I have an asset in the works that I would like to gauge interest in and your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
The asset is a blueprint / template for user controlled mechanical arms, such as, robotic arms, manipulator arms, construction equipment: cranes, excavators, loaders, etc. It makes use of skeletal controls to allow real time user control rather than animation to move the arm parts.
Around the 2:03 mark you’ll see an example of the arm in game with some physics.
I Also have an excavator arm rig set up. It has fewer functions than the manipulator arm but is a more complex rig because of all the hinges and hydraulics that are driven by the controller bones.
While the focus is on the skeletal rig & blueprint that controls it I intend to include a few unique meshes to illustrate the diverse looks that can be achieved by swapping out the mesh while using a single underlying skeletal rig and blueprint control.
- All the moving parts are controlled by UE4 blueprint “skeletal controls”
If you are unfamiliar with skeletal controls, they give the user direct control of the movement of the bones.
- Input is based on a gamepad controller
- Each function has its own input e.g., Boom is controlled by Left Thumbstick Y & X axis
- The hydraulics and hinged parts all move realistically and are driven by skeletal controls
- The meshes are not skinned to the skeleton/bones they are simply placed in the skeleton hierarchy and easily swapped out.
- Each type of mechanical arm will include a basic mesh, the skeleton and the blueprint and the .fbx file so that it can be modified in your 3d package.
- The meshes can be modified or replaced in your 3d package just keep the bone names and hierarchy the same.
Currently, I have two different rigs – an ROV manipulator arm with claws and the excavator arm of a backhoe – which I intend to package separately.