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A simple way to make 2D skeleton in UE4

My next project is gonna be a 2D game, and I want to use UE4 to build it.
But when I dug in, I found that the 2D skeleton is not supported.
So I came up with a solution that works well, and I want to share with the community.

Let’s look at the final result first.

Firstly, prepare your sprites.
In my case, I’ve prepared 2 pieces of sprite just for testing.
I grabbed mine from google.

I’ll skip some details for 3DSMAX because this is not a 3DSMAX tutorial.I assume you are familiar with 3DSMAX or the tools you use for building the 2D skeleton.
A body.
c825cbb3155a9cc4e0e4e08bac3461818d526b14.png

And an arm.
7429573c6b734cadd855c7076e3e0d541d492cd3.png

I’m using 3DSMAX for building the 2D skeleton, but the same method should apply to any other 3D modeling software.

  • Create a new scene and change to Front with by pressing F key.

  • Place a plane with the size of your sprite, in my case, I’m building Body so I set my plane size to 38x112.
    8c5ee211639272cab65e196c0d363bbbbbe28d84.png

  • Set material for your plane.
    T2.png

  • Draw outline.
    2c78e229ac1197b565b60ea37f9bc0f593149645.png

  • Select your line and go to modify panel, select bevel from the modify list.

  • Apply material, adjust UV mapping.
    88506258a7d2cc3a61368cfaa226f9c82766c338.jpeg

  • Convert your model to the editable poly by clicking right mouse button.

  • Enter edge mode and add lines carefully to those place that need to be bent. In my case, I only added some lines in the neck and the hip.
    7b1f7ceb98359ebddf5fd7102eeccbc83d21e739.png

  • Create your bone chain.
    2022efe91745f3b7563eaf1e15cffb2098db9116.jpeg

  • After you skinned your model like a regular 3D model, you should have your body ready.

  • Now do the same process to the arm without skinning, then place arm behind your body.

  • skin your arm using the bones previously created. Only skin with the bone that controls the arm.Now you’re ready for some animation.

  • Export to UE4.
  • Edit material for both body and arm.
    058394882ae27b9ab6300e979c76b30c1421e74c.jpeg

Now you have a 2D skeleton sprite. You can use it just like a regular 3D skeleton model, add animation BP or something else.
I admit this is kind of awkward way but at least it works well:)
Here is the final result.

If any of you got any question, just ask.