Character Animation Middleware Helps to Assassin’s Creed II Characters Moves

Inc. has announced that Autodesk
HumanIK character animation middleware was tightly integrated into
Ubisoft’s proprietary game engine for the development of “Assassin’s
Creed II.” Released November 17, the title sold over 1.6 million
units worldwide in its first week on the shelf.

HumanIK animation middleware is a runtime solution for creating
believable, interactive character animation for games. Ubisoft first
used the software on the original “Assassin’s Creed” title. As an
integrated part of Ubisoft’s game engine on “Assassin’s Creed II,”
HumanIK contributed to the realization of enticing game-play innovations
such as climbing, flying and interactions with dynamic nonplayer
characters (NPCs).

“One of the most important aspects of the ‘Assassin’s Creed II’ game
play is the ability for characters to climb. HumanIK allowed us to build
new climbing moves into the game and iterate them very quickly without
ever having to worry about the quality of the IK solving,” explained
James Therien, lead programmer, Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft. “Having a
package like HumanIK allowed us to address our IK problems quickly
without sacrificing results or performance.”

In creating a sequel to its award-winning “Assassin’s Creed” franchise,
Ubisoft sought unique ways to improve and build upon the original.
Having more interesting and diverse characters, greater interaction with
NPCs and a broader range of moves, including flying and complex climbing
for NPCs were core differentiators facilitated in part by the
integration of HumanIK middleware.

Ubisoft has been a longtime user of Autodesk solutions, tapping Autodesk
3ds Max and Autodesk
MotionBuilder software, in addition to HumanIK, as key creative
tools for its titles. “3ds Max is our main content creation package.
MotionBuilder was used to clean up all of the motion-capture performance
data that was used extensively in cut scenes and fight sequences,” said

About “Assassin’s Creed II”

“Assassin’s Creed II” invites players to become Ezio, a privileged young
noble in Renaissance Italy who’s been betrayed by the rival ruling
families of Italy. Ezio’s quest for vengeance plunges players into a
captivating and epic story that offers more variety in missions,
surprising and engaging new game play elements, diverse weapons,
incredible depth and a profound character progression that appeals to
fans of the original game, and entices players new to the brand.


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