Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 Posted by CG Channel Administration

Autodesk Unveils Project Skyline

A few days ago, we showed a mysterious video posted by Eric Plante, Product Manager for the Games Technology Group over at Autodesk. If you followed some links around The Area this morning, you might have spotted a peculiar document along with all the other press announcements for GDC. This document outlines Project Skyline.

Project Skyline is “a set of game content authoring tools which will enable teams to create high quality character animations faster. With Project Skyline, game teams will be able to focus on building high quality character animations for games, resulting in better productivity and job satisfaction.”

Some of the main features are:

  • Live linking: Character animators can see and play with their characters in a game engine while they work in the familiar Autodesk Maya software environment. What previously might have taken up to weeks before artists could validate their work now happens immediately.
  • Visual programming: Using a node-based visual programming environment, technical artists and directors can quickly build and edit custom interactions without coding. Live linking make it easier to debug complex animation setups, which can be edited quickly without coding. Programmers can build custom nodes that can be used by the team to achieve specific results.
  • Middleware integration: Programmers no longer need to worry about writing low level animation code and data translators. Project Skyline comes with an animation engine that can be integrated into your game engine with minimal effort.

Autodesk will be showing Project Skyline at its booth and its live stream on The Area.

Here’s the video (no audio) posted last week:

Screen shots:

Project Skyline technology’s game trace view showing which animations are being combined as the game is played. Here the game has been paused and the user is scrubbing back in time.

A new animation is added to a Project Skyline blend tree as the game is running.

A source animation is being modified as the game is running. Modifications to the source animation are picked up immediately by the running game engine.

Technology Preview Video
Project Skyline Overview Document