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Animating and rigging A Melee view?

Something thats been bugging me lately is how one would go about rigging and animating a Melee style First person view, And I was hoping something could help me clarify on a few of these points.

From my understanding, a system like this, comparable to the First Person Starter Template, would be set up like so:

  1. Model the Melee weapon, the arms(or entire body as some would perfer), and animate them together.
  2. Import the Model and Animations into Unreal 4.
  3. Set up a Player Blueprint and under the “components” menu in the blueprint, Set up the camera just behind the weapon, say at Head level.
  4. Link all the animations to the Player Blueprint.

Am I on the right track guys?
I really don’t know lol.

Something like Chivalry: Medieval Warfare ? Screenshot 3/21 has a good image but I wont link the image specifically because of the graphic content (limbs missing).

The answer to your question depends a lot on if it’s single player or networked. You can dumb down the requirements if not networked, but I’ll answer as if it is.

I’ve never made this system but I can see quite clearly how I would.

  1. Model a proxy character that everyone else sees - the full body. This proxy would have a proxy weapon model as well.
  2. Rig the character and make sure there is a joint for the weapon.
  3. Model a high res version of the character’s arms and weapon with near identical proportions but more detail.
  4. Rig the arms, ideally using the exact same joint locations as used for the proxy character model. You want animations to align perfectly.
  5. Animate the proxy character for attacking such as a sword swing.
  6. Apply this animation to the high res arms + weapon. Add detail but maintain the basic movements so they align.
  7. Camera would be from the head but you might adjust/offset it a bit for where it looks better but without moving it too far from the head.
  8. Make an animation instance for the proxy character. Attach weapon to socket.
  9. Here I’d have to toy with things to figure out the best method, but ultimately when the proxy plays an attack animation the arms/weapon that the player sees need to do this also.

So, in summary: Have a lower res full body character + weapon that everyone except the player sees, then have a high res arms + weapon that only the player sees. Animations need to look great from first person while still looking good in third.