X360, PS3 Friday, May 2, 2008 | 10:17 PM

BackBreaker demo video

BackBreaker demo video

Like many Europeans I'm not really into American Football and tend to "forget" about writing news about these games, but this BackBreaker demo video sure was nice enough to force me out of my natural laziness and write something about it. Remember Euphoria? That procedural animation system used with mostly a lot of success (but not always) in GTA IV? Well, imagine this great engine used for an Ameran Football game, and in terms of animation you get to wonder why EA Sports keeps using an old animation system...


Natural Motion

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Commented on 2008-05-02 22:53:20
Well I live in the US and even I tend to forget about these games. As a kid I played them but it's honestly the same thing every year. Animation's good enough though.
Commented on 2008-05-02 23:18:59
Animation is not good, it is amazing, Euphoria is the future, great animations with seamless transitions. Hope a lot of games will use it.
Commented on 2008-05-02 23:34:18
Superb. I would like to see it implemented in football games as I know it (i.e. 'soccer').
Commented on 2008-05-02 23:42:40
i cant believe that it was real time..
Commented on 2008-05-03 00:49:59
EA stinks!
Commented on 2008-05-03 01:14:23
Meh, they'll probably just buy the company that makes the engine.
Commented on 2008-05-03 01:56:39
Wow. Amazing. FINALLY no more ugly twitches switching into an animation or anything. i hope this becomes an industry standard ASAP. This game actually looks decent, like I could play it, and I HATE sports games normally.
Commented on 2008-05-03 02:14:40 In reply to KiNiK
Posted by KiNiK
Animation is not good, it is amazing, Euphoria is the future, great animations with seamless transitions. Hope a lot of games will use it.
I agree! Doesn't GTA4 use it?
Commented on 2008-05-03 02:59:53 In reply to davidnay
Posted by davidnay
I agree! Doesn't GTA4 use it?
Yup. I don't really like sports games myself, but it's exciting to see this kind of technology demonstrated in this kind of game. I remember seeing procedural animation demoed three or four years ago and thinking, "wow, this would look amazing in a Football game!"

It's nice to see that we're finally getting there. Fluid animation, variety.. the next generation of animation is just around the corner. It's awesome.
Commented on 2008-05-03 03:10:33
nice, like that deaf heart bump sound :)
Commented on 2008-05-03 03:16:37
Yeah GTA4 animations are really good too, exept when nico is running down stairs, it looks weird ^^!
Commented on 2008-05-03 03:17:35
EA will buy euphoria....outlawing any other game to use it

then they will finally bring it out in 2015 and call it a new feature

unfortunately they will find a way to bog it down with bugs and glitches...and ultimately destroy the very technology behind it
Commented on 2008-05-03 05:47:50 In reply to GriftGFX
Posted by GriftGFX
Yup. I don't really like sports games myself, but it's exciting to see this kind of technology demonstrated in this kind of game. I remember seeing procedural animation demoed three or four years ago and thinking, "wow, this would look amazing in a Football game!"

It's nice to see that we're finally getting there. Fluid animation, variety.. the next generation of animation is just around the corner. It's awesome.
haha. You sound eerily like myself. And yeah, this is what i wanted to see, a football game is pretty much perfect to show off the possibilities and potential.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome, to the future. =)
Commented on 2008-05-03 06:21:40 In reply to KiNiK
Posted by KiNiK
Yeah GTA4 animations are really good too, exept when nico is running down stairs, it looks weird ^^!
I'm just happy he has a separate animation for running down stairs. Devs that don't do this are lazy bastards.
Commented on 2008-05-03 11:12:21
American football stole the word "Football". I'll never stop hating it for that.
Commented on 2008-05-03 11:33:44
Hmm.. i'd really like to play a football game (tried madden on my wii once).. but it's senseless if you don't have any clue of the game *g*

i'm from germany btw.. ;)
Commented on 2008-05-03 12:25:07 In reply to KiNiK
Posted by KiNiK
Yeah GTA4 animations are really good too, exept when nico is running down stairs, it looks weird ^^!
Try running down stairs yourself. I thought it was done quite well.

If you want to have some real fun with the physics in the game, try pushing someone when their on the stairs. ;)
Commented on 2008-05-03 15:33:46
Torsten Reil has been recognised by MIT’s Technology Review 2003 as one of the world’s Top 100 innovators.
His research in Oxford’s Department of Zoology on the neural basis of animal and human locomotion inspired the creation of the Oxford University spin-out company: NaturalMotion

E3 2006 euphoria Interview

http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?se...
Commented on 2008-05-03 16:13:20
I don't know about this engine. GTA IV supposedly uses it but to what extend and to what extend can games use this technology? GTA IV has some of the best and some of the worst animations yet seen, which makes me wonder if GTA IV only uses Euphoria in certain circumstances.

