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Player-Controlled Bones (w/out locomotion)

I am trying to create a character using player input (joystick) to deform a mesh using a skeleton. I need the character mesh’s location to remain stationary, but to deform in place.
I am having trouble finding the right workflow or vocabulary to research how to go about doing this.

I have some experience with setting up characters to move with player input, triggering animations driven by direction using blend space and state machines… I think I have terminology here, but I don’t do character animation everyday.

Would setting this up as a standard character for locomotion work but then somehow disabling movement (translation)?

Thank you for any help.

Alex
moonmist.space/Inner-Out

Not sure what you are doing but you can pass any value you want to a transform/modify node that can affect the skeleton structure. Scale, position, and rotation (a transform) at runtime.

basically controlling something like a sock puppet.
this is super helpful thank you MostHost.

I was able to do this with morph targets and input mapping, then mapping controller input to each morph.