Poll

Which would be better for a realistic video game environment?

Digitigrade (Animal paws)
Plantigrade (Human feet)

Author Topic: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?  (Read 7315 times)

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Offline Storm Fox

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Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« on: May 02, 2011, 02:42:54 am »
Iíve been working on a video game for a while now, and Iím at a point where I need to commit to a given archetype for the characters in the game world.

The game is based around a civilized environment, or lack there of, and while digitigrade gives the characters more of an exotic but natural look,
It can make certain functionalities seem awkward, such as getting in and out of a car, riding a bike and so on.
There is also the footwear/pawwear issue, could you imagine walking the streets of a major city barepaw?
Of course with plantigrade this isnít much of an issue, but then the characters are really just furry humans with animal heads and tails.

Here are a couple of old reference renders I have, to give everybody an idea of what the game characters might look like.

Image 01 Image 02

EDIT-----

Theses are the newest renders that I have made, keep in mind the they are still only references, and are not the actual character models that will be used in the game.





EDIT-----

keep in mind that these renders are something I threw together from a 3D model I already had,
And are only to give everybody an idea of what the game characters might look like.
they in no way represent the actual characters that will be used in the game,
So donít let any blemishes in either model be your deciding factor.

So all that being said, I would like to know what all of you think, what would you like to see in a video game that you may be playing some day.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 08:29:35 pm by Storm Fox »
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 03:35:40 am »
Plantigrade just looks more natural...
So, what exactly do you do in your video game?

Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 04:28:12 am »
Plantigrade just looks more natural...
So, what exactly do you do in your video game?

Nothing is set in stone as of yetÖ
I have some storyline ideas but Iím not worried about making anything permanent,
coding the principle function modules are most important at the moment.

As far as what to do in the game, it will be a free roaming sandbox style game with missions and tasks that progress the storyline,
or at least thatís the dream, things my get scaled down just a little bit.

My overall goal is to make a functioning city, with fully animated characters, vehicles, weapons, etc.

Something on the order of an ďAssassin's CreedĒ to ďGrand Theft AutoĒ style world, and maybe with a ďFinal FantasyĒ type of storyline.

But like I said, nothing is set in stone, if I can't complete the modules that make the game work, such as to make a character walk,
then thereís no point in worrying about storylines or mission objectives, At least for the time being.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 04:32:42 am by Storm Fox »
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Offline Avan

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 11:53:18 am »
I prefer digitigrade myself (in art as well)
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 06:35:33 pm »
I prefer digitigrade as well typically but i don't feel like this is the best example of what digitigrade is supposed to look like.


With these examples the plantigrade looks better.


Switching to digitigrade is more complicated than just changing the shape of the leg./  the posture has to change and general shape of the body is a little different as well.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 06:37:25 pm by Alsek »

Offline Landrav

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 07:46:50 pm »
I agree with Alsek.  The shape of the whole body should change when switching to digitigrade.  Most of the time I actually don't care which stance a character is drawn with as long as it matches up overall, but on occasion digitigrade looks more "right" to me.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 01:50:20 am »
yeah, the examples here don't really show it well.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 03:14:17 am »
Then again, these digitigrade legs look pretty natural too  :D

Picture by Temiree on deviantArt
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 04:29:59 am by Mylo »

Offline Alsek

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 04:24:21 am »
Now,  Mylo,  THAT would be epic for a video game.  =3

Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 07:25:29 am »
I prefer digitigrade as well typically but i don't feel like this is the best example of what digitigrade is supposed to look like.


With these examples the plantigrade looks better.


Switching to digitigrade is more complicated than just changing the shape of the leg./  the posture has to change and general shape of the body is a little different as well.
I agree with Alsek.  The shape of the whole body should change when switching to digitigrade.  Most of the time I actually don't care which stance a character is drawn with as long as it matches up overall, but on occasion digitigrade looks more "right" to me.

Keep in mind that the model is an old reference and is not what Iíll use in the game, also, this is a 3d model, so posture is relative to how I pose the model.
The character model that I'm using has legs that are a separate mesh from the body, and the body is posed using a skeletal system,
this makes the model easy to pose, and change shape.
So as far as improper posture goes, itís really just the position the model was in when I rendered the image, itís not the models permanent shape.

Now as far as posture,
I do plan to build a new model from the ground up for the game,
but saying the shape of the body needs to be different is a little vague.

Here is a conservative example of how the back posture can be changedÖ



I also lowered the stance a few inches to slightly exaggerate the shape of the legs.

Also could it be the clothes that are making the posture look weird, because I put them on the character to conform to PG standards,
and they do make the character look a little bulky.

Or is it that Iím misunderstanding something else entirely. :-[
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 07:22:36 pm »
Are you okay with me critiquing the shape of the body to some extent?

Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 05:17:04 am »
Are you okay with me critiquing the shape of the body to some extent?

I donít mind at all,
After all, I cant fix what I donít know to be broken.

- - - - -

Also, I can post a T-pose layout, if you wanted to give a drawn/sketched out, detailed analysis,
though it could take an hour to put one up,
itís up to you on that one.
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2011, 09:15:57 am »
Alsek...

I donít mean to be a pest,
But are you still going to offer your thoughts on the body shape, the posture, or something?

Iím always interested in new ideas and opinions.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 10:50:19 am »
You may need to poke him. He may have just forgotten.
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2011, 05:02:15 pm »
Sorry,  Avan was right.  ^^;


Something to note is that you might not be using the same proportion measurements on an anthro that you do on a human.  There's a lot of room for variation.  The legs on an anthro may or may not attack a little bit higher on the waste than a human's.