When walking in GTA IV, it looks amazing...when running a little less impressive and when sprinting it's exactly the same animation as in Bully. And I'm quite sure Bully on the 360 doesn't use Euphoria. Transitions in GTA IV for the most part are quite horrible aswell.

As for this tech demo (yes, that's what I'm calling it), it looks good...but again...will we be seeing this in a consistent manner when actually playing the game? I'm not convinced as of yet.
Commented on 2008-05-03 21:19:01
The tackles look really good, but barely anything else does.
Commented on 2008-05-04 08:18:09 In reply to Jato
Posted by Jato
I don't know about this engine. GTA IV supposedly uses it but to what extend and to what extend can games use this technology? GTA IV has some of the best and some of the worst animations yet seen, which makes me wonder if GTA IV only uses Euphoria in certain circumstances.

When walking in GTA IV, it looks amazing...when running a little less impressive and when sprinting it's exactly the same animation as in Bully. And I'm quite sure Bully on the 360 doesn't use Euphoria. Transitions in GTA IV for the most part are quite horrible aswell.

As for this tech demo (yes, that's what I'm calling it), it looks good...but again...will we be seeing this in a consistent manner when actually playing the game? I'm not convinced as of yet.
You're comparing character animation and AI animation. The running in those games has pretty much nothing to do with Euphoria. The physics and character/body movement reactions is what matters. Watch the Euphoria tech demo posted here earlier to see what I mean.
Posted by JonM
The tackles look really good, but barely anything else does.
That's the point.
Commented on 2008-05-04 15:09:23 In reply to Contra
Posted by Contra
You're comparing character animation and AI animation. The running in those games has pretty much nothing to do with Euphoria. The physics and character/body movement reactions is what matters. Watch the Euphoria tech demo posted here earlier to see what I mean.
Some quotes from a Euphoria tech-demo:
- "creates animation on-the-fly, combining AI, biomechanics and physics without using motion capture and keyframe animation.
-"Euphoria adapters are adaptive intelligence modules that control how a character moves."

Reading that it seems to me that Euphora is a complete animation engine, which uses AI, biomechanics and physics to create the animation instead of motion capture and keyframe animation. So if he runs, shouldn't that motion be determined by the biomechanics and physics and not motion capture and keyframe animation? I mean, you're basicly saying that when you run...no physics are involved?

Also, the "great animations with seamless transitions", as someone mentioned above here, apparently have nothing to do with Euphoria? In that case I find labeling tech-demo's like these with "Euphoria" as outright deceiving.
Commented on 2008-05-04 16:15:06 In reply to Jato
Posted by Jato
Also, the "great animations with seamless transitions", as someone mentioned above here, apparently have nothing to do with Euphoria? In that case I find labeling tech-demo's like these with "Euphoria" as outright deceiving.
Unless it's talking about the transitions between hand-animated/mo-capped actions like running/walking and euphoria-controlled reactions to getting tackled/hit by a car/etc.... If that's the case, then mission accomplished as it works exceptionally well in GTA.

If the walking and running animations are euphoria-controlled, I'm sure devs can tweak them to their specifications if they aren't satisfied with how they look.

Euphoria goes a loooong way in making GTA's city feel more alive.
Commented on 2008-05-04 16:51:42 In reply to Ronsauce
Yeah, but my main point was that most people, including myself, are unaware of what Euphoria actually does and doesn't do. I though that Euphoria takes over the entire animation system, and looking on different gaming boards across the net (including this very topic) it seems like I'm not the only one.

In the tech-demo's they don't go out of their way to explain that Euphoria only takes over when environmental/object interaction with the character occurs. To me, they suggest that Euphoria takes over all motions happening in the game, being it reactions or not. And in that sense, walking or running is actually interacting with the environment...the ground.

GTA IV's walking animations for example have been praised for that "natural/realistic look" and "sense of weight" due to Euphoria. But is it really Euphoria that is responsible for this and if so, why does the running animation look so crappy? It's all a bit confusing imo...and I guess it's mainly because of how the media is reporting all this. Do most people actually know what Euphoria does or doesn't do in GTA IV?
Commented on 2008-05-04 16:59:23
I'm unaware what it completely does as well. I do know that it controls characters physical reactions, and it does a fantastic job of it. I don't know if the walking and running is Euphoria or not though.

If it is, I still wouldn't blame Euphoria for a poor run animation until I've seen other games using it with possibly greater success. I've no doubt that things like that are under the devs control.
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