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Animation FAQ
The PlayableGraph
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Playables API

The Playables API provides a way to create tools, effects or other gameplay mechanisms by organizing and evaluating data sources in a tree-like structure known as the PlayableGraph. The PlayableGraph allows you to mix, blend, and modify multiple data sources, and play them through a single output.

The Playables API supports animation, audio and scriptsA piece of code that allows you to create your own Components, trigger game events, modify Component properties over time and respond to user input in any way you like. More info
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. The Playables API also provides the capacity to interact with the animation system and audio system through scripting.

Although the Playables API is currently limited to animation, audio, and scripts, it is a generic API that will eventually be used by video and other systems.

Playable vs Animation

The animation system already has a graph editing tool, it’s a state machineThe set of states in an Animator Controller that a character or animated GameObject can be in, along with a set of transitions between those states and a variable to remember the current state. The states available will depend on the type of gameplay, but typical states include things like idling, walking, running and jumping. More info
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system that is restricted to playing animation. The Playables API is designed to be more flexible and to support other systems. The Playables API also allows for the creation of graphs not possible with the state machine. These graphs represent a flow of data, indicating what each node produces and consumes. In addition, a single graph is not limited to a single system. A single graph may contain nodes for animation, audio, and scripts.

Advantages of using the Playables API

  • The Playables API allows for dynamic animation blending. This means that objects in the scenesA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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    could provide their own animations. For example, animations for weapons, chests, and traps could be dynamically added to the PlayableGraph and used for a certain duration.

  • The Playables API allows you to easily play a single animation without the overhead involved in creating and managing an AnimatorController assetAny media or data that can be used in your game or Project. An asset may come from a file created outside of Unity, such as a 3D model, an audio file or an image. You can also create some asset types in Unity, such as an Animator Controller, an Audio Mixer or a Render Texture. More info
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    .

  • The Playables API allows users to dynamically create blending graphs and control the blending weights directly frame by frame.

  • A PlayableGraph can be created at runtime, adding playable node as needed, based on conditions. Instead of having a huge “one-size-fit-all” graph where nodes are enabled and disabled, the PlayableGraph can be tailored to fit the requirements of the current situation.


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Animation FAQ
The PlayableGraph