Ragdoll 101 tutorial series

I’ve been playing around with ragdoll physics lately and made a few tutorials with my findings. The videos were recorded over a few weeks, which means that during that time, i found out i made a few mistakes along the way, but i will correct them in the videos, so this should also give a good impression of the process i went through to get this working.

So hope you enjoy and check it out: Character ragdoll physics and animation - YouTube

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Watching and subscribed within 5 mins, so many thanks. I like that you are taking the time to describe issues and working around problems.

Its amazing what people share which is what make UE4 community wonderful , I wonder what kind of games we will see after 2 years from now . thanks a lot for the great tutorials .

Thanks for finding and posting on my answerhub question (from over a year ago too). I had most of the ragdoll system stuff sorted (impacts, blending, partial simulation, variable joint stiffnesses, etc), I just couldn’t work out how to blend smoothly back into animation. Moving the capsule every tick (instead of freezing the capsule) during simulation seems to have fixed that.

I may as well just repost my thanks here too:

Thanks all for the kind words :slight_smile:

i was searching for tut like this for some time! thanks thanks thanks!


Great series, love it.

In video 12, around the 22:50 mark you encountered stretching artifacts when dismembering the mannequin.
So far I tested with the mannequin, the Trooper from the sequencer demo, all skeletal meshes in the kite demo, some assets from the market and with characters generated both in Mixamo and iClone as well - with all these I encounter the same issues (actually the mannequin had the least artifacts). Not one character was ok in that regard.

You commented on it being a bad job at skinning the character - can you confirm that this is the case and not an issue with UE4, i.e. breaking of constraints?

Hi Hoaxx,

Glad you liked it. I just assumed it was something with the skinning, but didn’t check it to be honest. In anyway, normally i guess if it’s some kind of humanoid character, an arm or leg or whatnot will consist of a continous mesh and not like the UE4 Mannequin which is segment into these robotic pieces. So the reason i can get away with dismembering it like that, is probably because of the skinning it self. If that assumption is correct, it will most likely not be a good way to do dismemberment for sure.

In any way, thanks for putting this to my attention. In order to make better dismemberment i guess we need to do it with seperate skeletal pieces and placeholders for stumps and stuff. Hope that made sense.

Its amazig, many thanks for ur work!
Btw i have a mixamo character with retargeted bones and animations, and therefore NO root bone name. (only hips as pelvis). And when i tried to add a physics body to root bone(using hips for that purpose) like u did in tutorial, i had glitching physic with my char. Especially with auto assigned physics bodies from FBX model import.
Sorry for my language :rolleyes:

Not sure if this thread is still active but I figured I’d ask

I made a custom model and retargeted the animations from the default character to it. When I try to follow this video, my character goes crazy. It looks to me like setting the position of the capsule on tick just makes the mesh object move upward, which then makes the capsule move up. This makes the character launch up into the sky and never stop.

Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

don’t know for sure, but sounds like something is colliding and ejecting him up. I’ve seen that happen too. Check you don’t have unwanted collisions.

Thanks for the quick reply. It appears that I cannot move the capsule independent of the mesh. The mesh always is attached to the center of the capsule even if I change the capsule’s world position

Edit: This is what it looks like without adding the height vector

The mesh is pinned to the center of the capsule

Since it’s a long time since i did this, i can’t remember all the details, but there was quite a few steps to take to get this to work. To me it looks like you need to set your capsule to simulate physics.

that was good stuff