How to create a weapon with moving parts?

Hey guys,

This is a bit outside my area of expertise, so forgive my ignorance, but how would I create a weapon with moving parts? Eg. reload pull bars, shotgun pumps, trigger movements, barrel slides, etc.

I assume that the weapon animations would be built in the 3d modeling software and exported as individual animations? Then, is it as simple as importing the weapon as a rigged skeletal mesh and applying those animations? I’ve had a hard time finding anything online to help understand this workflow, so I’m sort of guessing out loud here.

Any help is appreciated!

Basically, yes. It’s as simple as that. Rig the weapon and add any animations you need, then trigger those from your animation blueprint based on weapon, character, or game state. You might, for example, check to see if they’re reloading, and kick off the appropriate reload animation. It can get tricky if you have separate animations that have to go at the same time, but you can handle that with bone blends in your animation blueprint.

There are some things you’ll want to do programmatically. Shell ejection probably shouldn’t be animated, but should be programmed, for example.

Excellent! Makes sense. Now, I know where to focus. Thanks, Jeff.