Confused about UE4 human retargeting rig

I think I’m missing something regarding retargeting in UE4. If I retarget my mesh successfully, I still can’t use the animations that the mannequin uses. Those animations have to be retargeted to the new skeletal mesh, which means having at least two copies of the same animations. If I bring in another skeletal mesh that I bought on TurboSquid and retarget it, I now need a third copy of these animations, which is not very practical. I must be missing something obvious and I’m hoping that someone can point out what I’m doing wrong. Thanks.

You’re not missing anything. Animations are specific to a single skeleton asset. If you want to apply animation assets that use one skeleton asset (e.g., the UE4 skeleton) to another skeleton (e.g., the Mixamo skeleton), they need to be duplicated first. An animation asset can’t contain data for more than one skeleton asset.

But you can have multiple skeletal mesh assets that use the same skeleton asset, which is probably the best way to go in typical cases. Any animation that can be applied to one skeletal mesh can also be applied to any other skeletal mesh that uses the same skeleton, although you might need to mess with the retargeting settings to prevent weird behavior on skeletal meshes that have very different proportions from the original.

Thanks for the reply. My problem is that I have models from a number of locations (Turbosquid, CGTrader etc.) and each artist has his own variations on the skeleton. If I want to use these (and I paid for them, so I’d certainly like to use them), then I will need a copy of my animations for each skeleton, including anim bp’s. Unity uses what I thought was a similar system (humanoid rig) but uses an avatar system. I’ll have to find some sort of workaround because I really don’t want to go back to Unity. Thanks again for clearing this up for me.