Add root motion

How can I add root motion to my character? Is it possible in 3ds Max or Maya?


Hi Patrick, Could you please clarify. Do you mean motion such as a walk/run cycle, or the actual world translation of the character? Character animation can be set up in your animation software of choice and exported into UE4 (see here for a complete series on how to do this Moving your character around in the world would be either driven by your character’s class or in Matinee.

hope this helps a bit.

Cheers, Nik.

Hi Patrick,
Like Nik mentioned, you can add root motion to your animations in the software of your choice by simply animating the root along with your character. Take a run cycle for example, instead of a character running in place at the origin (like you would traditionally do for a game), the character would actually move forward (or backward or whatever) in the direction that it is running. The root bone should follow along with the character basically staying centered underneath. So, adding root motion to your animation in Maya or Max is really easy.

However, actually using a root motion animation in your game requires a little more setup. For one, root motion animations must be contained in an Animation Montage.

More info here: Root Motion | Unreal Engine Documentation

There’s also an example of a character using root motion in the Animation section of the Content Examples.

Good luck!

Great info, huge thanks.

However, i can add that although you in early versions of UE4 needed to use contain within Animation Montages to be able to use Root Motion before this is no longer the case, this is now just a matter of switching Root Motion on/off on the Animation Sequence.


This is the full quote on this:
Early versions of the engine (Versions previous to 4.5) required the use of an Animation Montage to define Root Motion. Since version 4.6, Root Motion is now handled per Animation Sequence and can be toggled on/off in the animation’s properties in Persona. For networked games however, Root Motion still requires the use of an Animation Montage, see Root Motion from Montages Only below.