In Development- Free Update to Battleground Europe Infantry Models & Animations
(71 votes, average 4.72 out of 5)
Written by RAFTER   
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 18:03

RAFTERIt's time for another sneak peek at what's in the Battleground Europe development pipeline. Our last update provided a look at "Player Placed Objects" & "Bailout for Aircraft". Since those features have been slated for 1.32, its time to unveil a huge update coming to the 3rd person infantry.

During the past few months a ton of ground work has been completed to update the entire 3rd person infantry portion of the game. Many of our current models and animations date back to before 2005. Our current animations and some of the systems that make the 3rd person part of the game work have been holding back new features and even future additions of weapons. That's going to change with the work underway today.

ModelsRAFTER

We are replacing every third person infantry avatar in the game with new, higher polygon models. On average, the new models have more than 60% more polygons in LOD1 (level of detail) than existing models. You will definitely notice the difference in both body and head models which will be more detailed. This higher polygon count also means smoother looking movement as the mesh that makes up the model will deform better in concert with new animations.

While we are sticking with an industry-standard "biped" model, the new skeleton has more bones than the current one and adds a five-fingered hand to allow more flexibility in animations.

Kit Objects

Every kit objects for every character is being created from scratch with higher polygon models and higher resolution textures. These include items like packs, ammo pouches, helmets, gas mask canisters and the list goes on and on. Our production team, with a lot of help from members of our closed beta team, have gone back to the books for uniform and kit object references to update the already comprehensive material. The result will be historically accurate characters with more variety based on weapon load out (Rifleman, LMG, etc).

Textures

This update will double the resolution of textures used on the 3rd person infantry characters and include specular and normal maps. Combined with higher polygon base models and kit objects, the improvement to the overall look and amount of detail in the characters is a big improvement to what's in game right now.

Animations

We are in the process of replacing almost every significant animation in the game's library. This will include new "loops" for idle, crawl, walk, sprint and many more. Also being replaced are the many states like stand, fire, kneel and prone. In addition, all new animation "blends" are being created for smoother transitions between states. The results from our testing shows significant improvement in movement and feedback for a better infantry experience. Finally, this paves the way for functionality for firing new weapon types as we will have updated all the systems related to the 3rd person animations.

Attach System & Damage Model

Alongside all this new material is a re-write of how objects (kit & weapons) are attached to characters in game. Currently most of these objects are modeled as part of each infantry unit (Rifleman, Sniper etc). This makes it difficult and time consuming to create various "load outs" for specific infantry units. It also limits our ability to provide variations like different helmets. This new system attaches these objects to the character in a different way. In the short-term it means more variety to infantry units. In the longer term it opens the door to feature development like personalized load outs.

More deeply in the code of the game lives the damage and collider model for the infantry. Although already simulation-grade, we are working to improve the fidelity of these models to extend the features and functionality of infantry. The result of this work is expected to provide more accurate results to non-critical components of the infantry model and better feedback to both parties (the shooter and the target). We are currently evaluating these results and examining how to use this improved fidelity to better represent the best combat experience. Expect improvements to the Stamina and Blood Meter functions and expanded features like realistic wounds and a first implementation of medic functionality (don't worry killshots to the head and torso aren't going away). Watch for updates on this segment of the plan in the near future.

Time frame

This items included in the development preview are being worked on primarily by members of our art and client code team and as you can see from the preview video and screen shots, we are making good progress. As we previously wrote, we have an aggressive schedule for the rest of 2010. As soon as we have a release version assigned to this work we will be able to give everyone a better idea of a target date.

We hope you are excited as we are about the 3rd person update and some new features that go along with it. We want your feedback! Comment below.

