Basic Weapon Design in Maya 2016 for use in UE4

Hi, I just started using Maya 3 days ago (posted below is a fake Desert Eagle, and it’s animated). My problem now becomes what I need to do beyond modeling, texturing and animating. I see the term “Skeletal mesh” appear here and there, does that apply to weapons as well? Seems like I’m missing components to my weapon to make it usable in UE4, but all the tutorials I find assume you know these steps. Any help is greatly appreciated. Don’t judge the model too much, I just wanted to make something extremely basic to learn the basics and expand upon.

I´m not an expert for this (i have problems with this myself), but when you take a look at the included gun from the fps_template, you´ll see, that it´s a skeletal mesh. I think the YouTube Channel “PRDV” or “PRDV Entertainment” or something similiar made some tuts about this (with Blender). But idk if it shows you also, how to import anims. If you find what you were searching for, could you explain it/post the link(s)?

When you export your gun make sure to include animations usually an (.fbx) file is what UE4 likes, then when importing look at the import screen a bit there should be some options for the animation.

@Fragment7 I seen that video, but exited out when I saw blender because a lot of programs have drastically different ways of doing things. I’ve seen the skeletal mesh, but I’m unsure how to set it up for a gun for a game. I’ll post if I find helpful material.

@ctcopple I didn’t know animations exported as the same format as the object itself. Now I just have to figure out how to export the animation as that, rather than as an image or movie.

Have you rigged your weapon? You need at least one bone (let´s name it “controller”). This will affect everything, regardless if you add more bones! If everything you want is a recoil-animation or anything, where the complete gun changes its transform, that´s enough. If you want more animations, for example the trigger been pulled off, add a new bone, which only affects the part of your gun, which you want to change! Parent all the extra bones to the control-bone and the mesh to the bones (it has to be one mesh).

If you know where to find something like an action-editor, where you can create and store multiple animations (in the same file), create all animations in there. If you´ve done this correctly, unreal will detect that there are multiple animations and assign each one to a new file. If you can´t find it/it doesn´t exist, do it in Blender (Open the Dope sheet -> action-editor mode -> create as many actions as you want, they won´t affect each other and unreal has no problem with this, i tried it this morning) or duplicate the file, animate it and only export the animation.

If you don´t know how to rig the gun and can´t find a good tutorial for this, look at this one. It was made in Blender, but it should be the same in Maya, just find the right buttons or do it in Blender.