Help needed - Third Person Controller with strafing

Hey all.

First an apology for something that’s probably been asked a million times before. I’ve been googling and digging for the last 4 hours (yeah seriously) to try and find an answer or something to point me the right way. Also I’m an artist and animator so all of this is a bit new to me.

My goal is to create a third person controller similar to that of Gears of War. You look around with the mouse, the character follows the mouse input so the camera is always behind the character. WASD moves the character forward, backward and strafes left and right.

I’ve followed the third person controller tutorial on youtube from Epic and almost got things there. I’ve checked the Use Controller Rotation Yaw and unchecked Orient Rotation to Movement which makes the controls behave the way that I want them to.
The problem I’m having is trying to get the animations to play correctly.

I’ve set up a 2D Blendspace with X Axis = Direction (-180 to 180) and Y Axis = Speed (0-100).

I have the State machine setup to use the Blendspace. Now I cannot figure out for the life of me how to simply get the direction of the character to make the strafing and running backwards animations working at all. On the plus side, the moving forward animation works great!

This is how my Animation BP looks at the moment. I believe the Get Actor Rotation is redundant but I haven’t found anything useful on how to achieve what I thought should be a simple thing. I’ve been looking through the templates but (mostly due to my lack of knowledge on this stuff) haven’t found anything I can understand enough to help me out.

I hope someone can end this headache and offer up some help. Thanks in advance.