Autodesk, creator of noted 3D graphics creation tool 3D Studio Max, has announced that the company's HumanIK middleware was used, along with Maya 3D software and MotionBuilder character animation software, in Electronic Arts' recently released Def Jam:Icon, FIFA Soccer 7, and NBA Street Homecourt.
Autodesk HumanIK middleware, built from the HumanIK character technology found in the Maya and MotionBuilder software, is a customized development library that enables animated game characters to interact more realistically with digital environments. The software also permits users to import animation data from the authoring environment into the game engine, giving developers increased flexibility in animating the game with more realistic, real-time results.
In addition, the software provides an on-target intelligent inverse kinematics (IK) animation system. It lets game developers control the animation of a character’s body and limbs at run-time, resulting in a higher level of realism in the game. HumanIK also utilizes a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) workflow, which reduces artists’ reliance on integration programmers, who typically port the game data into the game engine.
“Through our partnership with Autodesk, we were able to achieve a new level of character animation in Def Jam:Icon, FIFA Soccer 7, and NBA Street Homecourt,” said Glenn Entis, EA’s chief visual and technical officer. “Part of the reason EA consistently delivers innovative hit game titles like these is because we rely on extensive internal and external R&D.”
“Autodesk HumanIK middleware allowed efficient porting of game data to the various platforms on which we shipped our games. Autodesk R&D team was highly responsive, quickly providing us with customized builds of the HumanIK solution,” he added.