Help with Interchangeable Animation Methodology

Hello everybody!

I’ve recently embarked upon a learning adventure of sorts, based around the creation of a first person shooter. I’m doing all my work inside of blender in terms of modeling animating and rigging.

Now, blender not being maya or 3Ds max, has some slight issues with compatability (PhAT fail hard and need to be made custom from scratch constantly). Above all however, I’m having difficulty comprehending hwo I’m going to do animations. My concerns are as follows:

  1. Do I animate the playermodel or the gun, and do I therfroe attach the player’s hands to the gun via IK or the gun to an animated player’s hands?
  2. Assuming I am Indeed using IK (current attempt), then what exactly do I do for the gun so that it animates relative to the character. I need to be able to bring it up to an aimed position or down to a hip fire position. Should this be done in the pose local space or inside ue4 using simple relative translation to a bone? Or do I interpolate between sockets attached to the root bone?
  3. These are honestly the extent of my concerns. It seems simple but I’m struggling a lot here to choose the best system…

Some further information:

  1. There is an attachment system using sockets on either the gun static mesh or a skeletal mesh of the gun.
  2. I plan to do IK because I will make a skeletal mesh of the gun and magazine, and then have the end effector of the left hand IK chain switch to the mag bone as the gun runs through a reload animation for that specific gun. However, as noted, the gun itself must move relative to the character somehow and I don’t know what to attach it to considering the fact that hands are IK attached to IT and not the other way around.
  3. The guns will be interchangeable, so IK seems more efficient so I don’t spend time customizing character model animations for reloading and just let IK do a rough job of it. FYI, character’s hands are blocky, so these are simple animations.
  4. It seems easier to play an anim montage on the gun than to do an animbp with the character, which is another reason for IK… It just seems simpler.
  5. Furthermore, just as an example, how would I make a universal idle animation? This is where things seem to get icky because, say I made a simple sway animation for the gun while idle, that wouldn’t look too nice. The IK would only affect arms so I could still animate everything but the arms to make it universal, but then if the gun is parented to a bone on the character, then that becomes an issue.
  6. Oh, is performance a problem? Especially with IK, as I plan to have about 100 AI in game at a time, optimally. Simple AI, but running animations nontheless.

Just an overall final comment here:
What I need is not how to make the animations, just what I should be making in order to properly use it…

Thanks for the help! I just really need advice here, that’s all :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you!!!

P.S, I plan to use one playermodel for third and firstperson (I know, not the best idea but I’m ok with it). ADS is just a matter of switching to a camera inside the gun child actor. The issue here is just general animations especially for AI.

Another example by the way: Something like a sprinting animation would likely require the gun to be moving left right up down as the hands follow it. That would be pretty difficult if attached to a bone on the character skeletal mesh as the root and torso would probably be angled for that sort of thing and also be animating…

Thanks again!!!

Please? Anybody??

sobs dramatically

Honestly though, how does one make animations for multiple guns? Different skeletal mesh? Same hands, different gun mesh? Shared anim bp? Synchronize gun animations with hands???