Anthros would likely also have a slightly more stalky stance,  leaning forward to balance properly on digitigrade legs.


For example,  an anthro might be 6-7 head high rather than 8.  The paws on an anthro have to be big enough to stabilize the entire body.  If you were to stand on the very front of your feet,  you'll notice to walk comfortably you have to stand quite differently.  Your knees would be bent and angling slightly outward as opposed to facing forward parallel.

As for the proportion in the legs,  unlike a human,   the middle segment (which you have as the longest stretch in your model) would probably be the /shortest/ with the other two segments of the leg being slightly longer and close in length to each other.

Just things to think about.  But i'd definitely focus on making the legs thicker,   the right proportions (look at pictures of a wolf's hind legs)  and having the knees angle out.

Offline IceDag

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2011, 05:06:01 pm »
The digitigrade looks awkward, like she's not actually balancing on her legs, but rather just floating on them
they look too puny to hold her weight also.
You must accommodate for both animal and human anatomy when making anthros, it's tricky.
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2011, 05:21:57 pm »
Thanks for the info.

When everyone was saying ďpostureĒ and ďbody shapeĒ I thought that meant the shape of the torso and spine.

But the leg shape is easy to change,

Iíll make some quick changes and post a new comparison, between digitigrade and plantigrade.

While Iím at it, any recommendations on the plantigrade version or is that good enough as it is?
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Offline IceDag

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2011, 06:59:04 pm »
same advice, looks unbalanced, like a barbie doll. Not very realistic.
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2011, 07:54:58 pm »
 I'm not sure i was communicating very well either so i thought I'd do this.

I drew vertical lines starting from where the fulcrum/balancing point would be.




In the plantigrade picture there's a roughly even amount of body mass on either side of that line,  Humans often have a little more on one side or the other depending of a couple of factors (like weight/health,  age,  and sex).  we can compensate by leaning slightly forward on our feet so that the balancing point moves slightly more towards the middle of the foot (and most of us do.  Most people lean slightly forward and don't stand perfectly vertical)


With the digitigrade picture,  by FAR most of the mass is in the back,  and you can see that,  even though the figure /could/ stand like this,  the figure couldn't stand like this for very long as gravity would pull the anthro backwards of it's paws.

To  compensate,  an anthro would have to crouch,  bending it's stifle and hock (the two joints in the leg) so that the top joint (stifle) is further out from the body.  The joint should go past the chest.  In addition, an anthro would probably also learn forward to some extent and probably slouch.


So yeah:

Tl;dr:

.Make the paws and legs larger so that the anthro is slightly less top heavy.

.have the anthro couching to move it's center of gravity over fulcrum (paws)

.shrink the portion of the leg in-between the two major joints,  Lengthen the part of the leg right next to the paw and make the destinction between this part of the leg and the paw almost non existent.

I hope that helps.  ^^

Offline IceDag

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 08:04:10 pm »
definately helps with the Digitigrade, but our center of balance does not end in the heel, but rather the middle/front of foot.
Just try it yourself, stand for a long time.
What do you focus more on? the toes or the heel?
http://pixelchallenge.com/content/tutorials/body/struct/side.jpg as you can hopefully see in this picture, our torso tends to shift more to the front, and our legs more to the back to balance.

Another addition, she seems to be a little masculine, at least from the angle we see her.
Could we see front view?
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2011, 08:07:02 pm »
Ice,  did you read my post?  xD

Offline IceDag

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2011, 08:11:42 pm »
dude, it's midnight here, and I haven't slept properly for weeks, I apoligize. XD
but yeah.....
Could we see front viiiieewwwww, please mr. sir you?
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2011, 08:25:30 pm »
I see what you mean about the balance, there is definitely a lot to consider for the final model.

But for now, here are the changes I made so far,

keep in mind that I already had them rendered and uploaded by the time I read all the new posts, so they donít necessarily conform to what was most recently said.



And same as before, Iím always curious to hear critiques and opinions.

Also, I'll put up a front view next time if needed. :)

Sorry if the post seems a little rushed.

EDIT-----

Sorry, I had to stop and take care of some thingsÖ

So basically what I did was rotate the paws out about 12ļ from the hock, beefed up the legs, and then widened and lowered the stance.
I did not do as much to the plantigrade version, but I did do a little modding to the paws.

And after looking at the balance references,
Iím thinking of moving the body forward and down a little more by bending the legs at the hock, leaving everything below unchanged.

Anyways, itís late So if I make more changes it will be on Sunday, maybe Monday.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 09:19:24 pm by Storm Fox »
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Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2011, 08:38:05 pm »
Iíve made a few more changes and I think it looks decent,
But since the model Iíve been posting is just a reference and not the actual model that Iíll use in the game,
I donít think Iíll be making any more modds on this model, Iíd prefer to put any more work and effort into the actual game version.

New pictures are in the first post, click to go there.

The measurements and design of the current reference model along with the advice given here will go a long way to help perfect the game version.
But Iím not going to start on the game version until at least June, to give more time to let others vote on which version is preferred.

And finally I want to say thanks to Alsek, IceDag and everyone else who posted.

And if anyone still has opinions, ideas, critiques or whatever, feel free to mention them, as they will not fall on deaf ears.
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Offline Landrav

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Re: Anthro video game characters, digitigrade or plantigrade?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 09:08:15 pm »
I think you did a good job incorporating everyone's advice on the digitigrade stance.  The plantigrade one looks good, but now the digitigrade one looks even better in my opinion.  I will look forward to seeing the finished version in the game!
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