Organizing object-specific animations

I have a boatload of animations that are specific to using one and only one object- things like rubbing a cigarette in an ashtray, dialing a phone, opening a door, and so forth. What I’m curious about is the recommended workflow for organizing such specific animation data: is there any way I can configure the animation to live on the object instead of the actor, or would I be looking at adding dozens of contextual animations to the main animation tree and triggering them all with boolean variables? That sounds kinda cumbersome, but everything I’ve read seems to suggest that keeping all animation local to the animation blueprint is the recommended approach.

So you want to have the object trigger the animation, for example when an actor is near the phone and uses it, the phone itself makes the actor perform the dialing animation?

I am thinking that the best course would be to have a parent actor that has all of the animations and triggers in its animation blueprint, then create blueprints based on that parent actor. That way, if you need to change an animation for something else, it’s only on the one actor, not the many. The many would pull off of the one, thus all of them performing the same animations.

The objects would hold the keys as to which animations need to be played, they would trigger the animations through probably an enum set may be best. The parent actor would then take this information and run the appropriate animation that you have chosen.

That’s exactly it, yes- my thinking was to keep every animation that is exclusive to an interactive object local to that object. Thinking about your suggestion though, I think that it may be silly for the exact reason you highlighted, that spreading animations across objects, even in a well-organized hierarchy, is going to make curating changes much harder than if I put up with the slight bother of building an interface/specialized system to access the same animations accessioned on the player/npc’s tree.

Exactly. Yes, it is more work on the one “parent actor” than you wished for, however it turns out to be a lot less work and worry for you in the long run.

Besides that, I’m not entirely sure another actor can hold the animations for another actor. It may be possible, but I don’t think it would work out very well in the grand scheme of things.