Curious to whether there is a faster way to pose hands for multiple animation files

As the title states, I have a bunch of animations I purchased from a MoCap company and the hands are all way off from where I need them for my assault rifle animations. Of course its easy enough to go in and manually tweak them and apply keyframes per animations to correct the issue. But with 197 Animations it gets very tedious and as some of you pros out there will know just from reading that line is that after switching between animations whether its smooth or not, anyone with a keen eye will notice the “jitters” from mismatch hand placements. I want to minimalize this as much as possible and was hoping to be able to bulk position the hands and fingers without the need for export/import because I dont have any software that can manipulate the animations because I really didnt want to have to spend 205USD/month on a software to tweak animations. Any suggestions as to what I should do? I’ve thought about using AnimMontages for the position and rotation of the fingers and use IK offsets for the hands but with weapon modifications being a feature in my game, that will require a boat load of programming just to have a decent looking hand placement.

Use Blender.

The problem with blender is bone orientation. I’ve used blender since Blender 2.49b and am very keen on the functionality and relationship to UE4 and with animations, the import / export process disorientates the bones and causes shifting of the animation origin points. Thus requiring minor tweaking in UE4 to correct. I’m right back to square one. The UE4 Mannequin skeleton (the one that all animations are targeted to on the marketplace) was created with Autodesk Maya. Thus it uses the orientation of Maya Axis. Blender uses a different Orientation type so it fails to correctly import the bone orientations.

As someone who uses blender on AAA games. What you wrote is BS. Nothing shifts out of place during import/export when you do things properly.

Is it easy to do? No.
Would using Maya be easier? No.

Your problem is something that needs manual work to solve.

3dsmax “CAT” can save/load hand poses

so can blender if you learn how to use it… you can also paste opposite poses which is pretty powerful.

Okay so if using Blender is the best solution then post a useful link to a video or documentation showing me and anyone else having this problem, a proper solution instead of just stating that you can do it when I have tried to use it and even spoke with many others on the topic of trying to use it and none of us found a way to import/export with something bein tweaked.

Also, even using blender, I believe I found an easier way INSIDE UE4. If you apply hand IK functionality to your character and open the Animation file up, tweak the animation using Hand IK’s (much easier than tweaking each bone individually which is what you would be doing inside of blender) then saving Keyframes and applying the changes, save the file then Record a new Animation file using the currently editing file, it will bake the changes into a whole new animation file and seems to work perfectly fine. It’s a little tedious but without creating an entire rig in blender or setting up a special IK system that works with bone orientations that are all whack, blender can only manually tweak each bone.

Heres and example of what I am talking about.

If you do want to go a bit further and rig up the UE4 mannequin to blenders rigify and have it export back to UE4 with the correct bones and orientations, use this:

The free version is all you need for humanoid characters, paid version if you want to get a bit more funky. Works a treat :slight_smile:

Yea I have the paid version of that too! But I’m not an animator and to manually create animations and implement them into UE4 isn’t the best workflow for me and to export/import animations into Blender using this takes too long and too many steps to be able to just tweak a few displaced bones or correct bone rotations. Thanks for the idea though! I was just hoping there was a super simple way to change the bone rotations or move bones on a bunch of animations at once. Most the animations require the same change (location and rotation of the bones) so I was hoping maybe a script or some code that could correct it but even setting up bone IK’s and coding an entire script to do so is a lot more time consuming that just grinding and getting them fixed.

In blender you could make your own script to correct whatever, or cache poses and apply them, which is also fairly straightforward.

Since most of the frames require the same changes you could simply copy/paste at the first frame, at the last frame and remove the keyed frames in between.

there are tons of videos illustrating how to do all of this, pretty common task when animating or correcting stuff.

I just went through this with my mocap animations, I have a M4 with a M203 launcher, which required the left hand to be moved. I discovered the “FABRIK” node to offset the left hand,
Can I ask what mocaps you are using ?? and how far off weapon is ??

From what he wrote initially I would assume he’s talking about finger positioning, not overall hand positions.

The old school way of doing it is to use a additive corrective pose. A corrective pose, as being additive, will allow you to more or less set a from-to pose based on a single reference pose and the target as an offset. A good example of this is the aim-offset where the player can look, aim, around with out effecting the rest of the body but works in combination with a per bone blend.

I tried to find a suitable tutorial but no joy so in theory.

If your base animation is using a long gun and you want to adjust the pose to use a side arm you would create a single pose as to the relative position of the handgun. I should be a single frame usually an aim center or idle forward. This is a good reference pose as usually the base idle is what drives the out to the other poses.

Once you have the corrective done set it to additive and set the reference to the aim or idle forward.

As a reference you can select what frame to use but I found the result to be better if you make a dedicated reference pose.

With that set up you can now find a point with in the migration path where you can switch in the additive to override the current state. A good place is in front of a per bone blend so it only effects the torso.

When done all of your 197 animations for the long gun should now be corrected for the relative position of the sidearm.

Note: Not a perfect solution as you will most likely have to account for action states like reloads and such but works fine for contact points relative to the wepon