#Womenaretoohardtoanimate: Why Ubisoft is Full of Shit, a 3D Artist’s Perspective

unity

Its been almost a month since E3 and the big Assassin’s Creed Unity controversy surrounding not adding female (or other ethnicities, for that matter) to their gameplay.  This is a big deal, especially since the last Assassin’s Creed took a huge step towards diversifying the gaming world by making the protagonist a half Native American, half African woman. Women barely get any main character time, and when they do, it’s usually only to be fap candy (Trademark phrase, by the way). It’s even way more abysmal for women of color.

BUT apparently, Ubisoft thought one game was enough and decided to only add four seemingly white male playable characters Well that’s not fully true. This is what the developers had to say

“A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes … It would have doubled the work on those things,” said Technical Director James Therien.

Uh, no. No it wouldn’t.  And here’s why:

Humanoid bi-pedal animations are THE SAME FOR BOTH FUCKING GENDERS!

From walk cycles to running to jumping, all humans have the exact same motion cycles. Now, yes, each PERSON has a slight variation to how they walk, but it’s based on the person individually.

“But, but, women have boobs, so they jiggle a lot! And they swing their hips!”

First of all, most of the “jiggle physics” you’ve seen are heavily exaggerated. Breasts do move when jumping, but it’s dependent on the size, and clothes and bras limit the movement of the breasts. It’s really an overlapping secondary animation, meaning if you animate a walk cycle on a male model then stick it on a female with no breast jiggle, it doesn’t look out of character.

“But…but…I saw on a Pixar/DreamWorks/Disney special that they animate their characters differently!”

Well, not to fly in the face of your 30 minutes of animation knowledge, but those companies animate their characters differently based on the characters’ personality. Every character is given a backstory, down to specific details such as their favorite pasttime and color. These character backstories take months to develop, and fuel the script along with how the character would walk and talk. BUT, the basic cycle is the same.

Also, FYI, the pectoral muscles are not connected to any bones, making them jiggle on men too. I’m not talking about man boobs either. Well-defined pecs on men move and jiggle up and down as well. If Ubisoft had to add jiggle physics to the female animation to make it more “realistic,” then they need to add it to their men as well

Here are some shirtless men. Watch their pecs. You know…for science.

Now, they don’t move as much because men don’t have large fat sacs on their pecs, but do you do know what jiggles on men? Their dicks! (NSFW)

Look at them bounce! And I haven’t seen any dick bouncing in pants in video games! (Except for Mount your Friends)

Next time you go to the gym, watch a guy’s bulge and look how they bounce around in their shorts. Hey, dudes always check out my boobs and ass when I work out! Equal opportunity.

Here’s another reason: the Rig (the skeletal structure used to animate) is used across many different character models, including main protagonists and NPCs. It would be impossible to create completely different rig and animation data for every single character. Game companies build flexible rigs to accommodate different heights and scales, and build 3D models with similar proportions to fit onto the rig. Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, and every MMO made have all done it this way to give some examples.

AC-Unity

(There’s no way they didn’t reuse the rig for these characters.)

And the real kicker? Why is Ubisoft is full of shit? The project I’m working on is diversifying the in-game characters as I speak! I’m working on a government project with three artists, one Unity developer, and not even a million dollar budget, and we’re going to have a fully diverse cast with men and women – and we didn’t even plan for that in the beginning. Here’s the conversation that took place:

Artist #1: Hey guys, we can reuse the rig and previous animations on multiple characters and have a more diverse cast.

Me: What about women?

Artist #1: Oh, I just proportioned out the male model solider to female proportions. It works on the rig, and all we have to do is model the heads and attach them.

Artist #2: Awesome! I’ve got tons of human references, and it will really help immerse the player!

Me: I’ll make a list of races, and we can start tag-teaming modeling!

*Cue freeze frame*

Seriously, it was a 10-minute conversation. The team that I work with is all-white as well. If my team was able to do it with barely 1/64th of the manpower and budget, Ubisoft has NO EXCUSE! Another kicker? We’re using Unity as well. So Ubisoft, you’re completely full of shit. Oh yeah – and check your privilege.

Do you agree? Comment below!

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One thought on “#Womenaretoohardtoanimate: Why Ubisoft is Full of Shit, a 3D Artist’s Perspective

  1. I don’t mind a lack of diversity so long as it makes sense within the setting. For example, there may be certain cultures that consist primarily of one skin colour. There may be situations that are mostly only men or mostly only women. For the most part though I do like to be able to chose to play a female character because I relate to them more. Many games have women in them so I’m not sure why it would be an issue for Ubisoft. I barely notice or look for the jiggle physics on breasts so as far as I’m concerned you could get away with not doing it at all.

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