Two new systems have been developed that will allow ESF to have smoother animations; vertex weights and animation blends.
Vertex Weights: Allows a vertex to be influenced by one or more bones.
By assigning a percent value to each "weight" the system determines how much a vertex is affected by each bone. For example, if DarkTooth were to animate a shoulder joint under Saiyan armor the arm would move normally, but the armor, which is less flexible would move less to provide a more realistic appearance of motion.
Animation Blends: Expands Half-Life’s cap on the number of animation frames available per animation and provides a system to insert animations in between actions.
As explained by Darktooth:
"The animation blend system allows us to do numerous things. For example, part of it allows us to link to animations together, one playing after the other even though only one was called in code. IE whenever the player holds forward and begins to run, I can add a 'start_run' animation and then make the regular 'run' animation play right after. I am able to add as many extra animations as I want. Typically the maximum number of frames is capped at 127 for one animation, but by using this system I can link as many animations as I want and have it play in a consecutive order: deep_idle -> deep_idle2 -> deep_idle3 -> deep_idle4 and have it keep going so that it appears as if the deep_idle action ingame is never looping a single animation.
Another use of this system entails adding blend animations in between two other animations. For example, if the player is swooping forward 'swoop_forward' then they swoop to the right 'swoop_right' I can add my own blend animation 'swoop_forward_right' and have that play whenever the player changes directions. Say the player is falling from the sky and holds forward. When the player lands on the ground we have another blend animation play 'fall_land_run' animation so it seems as if the player hit the ground really hard and is stumbling as he tries to run forward. This system allows for A LOT of smooth and creative animations."