 

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Comments (89)
1 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:11
RAFTER
A note about the headline, 'Free Update to Battleground Europe Infantry Models & Animations"... the word, "free" was included to help improve our internet search engine results and does not carry any other meaning.
2 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:25
Fundin
Looks v.good, you need to do more of these dev updates to players much more :)
3 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:30
olemars
Will any of this carry over to the field gun (ATG/AAA) crew models as well? [ATG/AAA crew are waaaaaay overdue. It's a matter of when not if they get done -Rafter]
4 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:32
trevelyan
this look amazing. I want to see what the new paratroopers will look like :D. Keep up the REAt work and I will continue supporting and paying for this piece of art! [follow the link in the yellow box above and show your support! -Rafter]
5 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:40
Tim Huff
Very nice. Two obvious goofs though on the BEF infantryman: The army vests then would not have shewn through an unbuttoned shirt. The seams down the outside edge of the arms are wrong. These were underneath. [As noted this isn't final art. Thanks for the note. -Rafter]
6 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:41
Kilowolf
Cant wait! What kind of hit on performance are you guys anticipating?
7 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:41
Denw2o
This is really exciting. I can't wait until we are free from the old, outdated models. ;)

Just a question, who will the infantry dude faces be modeled after this time?
8 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:46
Maxios
Hehe...so i was correct :)!


S! CRS, keep up the good job!
9 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:46
Matt6767
I wet myself a little, they look beautiful. Though I think the british face might needs some more work, german one is LEET.
10 Thursday, 02 September 2010 15:55
Kaisrjoe
Awesome, took me by complete surprise. Seriously great work guys, this is the one mmo I can't seen to get enough of. If the regular infantry uniforms look that good I can't wait to see the new HC uniforms.
11 Thursday, 02 September 2010 16:18
Radar17
looks awesome. Keep at it. It would be cool to see some Infantry weapons redone. Any comment on if this is going to happen?
12 Thursday, 02 September 2010 16:29
Obear71
This is awesome

Only feedback i can give is when you guys do the animation, focus on weight and inertia. It's surprising what difference to realism getting that right can do. like running, it should look like there is real weight on the guys back.
13 Thursday, 02 September 2010 16:29
Dragoien
Very nice, can't wait : )


Reading what my come in the future, sounds great!!!
"In the longer term it opens the door to feature development like personalized load outs"

A hole new dimension to the game.
14 Thursday, 02 September 2010 16:44
eigenman
Make the rain splash off the helmets please. :)
15 Thursday, 02 September 2010 16:55
emerux
Gorgeous......can't wait for the open beta.....
16 Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:06
skifff
The new british soldier comes with wet pants? Bad omen! )))
17 Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:09
Solitaer
They look fantastic but they look like a FPS killer.

Also while your at it why don't you give us bazookas we have been asking for since day one?
18 Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:22
Gewehr98
Can we expect to see rank-specific textures for the new 3rd person models sometime in the future?
Administrator's reply:
Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:33
RAFTER
The new system for adding kit objects should open that up pretty quickly.
19 Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:23
Webco
Bwow...chickee..Bwow-WOW!

