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Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

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Old 07-22-2017, 04:49 PM   #1
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Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

To Moderators: I know that there is a discussion about the QB (Brady and Mannings) throwing motion in the new trailer video. I'm hoping that I can take a detour and start a new thread because I didn't want my lengthy, a bit more detailed post with supporting visual evidence to get lost. Plus, this would enable the developers to notice it more quickly. If not, please at least merge my post with the other thread. Thanks. Appreciative.


Two point post:
(1) Cutscene
(2) QB throwing motion


Quote:
Originally Posted by SageInfinite
This is what bothered me about the "cutscenes" the past two years when the drives start. They aren't real time so the players are just at random spots on the field.

I'd rather them use the cameras to hide it a better(extreme closeups) so we can't tell the position on the field. It just kills the immersion and really shows how dated their cutscenes system is....
Addressing the cut scene remark briefly because there's not much to say about it except that NCAA14 (in the world of EA sports) did them very nicely. The cut scenes actually showed the actual jersey numbers of the corresponding players involved in the play. When a QB was sacked, if I recall correctly, there is usually one or two teammates that celebrated with the guy that sacked the QB. The uniform numbers matched the teammates that were in the vicinity of the play, and the "star/highlight" of the cut scene was the person primarily involved in the play. It was a very refreshing sight for an EA football game.


Spoiler



Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskins04
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBuddyHobbs
Why after all these years do we still have the ugliest QB drop backs and throwing motion?!.....
Huh?

Both Brady's and Eli's throwing motion were spot on. I'm confused at your post bud.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskins04
Going by what we saw in this trailer, already Brady's throwing motion was in fact spot on to how he throws.

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Definitely not spot on. Much better yes...but honestly I think there is something wrong with the limbs of the player models that throws something off with the animations. There was a pretty big thread about it awhile back.


@TheBuddyHobbs, the QB animation are still suspect because there is definitely still a problem with them. It's not just your eyes or your opinion that should be brushed off. Subconsciously, there is still something off about them that you can't put your fingers on it because it's subtle and could be and very likely overlooked by most. I'll further elaborate below, but to cut to the chase there are two parts that jump out.

(1) Hips and shoulder separation. Look at the hips and shoulder rotations for all their QB throwing mechanics. All our limbs move independently, and at different times or rates from one another. If not, things will look robotic and not fluid.

(2) Front leg not straight on follow through. The majority of Madden's QB follow through has their front leg still bent on follow through. Obviously, you're not going to be able to see this at all in the current new trailer because they simply don't show this, but revisit past Madden QB animation and it'll be noticeably present.


(1) Hip and Shoulder Separation


"Drag" and "follow through" is one of the prime reason why QB animation look off.

The missing ingredients that causes this disconnect with Madden's QB throwing motion comes down to a few key concepts. In the world of animations, not properly animating the sequence of "anticipation, follow through, and drag" are crucial to why Madden's QB throwing animation still look the way they do.

The 12 principles of animations were introduced and made famous by Disney animators' Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, both of which observed real world movements and took the same "life movements" principles and incorporated their animation.



Lead with your hips, not with your shoulders

Side remark: Also notice the arms are not tucked close to the body in Madden's QB animation. Yes, still need more angle and more footage but compare the following Madden 18 Brady GIF lack of arm tuck to the the Real Brady GIF (down below part 2 of this thread) with the arm tuck below.


Madden 18



To dive right into it, the lack of hip separation, plus improper "follow through" of the waist, torso, chest, shoulder and arms, and their respective poor sequencing of the concept implementation of "drag" is the culprit. In athletic terms, you're suppose to lead with your hips and not with your shoulders. Power and force is generated by the hips, not the shoulders. Shoulders and arms are suppose to stay back, "waiting" for the hips to fully rotate to engage or propel the shoulders forward.

Madden's QB animations does a complete 180 reversal on how "follow through and drag" is suppose to be done. Madden animates its QB to lead with the shoulder, and in turn, the hips follow. But to be more technically and visually correct simply based on their animations, the QB's hip & torso & shoulders rotates simultaneously in unison frequently. This is the main reason I see when observing their QB throwing motions.


Madden 18




Pretend to throw a baseball or football


Just stand up and throw an imaginary baseball or football ... both short, medium and long distance. Take a mental list for the sequence of motion for hips, waist, shoulder, arms? To generate the most force or power, which starts to move first. This is where the concept "drag' comes into play.

If the 3D animators doesn't implement "drag" properly, or which body part moves first, second, third, or last, then the characters' entire movement will look stiff.

==================================
Real Athlete, or real human movements
1st: Hips
2nd: Waist
3rd: Torso
4th: Shoulder
5th: Arms

Madden's QB throwing motion (This is a grey area because they practically move in unison give or take.)
1st: Shoulder/Arms
2nd: Torso/Waist/Hips
==================================



(2) Front leg not straight on follow-through

Obviously we're not going to see this in the current trailer because it's removed from view. I am only extrapolating this theory based on Brady and Manning hips still rotating in unison with their throwing shoulders in the trailer, as well as past Madden's QB throwing motion. More Madden 18 closeup QB animations are needed.

Throwing the football also involve extension of the hips to generate the power behind his throw, resulting in a straight front leg. Obviously this is not universal, sometimes a quarterback won't straighten his leg but more often than not, he will. Initially there is a slight bent (kind of like a quarter squat), as the QB goes through his motion he single leg "squats' his weight up to straighten his leg.



