Create a new animation from the top of one animation and the bottom of another

I already know about Layered Blend per Bone and how to use it and it works great for my animations in realtime, but is there a way to pre-process this into a new animation so I don’t have to do it in realtime?

For example, let’s say that I currently have a walking animation and a crouching animation with rifle and I wanted to combine the top of the crouching animation with the bottom of the walking animation to get a walking animation with rifle. I know I can do it with Layered Blend per Bone, but is there a way of getting that animation as a single animation (3rd party program to combine them?)


Is there really no 3rd party package out to mix different animations and save the output?

Yeah - Maya, 3D Studio Max, Lightwave, Blender, Cinema 4D, Motion Builder - pretty much anything that will import/export an Autodesk FBX file.

I am not talking about chaining animations together… Forgive me for sounding stupid, but what is the equivelent of layered blend per bone called in those programs because I haven’t been able to find anything on how to do it in 3DS, or Maya.

Yeah you import the animations - copy ALL the key frames from, say, the first spine bone on up - paste them to the same bones on the other skeleton. So long as the skeletons match you can copy and paste any bits from one to the other any where. And sometimes they don’t even have to match. In the end you’re better off creating your own though. I think part of what killed Unity for me was the fact that the entire community seemed to be focused on reusing content. There were, at one point, entire websites with nothing but zombie games - same zombies, same zombie animations, same weapons, etc. It was about as much fun as going to the dentist.

Really? So that’s the best that’s out there is to manually copy the keyframes from one animation to another? There are no tools to load multiple animations and tell the program to have animation x play on bones spine up and animation y play on bones pelvis down? If that’s true, then I think I just found a new project for me… I can’t believe nobody else has done anything like that already…

That’s the best there will ever be. A computer can’t guess what you want an animation to do. You either have to tell it (by animating it) or use something someone else has already done. There’s no other option unless you have an A.I. with EVERY possible variation programmed in for you to choose from. Which is completely impractical. For instance, I have a character with 7 weapon types - how would UE4 know which weapon he was carrying at a given point it time? It can’t unless I tell it, it also doesn’t know what to change for that weapon type unless I tell it. These things would be different for every single person creating an infinite amount of variations. The sun would explode and the universe would come to an end before you could figure out one percent of what you would need to create a system that did that automatically. On the other hand I can animate a run cycle for each weapon type from scratch in a day. I can mix and match poses and parts of poses from each of the included animations to create these animations in a few hours. Even with no knowledge of animation whatsoever a person could download Blender and learn to do this (and much more) in a few months. You’ve got a game engine (the price of which was in the mid to high six figure range just a few years ago), you’ve got a ton of software out there to help you create things for it AND you’ve got a decent selection of content you can either buy or download for it. The simple fact of the matter is, somewhere along the line, YOU have to do something - otherwise what you create is NOT YOUR game. It’s a mash-up of other people’s game parts.

I understand that’s how you may do things, but your comments about it being impossible and that the sun would explode are a little far fetched…

I’m simply looking for something like UE4’s Layered Blend per Bone that allows you to save the output to a new animation - it’s not rocket science. UE4 already has the blending feature, we just need a way of saving the final animation.

Yes you can do it in Maya’s Trax Editor, or any other program with a decent NLA system (RIP XSI).