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Animate Character and Weapons

Hello guys,

former Unity Hobby developer starting out with UE4 so i hope this wasn’t asked before though i couldn’t find any answers to it.
I asked this question already on Unreal Engine Answers but it seems like for UE the forums are more active and there is also a better category for this topic.

I have a FPS game based on the Third Person Template with the Animation Starter Pack and everything is working fine though I have now stumbled over a “problem”. The Starter Pack includes a Reload animation but it obviously doesn’t affect the clip of the gun the character is holding. So i assume i need to create a seperate animation for this.

How would I best go about doing this though to make the clip animation fit to the Character animation? A similar problem will probably come up as soon as i introduce some more oddly shaped weapons which may need different idle,Reload, … animations. So how would i best animate the character and the weapon while in the end still having seperate models and each having their own animation sequenze?

I once read in an old UDK documentation about putting both models in one scene, animation both together and then exporting them seperatly but it hasn’t really been explained well, especially the exporting part and i wonder if there might be a better way in UE4. For creating Idle animations adding preview assets might be enough but what to do for the other way around.

Is this maybe not possible in UE itself? Should i export the Mannequin and import it to Blender where i then import my Weapon-Models to animate them?

While looking around the forums i found this thread https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?62525-weapon-animation but unfortunately the video which seems to solve OP’s problem has been removed or made private and i couldn’t find another thread about it.