Awesome
20 Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:31
volcol
STUNNING WORK, I cannot wait now
21 Thursday, 02 September 2010 17:49
INDEC
WOOOOOO FINALY! AFTER 11 YEARS! Happy days.
22 Thursday, 02 September 2010 18:20
Goeth27
any plans to update 1st person movement also?
23 Thursday, 02 September 2010 18:51
SON of MAC
You might want to update the builders page to show the Platinum Level (I assume that's the $2000?) Inf look awesome! Can't wait for STO for bombs!! lol
24 Thursday, 02 September 2010 19:02
adama
Looks great so far guys! This was a big complaint of mine, graphics-wise. Nice to see them being updated.
25 Thursday, 02 September 2010 19:51
dougywu
looks great! great to see the devolpment and cant wait for the real thing. the uniforms are looking great and the new movements are too! anything in store for the airgame?
26 Thursday, 02 September 2010 19:59
kingnoah
This looks great. I know it's a work in progress, but in the fourth frame, the picture of the brit crawling,the lips ought to be closed .i was lso wondering if you could make it possible for tank crews to escape tanks as pilots planes?
27 Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:07
bzrdbird
We upload a face shot of ourself. It now appears on the inf when we spawn in. That would be cool!!
28 Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:49
hanky
I have a question, are yous going to add 3rd person firing animations. Meaning when you fire a weapon, in 3rd person the shoulder will kick back?
Administrator's reply:
Thursday, 02 September 2010 21:42
RAFTER
Yes we are adding new firing animations.
29 Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:51
rckgunny
none of this means anything to team axis! we want improved panzers, or newer panzers we want our armor to dominate the battlefield as it did before in 1.30. don't try and apeas us with little crumbs!
30 Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:53
BadJasper
With the collider models being worked on, does this mean we may be able to get rid of the clipping issues? It really sucks when you don't know a foot is sticking outside a wall and you get killed
31 Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:57
rckgunny
i've taught military history, there was never a time when british or american armor was ever dominate on the battlefield in western europe during the years 1940-1944 or even 1945.the only things the allies dominated was the sky and moble artillery.
32 Thursday, 02 September 2010 22:01
adama
With the colliders being updated, will this also fix the issue of wonky lean? Lots of times (even when not near any objects) the lean is glitchy at best :( [Lean will certainly be re-visited as part of the animation replacement -Rafter]
33 Friday, 03 September 2010 00:22
dalziel
Nice, they look great!
34 Friday, 03 September 2010 00:35
Dogness
Our infantry can finally stop kicking their own asses when they run!
35 Friday, 03 September 2010 01:02
Reaves42
Good work CRS. This is the type of update needed to compete with new games. Looking forward to how this progresses. Hopefully one day I can customise what my avatar looks like.
36 Friday, 03 September 2010 01:41
Hotjoe
SWEET
37 Friday, 03 September 2010 01:44
Hotjoe
RAFTER you seem VERY passionate about this. As you should be!!
38 Friday, 03 September 2010 02:02
Maxios
@Rckgunny And what does that have to do with CRS doing a infantry update :)?
39 Friday, 03 September 2010 02:09
JWilly
For a future patch cycle: Existing Prone becomes High Prone, add Low Prone. Enabler for future improvements to fragmentation functionality.
40 Friday, 03 September 2010 02:14
Audee
Very nice! I guess you are also updating the 2D-pic at the loadout-screen (just before spawning)? It would be best to include the correct weapon type in this picture. Now the weapon is not visible in the 2D pic.
41 Friday, 03 September 2010 03:14
MDundee
"It also limits our ability to provide variations like different helmets." Slouch Hats??? I play infantry quite a bit, so this is all Christmas/Birthday/Easter/New Year!
42 Friday, 03 September 2010 03:53
gman13
Looks SWEETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!! But now honestly, how much of a fps killer will this be? It's looking like further upgrades for some to me...... [We're not anticipating this will effect performance -Rafter]
43 Friday, 03 September 2010 05:25
Magnus Olsson
Shorter torsos. Make belts and straps broader and beltcarried equipmend larger. Don't give the German infantry y-straps if they don't have equipment carried. Make uniforms less tight and much more loose fit. Add movements for bayonet fighting.
44 Friday, 03 September 2010 06:45
pvtpety
blew me away! S! rats
45 Friday, 03 September 2010 06:53
pvtpetey
some of the animations such as the beckoning one suggest quick voice commands. Is this the case? or are you developing a system of emotive responses? [Nothing in this dev plan for that -Rafter]
46 Friday, 03 September 2010 07:05
Juggles
The visuals are important, but more variety in weapons, particularly in armored cars, tanks, and infantry weapons, would be better.
47 Friday, 03 September 2010 07:27
torrent
Great work. I'm liking the direction you guys are headed.
48 Friday, 03 September 2010 07:53
Alfheim
There is a proper way to carry a rifle when moving prone. Rifles are not fishing poles. The German form may have differed from the British and French. For those of us who love WWII, you might want to make sure you get this right the first time. [The gun position in the crawl animation is not final -Rafter]
49 Friday, 03 September 2010 07:58
Drak2
3rd person? wouldn't that ruin the game though, because you can see whats behind you? The rest is looking good though. [3rd person refers to the characters you see, not your own. You will remain in first-person view -Rafter]
50 Friday, 03 September 2010 09:27
syxx0rz
You know, since I've gotten married and moved out I've been patiently waiting to re-join WWII Online and with the latest update + this going into effect, I'm officially back, this is fantastic! Great job guys, keep it up!!
51 Friday, 03 September 2010 13:21
diamondt
The new infantry look great! I'm impressed, but as always I think more priority should be given to the poor infantry gameplay mechanics first, such as close quarters combat and infantry movement in general. Bayonets are long overdue IMHO.
52 Friday, 03 September 2010 15:13
ChiefTom
RAFTER, Its really nice and I will throw my $20 in the hat HOWEVER, I my opinion this is just eyecandy and doesn't improve how the game fights. Where are the new/improved Bombers? The new Ships? ect? [Thanks ChiefTom. PPOs are a game changer. 'We're sure many players are already imagining how PPOs could be extended in the future with objects like mine fields, forward bases, landing craft... the possibilities are endless." -Rafter]
53 Friday, 03 September 2010 16:42
Svt40
If you need hands on with some equipment for proper coloring and wear/use let me know. I have quite a collection and live just outside Dallas.

