More Custom Bones for Epic re-targeting rig.

Hey guys.

I have Hunter character and I want to rig it with Epic sceleton and retarget animations.
The problem that Epic rig provided with only 5 additional bones slots (take a look on picture):

As you can see on video, my Hunter need at least 14 additional bones. 12 for long robe and 2 for shoulders armor.

So how I can re-target 122 animations I already have for this character?
Is it possible at all?

You can check out Alexandr Shatalov`s “Allright rig” system (free). It has alot of customizable options for rigging.

Thank you! I will take a look.

You don’t need to use Epic’s rig at all.
You can go “from” any skeleton “to” any skeleton, as long as you define the appropriate bone correspondence.
If you want to import animations that were built from Epic’s rig, you can go “from” that “to” your own – clearly, those animations won’t animate your cape or whatever, so those bones simply don’t need a target when going that direction.

Thank you! I must use Epic rig. This is the condition. Humanoid character must be rigged with Epic rig in order to be accepted into Unreal Market.

Got it! If so, you cannot really animate a cape as part of the character. You’ll have to find another workaround.
The first workaround would be to use APEX cloth for the cape.
The second workaround would be to build the cape as a separate mesh, with a separate skeleton, and separate animations, and attach it to a socket on the base character.
There is some tutorial content from Epic that uses a guy with a cape; you might be able to pick that apart and see how it’s done.
(IIRC, some of the networked gameplay tutorials have that character?)

Thank you!

But even without all this mess around Epic rig, it takes 3 days to prepare such character for Unreal.
If it is so complex when may be pretty easy, I prefer to leave idea and sell such characters for everyone except Unreal users. :wink:
Interesting, what to do if one want to rig angel or demon with Epic rig?
Maybe Unreal just add more custom bones? :slight_smile:

You can target an angel, or demon, or guy-with-cape, from the Unreal animations.
You don’t need custom bones, because while you should map each bone in the unreal skeleton to your skeleton, you do NOT need to map every bone in your skeleton to the Unreal skeleton.
They will work just fine – they’ll walk and jump just like the standard skeleton.
However, the wings/tails/capes won’t animate, but will stay in default position.
Custom bones does not solve this problem, because the standard animations won’t know how to animate your wing/tail/cape.

Instead, you solve the problem by adding new animations that only target the new bones, and provide a blend space that lays those new animations on top of the standard animations.

No, not me. I prefer to spend my time on something more creative. :wink:

Not a good match for modern game production, then? :slight_smile:

(Imagine the repetition for artists who prep each of the 1000 cars in Forza Motorsport, or the hundreds of NPCs in a game like GTA!)

I would not want to be one of them. )

I spoke today with one of Unreal reviewers. One who usually reviews my assets before they will be accepted into marketplace.
I tried to explain him the problem. That I can’t retarget animations if I have no enough bones for it in re-targeting node. I sent him pictures, marked text in red nothing worked. :wink:

“You should be fine…” he said

One of two. Or he can’t understand the problem. Or just was mocking me.
It’s pity there is no people in Unreal which can solve this small problem.

This was your solution dude, how is it so hard to understand oO

I don’t understand what you’re trying to re-target.

Which animation do you want to retarget? Which skeleton was it built for? Which skeleton do you want to re-target it to?

I don’t undetstand the “problem.”
If you have an animation that animates a cape, or wings, then those bones can’t be targeted to the base mannequin, who doesn’t have those features.
If you have an animation for the base mannequin, then that can’t animate the cape/wings, because the mannequin animations don’t have that movement.

The only case you need additional bones, is when you have mesh A, which has a cape or wings (thus, not the default mannequin,) and you want to target mesh B, which also has a cape or wings (thus, also not the default mannequin.)
And, because the default mannequin is not involved, then you don’t need to use Epic’s rig for that re-targeting; you can use a rig that contains the correct number of bones (typically, the rig of the source character.)

What you seem to want to do, is be able to:

  1. Take an animation from a winged character, and re-target it to the mannequin (which does work!)
  2. Then take that re-targeted animation, and re-target it again to a winged character, and somehow make the animation data for the wings follow through.

I don’t think anyone expects this to be a workflow they will use, and I don’t think anyone expects that that would work.
That’s what I think the Unreal reviewer meant when he said you’d be fine.

I think I must to give it last try and to explain the problem in way that even children will understand it. :wink:

Ok. lets say there is a man, and he want to make a child with head, 2 legs and 2 hands. And there is a woman, who want the same as well.

Man is my rig, woman is Epic rig.
Man have a tool with 5 ends and woman have 5 holes. To make a normal child they need to combing all tolls and holes together same time.

But they have a problem. There is a wall between them. Wall is Unreal re-targeting node. :slight_smile:
And this wall have only 3 holes. So when man and woman trying to make a child with had, 2 legs and 2 hands they cant do it.
They need to decide what parts their child will lack.

Hope this explanation will work for every one. :slight_smile:

Hm… Maybe it is because when you read something you see only what you want to see? :slight_smile:

Ok, after reading your cringe-worthy horror description of reproduction for children I decided to take a look at the OP again.
I think I know what your problem is. BUTT! That is only a problem if your extra robe and armor joints are actually animated in your custom source skeleton.
If not, you dont have to care, just retarget the base skeleton and all those extra joints will just follow their parent bone (which hopefully is part of the base skeleton).

But I think thats not what you are after, let me recap so I can make sure this IS your problem:

You have a hunter character rigged with your own custom skeleton. That however needs to be ue4 skeleton so it can go on the marketplace.
You will have to use the epic skeleton for that character wherever you can. Generally that is arms, legs spine, head, fingers, and the extra leg and hand Ik bones.
For your additional armour and costume bones, you will need to manually add those to the new epic base skeleton and retarget those animations in some other software. (motionbuilder comes to mind).

And yes, you are right, in this special case epic retargeting system is lacking more extra bone slots since you are retargeting from your own old skeleton to the epic skeleton that you made WITH extra bones from the old character skeleton.

Omen! :slight_smile:

Yes, my hunter have long rob animated as well as shoulder armor, in order to prevent not nice looking intersections.
All this I did by hand no physics here.
Here is how it looks like:

Without enough holes in retarding node it will looks bad.

I want to add one more thing.

I am not programmer, but it looks like to add more custom bones (20 lets say) to re-targeting node - is mostly matter of copy and paste part of code.
And there is no need to release engine upgrade. If only me will have this extended version of the nod it also will be O.K.

Do you think this will get you help in any way?

I’ve been a professional game tools programmer for 15 years, but given that you didn’t actually answer my questions, and started calling me names, I don’t know how to help.

The best way that your meshes will work for customers using the Epic rig and the Epic animations, in a world where things other than your character only exists, will be to detach the objects that use additional bones, and provide two sets of meshes and animations: One set that targets specifically the humanoid rig, and one that targets the “extra” bits you add. Users can then drive your extra bits using the animations you provide, and drive the base character using mannequin animations re-targeted to your rig.

There are other solutions, too, but you haven’t actually spelled out what the problem is you’re trying to solve, so it’s hard to say more. WHY do you think more random bones in the Unreal rig are needed? What is your input data? (Mesh, Rig, Animations) What is your output data? (Mesh, Rig, Animations) What is your tool path? How do you expect paying customers on the marketplace to use your final assets in game, in combination with other Epic assets?

Your attitude to how to provide working meshes and animations to actual customers seems to not be a good match for a well functioning technical marketplace.
Creating good game art is 5% inspiration and 95% transpiration, and based on your answers, you don’t seem to want to do the hard work necessary.