Creating Weapon Animations

There are many threads out there regarding this question I have, though none of them answer it like I need to be done. I have created a pump shotgun in 3ds max and have done all the weapon animations I need. I am creating a FPS multiplayer game. I have used this Youtube tutorial (

I have this all saved as one animation.

Keyframe 0-10 (Pull shotgun up to shoot)
Keyframe 11-19 (Shoot then chamber a new shell)
Keyframe 20-22 (Pull shotgun up to reload)
Keyframe 23-33 (reload 1 shell to tube, loop as needed for multiple rounds)
Keyframe 34-41 (chamber freshly loaded shell, only if chamber is empty)

I have a bone located at the grips, the pump and a main bone.

Question 1- Should I make these individual animations and if so I am not sure how? The tutorial shows this is the way it needs to be done so this is what I followed.
Question 2- How do I import this to UE4 so that I can use the animations, I have failed at doing so properly. Keep in mind I also have a full skeleton within the animation.

Any Help would be appreciated!


  1. I personally always split the animations into different parts → so I have one for shooting, another one for reloading,…
  2. Normally you just have to export it as a fbx - then import it with the “import animation” setting enabled -> what exactly is not working properly :slight_smile:

Ummm… I don’t remember now. I have not worked on this project for a while but starting it up. I will split these up and try exporting that way and see what I come up with


Hey Overwatch04, Do share your results after applying these changes.

Single stream animations is difficult to manage if you wish to make changes after the fact. Change the length of one of the clips then everything after it would have to be re-indexed as well single channel solutions usually requires a single individual to manage the entire work load.

Using individual clips any part of the modular approach can be assigned to anyone even with limited skill sets with out having to learn the structure. In other words they fix the animation with out worrying if they will break the setup. There are a few other personal workflow reasons but putting everything into a nice tight package makes working on the result more difficult for others to work on.

Yes you would want to import these as individual animations. I work in Maya, so I don’t know about 3DSMax, but there should be an option regarding which frames you want to export per animation. At that point, in regards to question 2, first import your skeletal mesh with an animation, then import each subsequent animation fbx files and choose the previously imported skeletal mesh when prompted.

I don’t know about 3ds max, as i work on Blender. It has something called Actions. They are as named, animation actions. You can create as many as you want, and then use them in NLA Editor to make more complex animations. NLA is like blendspace in UE.
Blender is totally free, an believe me, extremly powerful. You should give it a try.

Hi all, my question is related to this topic.
I’m also animating weapons and of course the hands of my main character (FPS game). I’m using 3dsmax to bake animations through fbx export. For the hands, i’m about to add the skin morph modifier above the skin modifier in the modifiers stack in 3dsmax (in order to increase the realism of the rigging as you can see in this video at 20:24 : )

  • Will the animation bake properly ?
  • If it does will unreal engine recognize properly this particular rigging (not just skinning, but also skin morphing ) ?


I’ve found that making the sequence you showed as one single animation works fine. Export it as a single FBX and on import designate a section at a time and rename in the engine. If you are using ART it’s even easier, I just export the whole animation as a single FBX and each individual animation in a single export by adding sequences in the export interface.

Not to leave anyone hanging with my results but I have been doing some modeling lately and have not tried to do any animations. I am just trying to get some content to work with before I start animating any bu I sure will post my findings!