I'd love to see the infantry models be as accurate as possible.
54 Friday, 03 September 2010 17:09
RiffRaff
all fine but you will soon hear the crys of OMG 4FPS I can;t play like this
55 Friday, 03 September 2010 17:14
adreev
i swear ill resub if you just dirty up your textures all the tanks are shiny and the uniforms are fresh out the laundry please it will look so much more realistic and add some camo smocks
56 Friday, 03 September 2010 18:27
Brianmcc
i hope that the different ways of going to prone, it was different for the different armies, for example The germans used there right arm to break there fall when going to prone,also to include the different ways to hold the rifles
57 Friday, 03 September 2010 18:45
bzrdbird
To all that like to complain about the game...dude...it's a game...a great one that pushes the boundry of you computer. I for one...love every minute on the battlefield. WOOT!!!
58 Friday, 03 September 2010 19:20
saxon21
This is great! I'm glad I resubbed.
59 Friday, 03 September 2010 21:07
Bandit4
Please, please, please, get rid of the white pants on French officers. How many times, did French officers go into battle wearing the dress uniform?? The same goes for all HC Infantry officers. Also, French infantry should wear berets.
60 Friday, 03 September 2010 21:21
MDundee
"mine fields"

Finally a proper use for Fairmiles, I can see us sneaking a flotilla of them into a critical canal and mining it up, then drawing the DDs out to meet us :D Or dropping a field of them by plane
61 Saturday, 04 September 2010 01:53
jammyman
can i have my UGLY MUG as a infantry persona?
62 Saturday, 04 September 2010 03:53
leparc
Great!. The Brits get a "Shoot me in the back" sign
63 Saturday, 04 September 2010 07:57
somo
MEDIC! OMG does this mean someday soon I can pick up an LMG then trade it for an SMG, then maybe possibly hop into an AT GUN? !?!?!?!?! WOOT
64 Saturday, 04 September 2010 08:04
pvtpetey
So the attachment system also means that grenades or items attached to the model will correspond with an animation picking the item from that point i.e. a grenade from a pocket or a clip from a belt?
65 Saturday, 04 September 2010 09:02
Jeanlapo
Neat stuff! Good work. Can we please get rid of the french white pants? If I was a French mission leader going out on patrol in WW2, I would find a pair in enlisted mens pants to ware. It really spoils the gameplay for French mission leaders.
66 Saturday, 04 September 2010 10:17
RiffRaff
Ok Rafter payment in,
Keep up the great work and only hope that this eye candy will not drop the FPS too much.
67 Saturday, 04 September 2010 12:07
Wreta
Will the first person experience be more like other shooters in aim fire and so?
This is one reason why i left this game.
WHen this go live i be sure to try it out! Just hope it will be a change.
68 Saturday, 04 September 2010 12:50
Chris
CRS, if you guys continue this path of greatness, you guys will make it among the top MMOs in the market. This is very good news indeed and will encourage my friends or even my wife to play. The Infantry models look amazing!
69 Saturday, 04 September 2010 14:05
Cyclone
Great news that ATG/AAA are on the "when" list...can this be soon...please.
70 Saturday, 04 September 2010 17:34
JPanzerj
Fantastic work! The infantry models needed an overhaul to keep pace with the scenery changes in 1.31. Are crew member models going to have an overhaul as well or is this purely infantrymen?
71 Saturday, 04 September 2010 20:26
Mauserk90
I would prefer to invested in this game than donate money :/, Looks great but please do not kill fps. I still think the navy and THE FLAK 88 (looks aweful when you close to it) had more priority.
72 Saturday, 04 September 2010 23:38
Speed68
With these new levels of detail (just world & infantry so far), this game is FINALLY stepping up to the level of "realism" that this simulation has always needed, and "deserved", to become the best World War II simulation EVER!
73 Sunday, 05 September 2010 13:56
Drumerdude
Wow who knew that 0.01 of an update would be so amazing! haha wow it will feel so realistic now! And i cant wait to come back for this. When is it going to be released? And PLEASE remake the "Drive-By" bug with it! Please e-mail me rats to answer me.
74 Monday, 06 September 2010 23:16
Timmy41
I think we should use rafters face as seen in the main page post picture for one of the inf.
75 Tuesday, 07 September 2010 02:01
Joar
I really hope they fix ATG vis damage and more interaction with other coop player with this patch. What you see in 2D is what you and others see in 3D. Something I really miss in the game now.

