Procedural Body Parts.

So i want to make a character that can change body parts. I’m not sure how to go about this with a skeleton though. For example the character has small arms to start with that have animation. Then can change to huge muscular arms. How would the workflow be for this? Will i need to re rig and animate for each type of arm or other body part i want to change. I Just want to swap out the mesh but keep the animations somehow.

Does anyone know how to deal with this?

You could do that with Morph targets.

morph targets are chabges to the same mesh arent they? I want to use different meshes.

Yes, morph targets are changes to the mesh’s vertices.
You could scale down the bones of your arms and place your muscular arms in.

Ok i found something pretty much like how i want this to turn out. Would this morph target way give me a result like Skylanders Imaginators? Where i can change mesh and keep the same skeleton.


will morph targets give the same result?

Another option, and the one we use, is that components of a character model can share the same skeleton in UE4 and the sum of all parts composited as a character BP. As demonstrated in the video the body would be a separate component from the head and the head a unique component from the body.

Yes, That is what i was thinking. But how do you have those different components with the same skeleton? Would i need to rig each new component then retarget animations or is there a easier way?

When importing a character model into UE4 for the first time you always have three elements that can be imported as part of a single process. Animation,Mesh, and Skeleton are considered as being unique and can be instanced onto different characters so the first time you import your character model you will need the skeleton at least and the body mesh, as in this example, as the mesh component. The second component, as in a head would be exported as per the body component with the same skeletal information as the original first import so the second time you import, for the head in this instance, you would tell the importer to use the first rig imported as part of the body component.

The two components now share the same rig and will accept he same matched animation data.

Ok i think i understand now. So if i make animation where the skeleton turns his head. Then when i import a new head mesh i just assign that skeleton to it and it has the animation also?

In a nutshell yes. You can import either the mesh with out animations or animations with out mesh detail and assign it to use the first skeleton that you imported and then composite what ever character you wish

Also does the new component have to be rigged or can i just assign the skeleton to a non rigged mesh. I dont really understand how it will detect which part of the mesh to replace though. So you dont have like a arm where the head should be.