Former Bioware Animator Explains Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Bad Animation

Mass Effect: Androm­e­da has been heav­i­ly crit­i­cized for many of its ani­ma­tions. Facial ani­ma­tions and select walk­ing ani­ma­tion in par­tic­u­lar have been mak­ing the rounds on the inter­net. Now the lead ani­ma­tor for Mass Effect 2 has tak­en to Twit­ter to offer an expla­na­tion for the poor animation. 

Johnathan Coop­er has worked as an ani­ma­tor on mul­ti­ple AAA titles such as Mass Effect 2, Unchart­ed 4, and Assas­s­in’s Creed 3. He has also pre­vi­ous­ly spo­ken out against the claim that ani­ma­tions for female char­ac­ters in Assas­s­in’s Creed Uni­ty would take too much time. 

The gen­er­al idea being con­veyed is Quan­ti­ty vs. Qual­i­ty, the use of a low­er qual­i­ty algo­rithm, and lim­it­ed time. Giv­en the large amount of ani­ma­tions need­ed Bioware like­ly used a low qual­i­ty algo­rithm to cre­ate ani­ma­tions for much of the game and planned to change each scene by hand. For one rea­son or anoth­er they did not have the time to do this com­plete­ly and were left with what we have now.

Despite the neg­a­tive atten­tion sur­round­ing the game Coop­er found one positive.

The audi­ence has grown more dis­cern­ing, which makes our job more dif­fi­cult but fur­thers ani­ma­tion qual­i­ty (and ani­ma­tors) as a requirement.”

Coop­er’s full expla­na­tion can be seen in the series of tweets below.

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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