Real Tom Brady


Drew Brees


Dak Prescott


Real Ben Roethlisberger



To revisit the above first point about "follow through, drag" and limbs independently moving at different times and rate, observe the body movements of the above gifs (look at the hips, shoulders, limbs, torso and notice that they move independently and all at different time points. Compare that to the following Madden 17 motions where the limbs are essentially moving in unison, no real separation of the body parts. No "drag" factor.

Madden 17


Madden 17





"Uncanny Valley"

This is why Madden's QB animation still looks off. Updated graphics, texture, color palette, lighting makes things look pretty. But unless the physical movements actually captures real human in motion, and implements the 12 principles of animations properly, there's still going to remain that "disconnect" or "uncanny valley" effect. "It looks sort of real, but there's just something off about it"








Quote:
Originally Posted by SageInfinite
Yeah, Brady's got his sig throwing animation, but Eli's was just the generic deep pass animation that's been in the game.

With that being said, I really wish they would expand on the sig throwing styles and remove all the generic stuff. These sig animations have been in since Madden 10 I think. I love when they trigger, but it's about time we get sig animations for short passes, deep throws, throws on the run, ect....
Unfortunately, the signatures style back in Madden 10 also had issues with "drag" and the above points I've mentioned.



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Fixes
NBA2k Defense AI,Footplant, Gameplay
MLB Show Pitching/throwing
Madden/Live Animations Walking, Throwing

Last edited by strawberryshortcake; 07-22-2017 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

QB dropback and follow through throw animations of been one of the biggest eyesores for how long now? I can't believe they still haven't changed it... The game would look so much better with just that little of a change.

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Old 07-22-2017, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

I would like them to completely scrap all QB animations except for the new play action animations they recently introduced and just do a complete recapture of them. Also work on QB movement in the pocket. It's the biggest eye sore in the game.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

@strawberry absolutely phenomenal post. Very thorough and thanks for putting in the time. I hope the devs see.

Off topic question for you.. what other sports games do you play? Do you think any of them get this level of detail and movement right? I honestly don't have the eye for this stuff..
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyg713
@strawberry absolutely phenomenal post. Very thorough and thanks for putting in the time. I hope the devs see.

Off topic question for you.. what other sports games do you play? Do you think any of them get this level of detail and movement right? I honestly don't have the eye for this stuff..

The other sports game I play are basketball (NBA2k), Pro Yakyuu Spirits (PYS), Jikkyou Power Pro, and last year MLB the Show (MLB). I actually decided to stop playing MLB the Show because the animations were not up to par compare to real life baseball players. What really sticks out is their throwing animations.

Is there any other sports game that have player movements better than the rest? Pro Yakyuu Spirits.

I play exclusively sports game. I will watch trailers for first person shooters and other action oriented games, but I don't play them because FPS lacks true peripheral vision. Even the Playstation VR doesn't help to solve the peripheral vision.


The following is a small snippet of what I intend to post in MLB the Show's forum later this month or early next month. There is actually still much more component/element to why their pitching animations are still suspect. One of which is the same exact thing with Madden and the lack of hip separation and drag factor problem. I still need to finish the long post with description and proper visual evidence. It'll just be for pitching because it has always been a legacy concern with the Show's Pitching:


Click on spoiler button at the bottom to see more.

"Pitching triangle - missing and/or not correctly implemented. There should seemingly be two mirroring (or at least connected) triangles formed by the joints and arm angles, ultimately forming one large rectangular diamond. The difference between MLB footage and MLB the Show is stark. This is where video reference material would have given the animator pause, and the necessary changes made. A key element involves the hand/ball position remaining relatively fixed behind the back of the head. The solution is to rework what's referred to as "keyframe poses" and their corresponding "in between frames." Re-position the 3D model armature rig so they match the pitcher's real life arm placement using IK (inverse kinematics) or FK (forward kinetics)."



Spoiler
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Fixes
NBA2k Defense AI,Footplant, Gameplay
MLB Show Pitching/throwing
Madden/Live Animations Walking, Throwing

Last edited by strawberryshortcake; 07-22-2017 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

Great breakdown. I play nba 2k as well and think they do a much better job as far as signature shots and making it look natural (very pretty to watch). Even live 18 doesnt do a great job of this.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:58 PM   #7
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

Really great stuff. This has been an annoyance of mine with Madden's animation engine for a long time. There are a lot of animations that just don't look natural and fluid, and throwing is by far the most frequent of them. Unfortunately, I don't see this being fixed until a brand new animation engine is introduced, if that ever happens.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:39 PM   #8
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Re: Madden 18: My analysis on QB animations (Brady and Manning). Still concerning?

I've been saying this for years. I made a video and sent it to Clint. He said he enjoyed the video. Even ps2 maddens had better QB animations. This is the most disappointing part of the game for me.

How come NBA2k has 100s of signature shooting animations that are SO close. They're beautiful.

I implore everyone to check out APF2k8 to see their QB animations. Their John Elway animation is so spot on it's ridiculous. And something cool about his animation is it allows him to have a much higher throw power than many other QBs in the game. Save maybe Marino. But his and animation actually translates to faster velocity on the ball.

That's something else that bothers me. There's not enough separation in velocity. Only the most elite arms in NFL history can throw with the velocity that Marino, Elway, and Favre could throw with.

And on top of that, they threw that hard because their throwing motions were that powerful. Not some make believe rating.

How can I post gifs?
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