AimOffset vs Loot At - what's the difference ?

I need to make a neutral NPC to look at player as player approaches and passes by. Also need to make enemy NPC to be able to look up/down when shooting at player.

At first I figured I have to use AimOffset for that, but then I found Look At node in AnimBP and now I am wondering about pros/cons achieving my goal using one or the other method. Can someone please explain? :o

Completely unrelated.
lookat makes a bone look (follow) another bone. (Common in car setups)

Is there a reason you can’t use the aim offset?
If there is, A viable alternative would be using the fabric or ccid node on the head and having at least 3 bones follow.

It’s related. Look At can take world location as an input. So I could easily use that for at least head turn.

I need to make AimOffset poses :o and I can’t find any good tutorials showing robust setup for AimOffset for AI (not for combat per se, but for turning head-torso-whole character when player approaches and passes by the NPC).

With 4.26 on the horizon, using FBIK would be better IMO, but then again - no training materials for this use case.

Just because something takes world coordinates (almost all nodes in animgraph btw) doesn’t mean it is related to what you need…

By your description you need an aim offset plus turn in place.

The aim offset is pretty simple to make since all you need is static poses.
it complements the turn in place so you need to decide the turn radius at which that will happen.

Normally let’s say 90deg for out of combat.

deciding that, you need to create 9 poses for the aim offset.
in those poses you can move almost everything but remember - the arms may clip into the body if you exaggerate (when the transition is between poses).
It’s like a blend space where you don’t really have full control of it but can make it better by changing the final pose.

the poses as per docs are the final stage of the full spectrum of all 9 cardinalities.

Somewhat obviously looking up and looking down has a below 90° unless your character is possessed or something.

looking left/right can get to 90° ok.

The center pose is going to be a copy of the first frame of the idle state.

Top and bottom corners are basically a mix of the 2 states. Maximum up/down with maximum left/right.

To see results in engine you need to add in all of the poses.

because they are single poses making them is rather fast.

using fabrik (ccid or whatever it is called, is a better solver for this btw). Will always give you odd results. But.
you set it up by setting the head as the leading bone, and the length of the chain.
you can then usually test which transform to use by clicking the node and moving the transform around.
this can potentially cause the character to go 360° like an owl. What you save in time to create frames you spend in time to limit the range by clamping the transform…
I think all you need to do is pass in rotation btw. Not a world location of the player’s head socket.
You would do look at in BP between the 2 bones/actors in order to get the correct rotator.
overall, unless you need to learn how IK works for something else (like adding foot ik)
I would recommend sticking to the aim offset as it allows you to make more controlled changes…