Animation (Part 1)

Posted By at 1:11 PM on Saturday July 21, 2007

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time news, direct from the production area! The Zelda team chosen by Shigeru Miyamoto created Zelda 64 with surprising stubbornness! One part of that stubbornness was to do a stubborn interview. We’ll pass on a small part of that interview from the top of 1101’s nearby tree.

(1-9) Looks Like the Animation is Incredible in This Zelda (Part 1)

Movement

Yoshiaki Koizumi (3D System Director): Adult Link and Child Link are actually programmed with the same animations. Firstly, we programmed their movements so we could animate them. Again, we used machines for the parts that were in motion. In order to research the type of movement in a sword battle, we went to the Uzumasa movie studio and observed moving actors. JAC actors were nice enough to demonstrate other actions for us and we were able to see a lot of movements. At the beginning of Ocarina of Time, for example, Link wakes up in the morning and gets out of bed. Also, if Link stands still he will automatically move around.

Toshio Iwawaki (Program Director): In Ocarina of Time Link has about 1000 animation combinations. The reason there are so many is because both Link’s upper and lower body animations combine to form a whole-body animation. For example, while his upper body is waving a sword, his lower body is walking.

Motion Capture

Miyamoto: We’d been fussing over how Link should open a treasure chest for 3 years.

When we got the idea of using motion capture, there were some in the staff who were against it. We ended up deciding that just a little would be okay.

My company is sometimes worried about losing money, so when motion capture was suggested we were met with a “Do you really need that much equipment? Isn’t what you’re doing now okay?” sort of reaction. We started out using wireframe motion capture, but soon we made our own method which actually cost twice as much. But what’s the point of doing something that’s already been done before?

When we were photographing horses, we even went as far as discussing how to bring a real horse into the studio. In the end we got 2 footstools and a plank and making our own horse like that.

On the day I went to the studio, there was a fantastic iron-frame treasure chest with a sword and shield inside. It clearly had cost a lot of money. When I asked “What is all this for?” the triumphant reply was “We figured out how to open a treasure chest!” Their conclusion was that before you opened the chest you needed to kick the hinge first or there’s no way the action looked realistic.

I wonder if the motion capture team made that too… It was really good stuff.

We actually had some better ideas for the treasure chest, but we couldn’t fit it in this time. Maybe in the near future…?

“(1-9) Looks Like the Animation is Incredible in This Zelda (Part 1)” has ended. The interview continues from here, so please check back for updates!

1998-12-2-WED

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