Mech Like Movement

Hi all. Im just after some pointers really.

I’m curious as to how I could go about implementing mech like movement. Like what is seen in Mechwarrior games.
About 8 minutes in you should see what i mean.

I am able to get the controls working to s certain degree. But im not sure how I can go about making the legs and torso twist separately as I want.

Would it be best to use two skeletal meshes? A single skeletal mesh?

I’m really not sure where to start with this. Anyone tried doing something like this?

Any help or pointers would be very much appreciated.

Cheers all!

well if you think about it, a real mech of such sort will have some “joint” around the waist that can freely rotates in certain axis. if you use 2 skeletal meshes, the transform of the upper body’s s.mesh is effectively this joint (assume the legs are the root). If you use just 1, then you just need to locate this joint in your model and manipulate freely. both ways can implement it in a similar way I believe.

The more complex part in my opinion would be blending the animatinos so that they natural which will depend a lot on how you design your model and animations

Hmm… I think i need to rephrase what I need :slight_smile:

I need to be able to turn with the mouse, without that turning the entire character. The A and D keys should rotate the lower half, and moving forward and backwards would be relative to the legs and not the upper view.

Im trying to figure out how to achieve something like that in code.

Separate torso from pelvis/legs is not that different from mouse-look in a FPS. Let the character capsule drive the pelvis/legs, and let a separate animation/value drive the rotation axis of the torso/upper body.

The main thing I don’t like about most mech games is that they use animated walk cycles and “standard” character physics. This means that the mech weight balance and terrain interaction is all wrong – many mechs would wobble tremendously with the wide feet and long lift times they are animated with in games like MW4 and MWO…

I did this with a 2D Aim blueprint. I’m a bit sketchy on remembering the details, but you can use a reference pose to let your animation override the 2D Aim pose, which means the legs will move independently of the aiming blend. I used the IK content example level to figure it out. This gives you a character with a single rigged mesh rather than needing to join two of them.

The basic setup is you have your normal two-dimensional movement animblend set up, then on top of that you have a 2d aiming blend that has your mech looking in all the different directions it needs. Then your actual rigging blend map will be hard-edge so that the mech doesn’t deform any polygons to turn (unless you want to blend some flexible pipes between sections, etc).

Anyway, the same content example level will let you get your mech’s feet to sit nicely on the terrain as well, but be warned, it gets complicated! When everything is said and done I’d do vehicle suspension animation the same way, so there’s a lot of re-use in learning this.