Easy way to let characters use same skeleton?

I am searching for an easy way to let all my characters, no matter whether bought in the UE4 marketplace (Epic Skeleton), the Unity Marketplace (Different Skeletons), Mixamo (Mixamo Skeleton) or Turbosquid (Completely different skeleton) all the same skeleton. It does not matter which skeleton it is, it just needs to be the same.

I don’t want to manually recreate all the skeletons, but what else could I do? The only way I can think of is to delete the characters skeleton and then let the characters get auto rigged by Mixamo, but unfortunately the auto rigger produces really ugly results with some characters, so it is not really an option.

Do you have any other ideas? :slight_smile:

Animation Retargeting?

I don’t want want to retarget animations, I want my characters to have the same skeleton. I know how the animation retargeting works :slight_smile: But it’s not related to what I need…

My bad. I should have read it closer. Need the same skeleton to take advantage of retargeting:(

I also can’t think of any different approach than to delete the characters skeleton and then bind it to your ‘universal’ skeleton. I don’t use Mixamo auto rigger, but if it produces ugly results, then you can check auto weighting in Blender - in most cases, it does pretty good job, and with very little tweaking (weight painting) you can bind any character to your ‘universal’ skeleton of choice. Also, if you have Maya LT, there is something called Geodesic Voxel Binding. It’s the best auto weighing method if your character has some separated armor pieces or clothing.
BTW. In my case i create all my characters by myself, but i also have one universal “Humanoid” skeleton and I bind every humanoid character/monster to it. I’m not sure if it’s the best way to do it, but if, for example, some character is noticeably smaller or have different proportions than the skeleton, then i scale certain bones to fit the character, and THEN apply weights (with Blender Auto Weights).

Well you can’t just take a mesh and re-target the mesh to a different skeleton as the weight tables are different based on the naming convention used.

It’s not a user problem to solve but a software problem looking for a solution.

Convergence wise re-targeting is already in place and the problems and issues as to UE4 being able to use plug-ins seems to have been fixed so I can see a solution coming that makes sharing across a broad range of rigs just as easy as you can do in Motion Builder.

I am here just to say I too have big problems with skeleton re-targeting, it is actually getting in the way of my studies on the engine(coming out of a “2d only” background). Hopefully we will be able to just pick the damned bones on both skeletons and it auto fixes the **** someday :slight_smile:

…or before I finally get to learn Maya or Blender in any level (right now I cant even move my character on the screen or select parts sometimes lol).

Seems like if the bone topology is similar you should be able to map different bone names to the same common name between all the skeletons you buy. Sometimes there may be a different number of spine bones, neck bones, arm roll bones, so that could possibly cause some issues.

Maybe if you have Maya or something, you can open the files somehow and rename the bones manually for now. It could be possible to add this feature to Unreal. Like a bone name mapping table that renames the bones upon import.

Different skeletons also have all the joints located in different areas so it may be best to try to keep a different skeleton for each model but just rename them so the animations all work and you can use one common anim blueprint in some way.
I think animation retargeting would then allow you to reuse animations from the different skeletons, although I never tried using that yet so I’m not 100% sure how effective it is.

Personally I’m not going to have this issue since I’m not buying any characters but that’s not always feasible for everyone. I also don’t like purchasing characters so much since you can’t keep a coherent design and personality. That character is likely to be reused in other games as well and people are going to see the same guy in multiple games. Maybe try to stick to only using Mixamo characters or something so you don’t have a jumble of character styles and types and skeleton structures.

I’m now just rigging and weighting them all manually. After some weeks of doing it it works quite fine :wink:

I also would like to now buy any characters, but what else could I do? I can’t create them myself, and I can’t pay someone enough to create dozens of chars for me. So I have to buy them where I can get them for cheap prices…

I know this is old. But my solution would have been to just re- rig all characters in mixamo so all character share the same naming convention and exact skeleton. EASY. Then just retarget animation to that one skeleton and then all your characters can use the animation after just retargiting once. Also to make art style consistant, play with the textures in photo shop to give it a consistent style.

Hello.I didn’t understand what you siad.I have one mixamo skeletal mesh with 30 animations and I imported another 5 mixamo characters.How can I add same skeletal mesh to these 5 characters??.Plz help me