First Person Animation Pipeline

Hi all!

I’m currently doing some experimenting on the viability of a first person combat game (physical combat with fists and such), and I’ve got my rig all set up and ready to animate. There’s a slight problem though, which is how do I animate my arms so that they’re visible to the unreal camera while animating it in Maya. I’m just using a repurposed Unreal Mannequin rig (though re-skeletoned because the arms I exported from Unreal had really crappy bone orientations and such which made it hard to animate (fingers would look like they’re broken, knees bending in weird ways, etc)). Does anyone out there have any tips on the fastest way to get my animations into Maya so that they work without adjusting them endlessly? (By which I mean I understand that the entire point of animation is endless adjustments, I just mean I want to do my animations once and import them into the engine and have them just work with as little back and forth as possible.)

My initial thoughts on doing it is having a Maya view camera added in the scene, but I’m personally not sure what settings would be closest to the camera in Unreal (for instance the FPS example project). Another way I’ve thought about it is figuring out how the “Send to Unreal” feature works. Does anyone have any helpful advice on the issue?

Set up a camera in Maya and use that, then you can adjust the FP arms in the game itself, like up or down. At least, that’s what I did. I put the view on the top most bone so it matched up ingame nicely

And yeah I had the same issues with the bones, but adjusting them was quick and painless and now my IK setups work fine

Hey sorry for not responding sooner! Thanks for your suggestion. I ended up doing exactly that. I just set up a camera in Maya to the base of the neck (eyeballing it from the player blueprint in the FPS template, since the program doesn’t let you display bones in the Blueprint viewport for some reason), and exported my initial idle animation to the engine, set all that up, then I ran the game in a standalone window, and adjusted my Maya camera so it looks almost exactly like it does in the engine (it’s off by a bit but not enough to matter).

Thanks again!

Edit: As for the IK setup… well I’m only really skilled when it comes to modeling in Maya, the rest is almost voodoo to me, and I didn’t know enough about adjusting existing skeletons without everything going pear shaped so I just redid it in a way that was the least aggrivating and I knew would work lol.