1st Edition

Directing Game Animation Building a Vision and a Team with Intent

By Mike Jungbluth Copyright 2024
    240 Pages 64 Color & 8 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The best character animation has a strong creative intent, driving a compelling performance. With the addition of interactivity, game animation adds complexity to the craft of how best to balance art, design and technology to realize a character’s performance. As a director, you are responsible for not only defining a vision for how those should balance but also being a leader, mentor and advocate for your team. But in a field of rapid iteration of ideas and techniques, that strong creative intent can be easily lost or sacrificed if not properly fostered and defined.

    Directing Game Animation: Building a Vision and a Team with Intent breaks down the process of creating an intentional animation vision that can be both unique and flexible. From defining the high-level experience to breaking down tech needs, projecting a team size and empowering everyone to work together, this book will help you to wrap your mind around a project’s animation needs.

    Animation, like every part of a game, cannot succeed—let alone function—in a vacuum. This book looks to foster a discussion around the process, needs and benefits of an empowered animation team and its vision as a universal benefit for the entire industry.

    This book is a guide to answer some of the most common questions people encounter when engaging with the overlap between creative and project leadership.

    • What is your role? Learn how to establish expectations and needs specific to the project and team.
    • How do you establish a vision? Learn how to better define and communicate creative topics such as a cohesive character performance and animation style.
    • How do you build a team? Learn how to establish early on the team structure, skills and workflows needed to deliver on the needs of the project.
    • How do you balance creative and production needs? Learn how to define quality, reviews and approvals in a way that empowers creativity and decision-making.

    1. The Role and Expectations
    2. Understanding the Project Vision
    3. Defining the Tools and Craft
    4. Defining Technical Needs
    5. Defining Team Structure
    6. Defining the Performance
    7. Defining the Animation Style
    8. Communicating the Vision
    9. Defining Quality
    10. Defining Scope
    11. Reviews, Approvals and Feedback
    12. Empowering the Team
    13. Afterword


    Mike Jungbluth is an animation director and game developer who has been working in games since 2006. He has worked on a variety of games, including South of Midnight, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, Anthem, Agents of Mayhem, Middle Earth, Shadow of Mordor and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Fostering the growth of an inclusive game animation community, advocating for open sharing of industry knowledge and pushing for the importance of creative intent are his driving passions. To that end, he has created the Animation Exchange and the GDC Animation Summit, co‑created the AnimState network and has spoken at GDC as well as various international conferences. His writing has been featured on GameDeveloper.com and GameIndustry.biz.