I want to create a sophisticated skeletal mesh consisting of several similar/equal submeshes and animations. I use Blender 2.78c and UE 4.16 (i. e. the latest versions).
My object is based on a simple mesh with an armature and an animation. Now I just want to copy mesh and animation three times, so that the centers of the resulting four objects build a tetrahedron. To understand what I mean, see the following screenshots of my unfold animation:
But this is only a preview!!! I made it “by hand” in a very tedious way. For my actual mesh and animation (that do not exist yet), I want to avoid animating four times instead of once as this animation shall be much more complicated. So the above works great, but I am asking for a clever way to simplify the task and to copy skeleton and animation. (Copying/Linking the base mesh and/or surface material would be a plus :-))
If you want to test yourself using my [blender file]: Look at layer 2. There you have got only one of the four arms including an animation. Copying and rotating this arm is a little bit tricky. (Hint: Use rotation mode ZYX and angles 60° for Z and -109.47° for Y.) Find out how to get the result into one mesh and one armature without destroying or rebuilding the animation. Layer 1 contains the tediously hand-made result, as I mentioned above.
Please note: This seems like a pure Blender specific question, but it is not. There are several ways to do this comfortably just in Blender, but no solution can be exported via FBX to Unreal.