How can I 'retarget' a skeletal mesh to a shared skeleton?

I’m well aware of animation retargeting workflows, but what of skeletal mesh retargeting? All my blueprints are referencing one skeleton, and I’d like to keep it that way, and all of my characters are using that same skeleton as well. Any marketplace character I have gotten so far (that are rigged to the ue4 skeleton) I was able to just right click and assign my skeleton to them, effectivly switching the skeleton these meshes used

The problem is, beyond that, I havent been able to find anything else that talks about this. A character that I got recently that is rigged to ue4 skeleton has be giving me trouble

Maybe its because it has a lot of extra bones? All of them are at outside the base heirarchy though, (like cloth and hair bones) I checked and triple checked the bone heirarchy in maya and I dont know what to do from here.
What other methods can I use to retarget a skeletal mesh to a different skeleton?

1 Like

It might be that the skeleton is giving you troubles because of some extra bones, but I would do the following:
Open the skeleton of your character > Retarget Manager > Set up Rig > Humanoid.
This will fill all the necessary informations for the target bones.
Do the same thing for the skeleton of the marketplace asset you bought, this will leave the extra bones with “none”, but will make sure that there is compatibility between the skeletons.

After you do that, the animations from the marketplace character can be assigned to the Mannequin, so instead of retargeting the skeletal mesh you just do the skeleton retargeting, which allows you to use the animations for your character without retargeting the animation.

hmm the issue with that is that I dont need to use the animations from the marketplace assets (I dont even know if it has animations) I just need the mesh. I could retarget all of my existing animations to the marketplace asset skeleton, duplicate animation blueprints etc, but migrating everything on a new asset doesnt make much sense. It seems odd that I cant use the same skeleton with deferent meshes when they both have basicaly t he same base skeleton structure :\

If you do the retargeting of the skeletons you can replace the skeleton reference inside the AnimBP

If you do that you can then use the skeletal mesh, because the AnimBP will become compatible with that Skeletal mesh.
Mind you, if the proportions between your character and the marketplace character are the same, the animation will play without any issues, but if the proportions are way off, you’ll see weird behaviourduring the animations, because of the difference between the skeletons.

interesting, is there a way to swap skeletons in the anim bp at runtime?

Not inside a BP as far as I know, not sure if it is possible with C++.
Anyway if you switch to UE5, with the IK rig setup , especially in UE5.1, adapting different characters with even different skeleton has become way easier, just check the Animation Retargeting Map from the updated Content Example project, lots of interesting stuff there.

1 Like

ok I will do some testing. In the meantime, if anyone else has other insights to the original question, I’d love to hear them