Using Sync Group in Paragon

Paragon is one of those games that has next-gen animation quality that seems to pull a rabbit out of a hat. It is very nice of the develop team to share their techniques on Youtube. One of the great techniques to perform a better animation transition is Sync Group which are integrated into UE4 in 4.11.

Traditional Way

Think about a character that is performing a idle-walk-stop loop. In the old days we simply do a cross-fade between these animations. This method often results in some unrealistic motions like this:

trandition-way

It is very clear that foot are sliding on the ground. This might seems okay a decade years ago, but nowadays we might want a better solution(Bethesda: Excuse me? ).

Let’s try to make jog-start to jog-loop transition:

In the old days, we need to export two end-to-end jog animations. And we can only jump to the jog-loop animation as soon as the jog-start animation ends.

But since Paragon is a designer-driven project. More than lots of stuff needs to be modified by designers whenever they want. If the designer want the character to jump into jog-loop state earlier, both animations need to be modified to avoid strange transition like this:

pre-jog-strange

It would be wonderful if we can perform the transition at any time. And this is why we need sync group.

What Is A Sync Group?

A sync group is a manager that handles the synchronization of a bunch of animation sequences.

Sync Marker

We can place sync markers in notifies panel. Paragon places sync markers in the jog-start and jog-loop animation at the time when left or right foot cross the hip bone.

sync marker

Aside from foot-plant stuff, you can of course add sync markers to some other animations like swinging arms or shaking head.

Sync Group

After taking care of sync markers, we need to put those asset player node in a sync group to make it work like this:

sync group

And this is what looks like:

final