Making Karts: Animation

Animation is a major part taking a kart from basic to professional. While your character's animations don't have to be lavishly complicated, we do ask that you put some effort into coming up with interesting animations (unfortunately a lot of our characters have rather generic animations, so animation of preexisting karts is also welcome).

You can do a lot of cool things will skeletal animation, like Nolok's pellet gun which he shoots after winning a race or the revolving console into which Tux used to disappear upon losing with the old Tux kart (prior to 0.9). But mostly, just try to make the character's animation lively and suitable for the application; e.g. don't make your character jump with joy in the losing animation.


How Kart Animation Characters Works

It's necessary to tell SuperTuxKart where your animations start and stop. To do this, you add markers to the timeline in Blender's Timeline window or Dope Sheet window. Here's the generic procedure for adding any of the markers described later on:

  1. In the Timeline window, in the Marker menu, click Add Marker
  2. Select the marker you just added by right-clicking on it (if it is not already selected).
  3. Click Rename Marker in the Marker menu, type the name you want, and hit OK.

Steering Animations

In the order listed below, add these markers to the timeline. If you're confused, consult the screenshot above:

  • left
  • straight
  • right

At the "left" marker, your character should have a pose steering full left; and vice versa for the "right" marker. Note that the time between these markers is disregarded; STK will use an "in-between" value for partial steering (such as with a Wiimote) which allows steering at a shallower angle.

Jump Animations

The animations between the start-jump and end-jump markers (see above picture) will be looped when a kart is in the air. For these markers, unlike the steering ones, the number of frames between them corresponds to the amount of time the animation plays. Increasing the time between these markers will allow you to have slower jump animations.

Winning and Losing Animations

Winning animations use three markers. The number of frames between markers again relates to time in-game. The markers are, in order:

  • start-winning
  • start-winning-loop
  • end-winning

The animations between the first two will be played once immediately after the race ends. The animations between start-winning-loop and end-winning will be played repeatedly, so make sure the character ends in the same position as it is at the start-winning-loop marker.

Losing animations are basically the same as winning animations. The only difference is in the marker names:

  • start-losing
  • start-losing-loop
  • end-losing

Kart Selection Screen Animations

It is not necessary to make a special animation for the kart selection screen. If you do not, the winning animation will be played. However, you can put a special animation between the selection-start and selection-end markers.

Backpedal (Looking backward) animations

You can have your character look backward or perform some other action when driving in reverse. The backpedal animations are just like the regular steering animations in every way except for the names:

  • backpedal-left
  • backpedal
  • backpedal-right