-Snicke
76 Tuesday, 07 September 2010 09:01
MrWinkie
Please tell me 1) that you will move the eyepoint to the HEAD instead of the bellybutton so we can actually KNOW when we lay in a bush, we are under cover and 2) Damage model for ATG/88 included in this??
77 Tuesday, 07 September 2010 11:26
hart1994
Please don't put 3rd person into the game your going to kill realism [3rd person refers to the characters you see, not your own. You will remain in first-person view -Rafter]
78 Tuesday, 07 September 2010 11:35
Ian
That's awesome. So will the new uniforms blend in with the bushes better? I need better camo! :)
79 Wednesday, 08 September 2010 20:21
Stang
You might be interested in NASA-STD-3000 in particular Section 3.
It has Dimensions, Mass, Center of gravity, Moments of Inertia for different body parts.
http://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section03.htm
80 Thursday, 09 September 2010 12:20
Chrisg
Well done CRS. After this all that needs to be done is fixing of close quarters combat..and I'm sure we'll see an increase in game population. Thanks CRS I love it! I'm excited!
81 Thursday, 09 September 2010 12:27
Gonzo
Any ETA of when this will be done by and released?
82 Thursday, 09 September 2010 15:17
Gnpatton
I feel it is easier to spot german infantry because of the grey.

Rafter, would it be too late to ask for a color change for the german uniform? Even tinting it darker would do a great service to the german infantry survivability.
83 Friday, 10 September 2010 00:34
tandel
Rafter,
I sent you a PM, but im sure you are swamped with them. Im curious to know what program you guys use for the actual animations, and who of the RATS is in command of it?
84 Friday, 10 September 2010 00:51
Fabio
After all this great patch, can we hope in a near future patch in the intruduction of Americans and Italians and in the North African theatre?
85 Friday, 10 September 2010 12:52
10thMtn
Is this update going to be included in 1.32 rekease? [No. As soon as we have a release version assigned to this work we will be able to give everyone a better idea of a target date. -Rafter]
86 Friday, 10 September 2010 21:30
DevilDog
With the new method of attaching equipment, is a Commando class a possibility (perhaps only for England and give France and Germany their own special classes)? That and an LCA would be great for raiding. And APCs for England and France.
87 Monday, 13 September 2010 03:28
Pezza
looks cool, but should have acheived this years ago. I love what has been created but it's time to expand to take this forward quicker. Still unique and hope it always will be.
88 Monday, 13 September 2010 14:35
Sajer43
Bloody hell! Now that is impressive, I can't wait to see it in game.
89 Monday, 13 September 2010 16:38
Magical Jack
Yes. Just yes. Although I have to hope first person gets some kindof update in the near future.