Animations: how to plan and create synchronized animations for a melee combat game?

Hi to all animators and not.

I’m making a little demo game, based on sword fencing melee combat.
I’m creating my animations in 3ds MAX.

Someone knows the right method to plan and create animations that must be synchronized for the attacker and the defender?

For “right method” i mean creating animations in 3ds MAX in a way that will be easly synchronized also in UE4 and that will use root motion (i hope root motion exists also in UE4 like in UDK).

The short question: how i can achieve my “Batman Arkham” series sword combat style?

I believe root motion will be in a mostly complete state in 4.6. When I want to synch animations, I just pull both characters into one scene and get to choreographing. As long as other enemies have a similar build, yo shouldn’t have any problems matching things up. If your other enemies are taller or shorter, you might want to look into hand IK in UE4 and write some procedural spine-bending logic to your animation graph to compensate. If all else fails, you could always tweak your animation in Max to work for different enemies and use separate animations for each.

but i need more detailed answers, for example:

“In 3ds MAX you should use as reference “this thing”, then in UE4 when attacker start its swing anim you should do “this other thing” so you will have a perfectly synchronized attack and parry”.

Thanks in advance.

Well, you use AnimMontages to play anims with root motion. Build your animation with both skeletons in the scene, and make sure that the roots are a known distance apart.

When you want UE to play the choreographed fight motions, snap the root of the enemy to the known position (i.e. If the enemy root starts the sequence 10 units in front of the player’s, snap the enemy actor to 10 units in front of the player’s facing direction and location) and trigger both montages simultaneously.

I guess “choreographed fight motions” and “montages” are new features of UE4.
So you suggest to learn about this 2 arguments?

No, Montages are special animation assets which take care of root motion and branching animations across the same animation state. They’re perfect for melee combos.

When I say “choreographed fight motions” I just mean whenever the player and enemy are meant to play a synchronized set of animations which occur simultaneously, as opposed to stuff like the player just throwing a punch at a trash can or whatever.

Whenever you want to trigger a synchronized sequence of actions, where both the player character and the enemy character are playing animations meant to sync up frame-for-frame, you need to play the appropriate montages on those actors simultaneously. And since synchronized animations will require the actors to always be a known distance apart (to make sure that the actions line up properly), the best way is to measure the exact distance the roots of each skeleton are apart when animating and then in-game, right before triggering the animation sequences, snap the actors to be that distance apart so that both actors’ animations play out the way you designed them (if you don’t do this, you risk situations like the player’s arm missing the enemy’s face because the sequence was triggered with the actors farther apart than in the animation)

RhythmScript hit the nail on the head for how I went about mine…I have a combat finisher in my game which Alice knocks them in the air catches their foot and KO’s them from there…I’ve only done the 1 test anim thus far but works 9/10…It’s how I’ll be going about doing the many, many more I’ve to do in this game…