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Adding weapon bones to mannequin-compatible rig (blender 2.8)

Hi everyone,

I’ve been using blender 2.8 to animate a mannequin-compatible rig, and I’m now interested in adding a couple of weapon bones, because I need to be able to animate the weapon in some relatively complex ways that I’m not sure how to achieve in UE4 alone. I’ve been using the Auto-Rig plugin for blender (though I hear there are newer blender->UE4 tools, too).

My questions are:

  1. Can I ‘retrofit’ my existing Mannequin-compatible rig with weapon bones?
  2. If so, what is the best approach to take?
  3. Will adding extra bones break the compatibility with Mannequin?

If the answer to Q3 is ‘yes’, that’s not a deal-breaker.

If that sounds like it will be too complicated, I’m happy to look into alternative approaches. The main behaviours I’m trying to achieve are:

  • Moving a weapon from one hand to the other (swapping hands), and
  • Rotating a weapon 180 degrees in a single hand.

Any suggestions much appreciated!