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How would one go about animating an object being built/constructed, either in Blender or UE4?

Basically I have a guy with a high tech multi-dimensional nanotech backpack (Adam Drake from Body Harvest N64). When the character brings his arm to his backpack, a gun handle should appear in his hand, then as he’s pulling his hand back into ready position, the entire gun should begin to reconstruct itself on the handle until it’s ready to fire. Sort of like this:

@5:14 to @5:17 you see how he takes out a pistol from his backpack? I’m creating a remaster for that game and I want the pistol to built itself when it’s being pulled out.

EXACTLY like this: Blender Tutorial: Automatic Construction Animation - YouTube

Only problem with the above method is that I can’t animate it and import to UE4.

I’ve tried morph targets and while I was able to animate them in Blender, they just refused to work in UE4. Did absolutely nothing. when animation is played.

@DDemon on Answers.Unreal suggested
“Why not try using a mask with gradient, usually I use that to create walls and stuff for SCI-FI. So let’s say you have a gradient from left to right, so the gun’s UVs should be placed in the correct order from left to right, plus add +1 to emission that it looks like the gun is spawned with nanotech or something like that.
So let’s say use this dissolve tutorial Unreal engine | Dissolve materials tutorial - YouTube but add order to mesh UVs and use gradient mask instead of noise mask.”

And I found a video to make this effect more mechanical, it’s an official Unreal live stream! Creating a Vanishing Effect with Advanced Materials | Feature Highlight | Unreal Engine Livestream - YouTube

Hope it helps anyone else searching for the same question!

A weapon is probably already a skeletal mesh, so you can actually animate whatever parts you weight painted to separate bones.

Doing it like the audio jack is a bit of an overkill give how long this will be on screen for and the size you will have on screen on average.

Morph targets do work fine. And they don’t require bones, so you were on a good path. You just need to figure out why your animation isn’t importing - your settings of the export are probably bad / exclude the morphs.

I would also suggest swapping out the mesh to one with less bones or no morphs after the animation has played.
mesh swaps are near instant. And removing the extra stuff would theoretically help your sanity, in setting up other systems, and performance.

Indeed, you’re right, but if all it requires is a nicely built material to get the job done, I’m happy either way :slight_smile:
I’m a bit occupied with another part of my game at the moment, I’m going to try both of the material methods listed above before going back to try the morph target animations.