4.16 preview Control Rig Sequence feedback

This is a new experimental feature in 4.16 that makes it possible to animate a rig by setting keyframes in a sequence on a Control Rig (IK effectors) and also baking the finished animation into normal animation sequences. I’m really excited about this so I made a quick guide. I’m not an expert though so if something’s wrong don’t hesitate to correct me.

Getting started

  1. Enable the plugin in Plugins: search for control, it’s called Control Rig.
  2. You need a character - SK_Mannequin from the anim starter pack works fine. Put it in the level for now.
  3. In the modes panel (place, paint, landscape, foliage etc) there’s a new button called Animation. If you click that you’ll see a few new options: Sequence and Actor. First click the eyedropper for Actor and choose your character. After that click None in Sequence and create a new ControlRig Sequence.
  4. In the sequence that popped up press Add and choose ControlRig - BaseHuman. You should now see a bunch of red, blue and gray shapes appear in the level and a control panel to the left that shows the bones of the character.
  5. By manipulating these widgets you can move the character using either IK or FK. By clicking the yellow IK buttons you can switch from IK to FK.
  6. You can use auto key to set keyframes when you move the controls. I don’t know if there’s an easy way to set keyframes using the control picker to the left or selecting a single control in the viewport.
  7. When you’re done animating you can export your animation to an animation sequence. To do that click the box with an arrow in the sequencer window. Select the skeletal mesh, create a new animation sequence and click Convert and it will get exported.

Using a custom character

If you want to use custom characters you may have to set up bindings for your character. To do that go to the skeletal mesh editor and open Control Rig under Window. Press Add New and select Show Plugin content and Show Engine content in the view options. Then click BaseHuman. Then you’ll have to select the correct target bones for each control bone. I guess it would be nice if this could be done automatically if the names match like in the retargeting manager.
There’s also a Control Rig component which can be added to blueprints, but I’m not sure when this is needed.
It should be noted that the BaseHuman rig seems to expect the bones to have a certain orientation which can mess things up if you’re using a skeleton made in Blender for example. My character turned into a Bloodborne style monster which could be useful if you’re making a game like that but in most cases it’s not very useful. As a workaround you can create the animations with a character that works perfectly like SK_Mannequin and then retarget the animation sequence when you’ve exported it.

This thread is for feedback/testing and general discussion. I will post some thoughts after more thorough testing!

It would be great if Epic can try to create control rig for some Marketplace Characters that aren’t rigged to UE4 Manequin. They can rain into issues and make some workarounds.

  • Crashes when adding new variables into Blueprint extended from BaseHuman, (just send couple of reports)
  • Better UI for creating widgets/nodes - arrays aren’t so good for modifying,
  • When exporting animation from Sequencer please add possibility to chose which frames should be exported, (all, range, one frame)
  • Please create some examples for head anims, fpp arms - not only humanoids,
  • It would be nice if marketplace creators would need to prepare control rig for theirs characters, (the same goes for phys asset btw - it’s hard to find characters with them)

If you want to create custom nodes you need to create new blueprint extending from BaseHuman then:

  • Add new transfrom variable named lefteye_Ctrl,
  • Make sure variable is : “Expose to Cinematics”,
  • Now in class defaults in Nodes right click on Head bone and “AddNode”,
  • Name your node LeftEye,
  • In class defaulst in Constrains add new Constrain,
  • Source Node: LeftEye, TargetNode: lefteye_Ctrl,
  • In class defaulst in Manipulators add new Manipulator:
  • Sphere Manipulator,
  • Manipulator: Display name: LeftEye, Name: LeftEye, Property to Manipulate: lefteye_Ctrl,

Compile, add your blueprint as control rig in sequencer, and you will have your custom node ready to modify.

btw - one of the best feature in the engine for indies! Thanks Epic!


This feature is extremely experimental, and please use it at your own risk. :slight_smile:

As for modifying rigging, we’re a lot far from it. We’re still working on foundation of the system, and that won’t be very friendly until very later of this year or so.

For now, we’re focusing on more usability issue with editing, working with other systems - i.e. retargeting. And after all of them are finalized, then we’re going to focus on creating rig in engine. But for now that interface will be very difficult to use and unfriendly.

>>There’s also a Control Rig component which can be added to blueprints, but I’m not sure when this is needed.

This is not needed any more and may be removed in the future release.

>> guess it would be nice if this could be done automatically if the names match like in the retargeting manager.

This is coming in the future.

>>It should be noted that the BaseHuman rig seems to expect the bones to have a certain orientation which can mess things up

yes, that is true. So the remapping Control Rig window has to support remapping those orientation also Or figure out automatically. The remapping process should improve better in 4.17.



I could make a new animation, save it, but I wonder: is there a way to convert animation into editable sequence? Right now I’d use the tool to edit retargeted animation’s errors and wonder if it’s supported already or not. (for example for one skeleton the the foot is in bad angle for the entire duration. I’m looking for a way to correct that inside unreal as I couldn’t import it into blender correctly)

finger controls

Hi guys, how do I setup finger controls? Fk/ik …

finger controls

Hi guys, how do I setup finger controls? Fk/ik? In base human actor bp?

finger controls

Hi Guys, how do I set up finger controls? Fk/ik?

Finger Controls is a must.

Also excited about this. While running through this, I noticed that BaseHuman doesn’t have a IK end effector for the head. Does anyone know if there is currently a way to enable an IK effector for the head, or any future plan to add that? I was hoping to eventually use this for VR IK avatar retargetting, but doesn’t seem possible without the head also having an IK end effector.

Hi guys!!
Any news on this awesome tool???

This tool is our prototype tool and it’s not complete at all, so that’s why it’s (extremely) experimental.

We’re re-designing this system to be more flexible and extensible, and we wanted to do this by 4.17, that didn’t work out in time, and I hope we’re going to have something working by 4.18. (It may still be experimental, but have something to show)

Yes finger control is a must and head IK is not there, but we’re working to be a better foundation of the system, and I hope that is worth of the wait. :slight_smile:



I’m looking forward to that for sure. The only feedback I had is that it would be nice to have some special tools when animating like:

  1. Copy paste flipped pose, so you can make one side of a run cycle or whatever and copy paste it to the other side.
  2. Easy way to create/preview looping animations, like selecting a keyframe at time x you would like to loop, create an identical keyframe at frame y, set up the preview range to x until y-1.
  3. A breakdown tool like the Blender pose breakdowner, run it somewhere between keyframes A and B, get an interactive tool where 0% is pose A, 100% is pose B.
  4. Easy way to toggle between root motion animation and in place animation preview.

Will we be able to use controlRig to drive the full body IK targets in the anim graph at runtime? I’m guessing that’s the case, but just wanted to check.

Hopefully, but as Lina says, we’re going through a big design phase at the moment!

So in short, Source FilmMaker in the UE4, since I’ve started to learn UE4 precisely for film making purpose… look like I can start to set my divorce with SFM :3

This looks awesome, anything which helps me avoid fbx is always good.

Is this meant to work on its own or will it work with things like its physics asset collision/constraints properties and animation blueprint motion controller stuff?

Any chance to post tutorial how to create rig to work with Base Human?

Pretty sure it would be similar to the process for the Allright Rig. I believe somewhere on his site in one of the videos Alex Allright explains how to setup a skeleton to be retargetted to the mannequin skeleton, which is what base human requires.

Any chance to post Manequin Control Rig configuration? I can’t find way to add spline bones to sequencer.

Anyone is able to run this properly in 4.18?