Autodesk HumanIK Middleware Helps "Assassin's Creed II" Characters to Soar

December 27, 2009 1:01 am

Tags: 3D, 3ds Max, Assassin's Creed II, Autodesk, HumanIK, Ubisoft

Character Animation Middleware Helps to Enable Complex Flying, Swimming and Climbing Moves


Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has announced that Autodesk HumanIK character animation middleware was tightly integrated into Ubisoft's proprietary game engine for the development of "Assassin's Creed II." Released November 17, the title sold over 1.6 million units worldwide in its first week on the shelf.


HumanIK animation middleware is a runtime solution for creating believable, interactive character animation for games. Ubisoft first used the software on the original "Assassin's Creed" title. As an integrated part of Ubisoft's game engine on "Assassin's Creed II," HumanIK contributed to the realization of enticing game-play innovations such as climbing, flying and interactions with dynamic nonplayer characters (NPCs).


"One of the most important aspects of the 'Assassin's Creed II' game play is the ability for characters to climb. HumanIK allowed us to build new climbing moves into the game and iterate them very quickly without ever having to worry about the quality of the IK solving," explained James Therien, lead programmer, Assassin's Creed II, Ubisoft. "Having a package like HumanIK allowed us to address our IK problems quickly without sacrificing results or performance."


In creating a sequel to its award-winning "Assassin's Creed" franchise, Ubisoft sought unique ways to improve and build upon the original. Having more interesting and diverse characters, greater interaction with NPCs and a broader range of moves, including flying and complex climbing for NPCs were core differentiators facilitated in part by the integration of HumanIK middleware.


Ubisoft has been a longtime user of Autodesk solutions, tapping Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk MotionBuilder software, in addition to HumanIK, as key creative tools for its titles. "3ds Max is our main content creation package. MotionBuilder was used to clean up all of the motion-capture performance data that was used extensively in cut scenes and fight sequences," said Therien.

About "Assassin's Creed II"

"Assassin's Creed II" invites players to become Ezio, a privileged young noble in Renaissance Italy who's been betrayed by the rival ruling families of Italy. Ezio's quest for vengeance plunges players into a captivating and epic story that offers more variety in missions, surprising and engaging new game play elements, diverse weapons, incredible depth and a profound character progression that appeals to fans of the original game, and entices players new to the brand.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software to help customers experience their ideas digitally before they are built. Fortune 100 companies Ø as well as the last 14 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects Ø use Autodesk software tools to design, visualize and simulate their ideas to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation for competitive advantage. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk, AutoCAD, HumanIK, MotionBuilder and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Article Comments

JeniferC ( posted at 12:13PM Mon, 28 December 2009

Ubisoft did an amazing job on Assassin's Creed II. It's a beautiful, realistic looking game and fun to play. Kudos!!

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