UE4 Animation Retargeting Between Different Skeletons, Share Successes and Q's !

Dear Community,

I’m creating this new thread to accomplish three things

  1. Share what I’ve learned about Animation Retargeting with different skeletons

  2. Create a space so others can share their insights and tips and ask questions about the whole process

  3. Show animation retargeting between different skeletons in action via videos! Others are invited to share their successful retargeting videos as well!


I've created a wiki with my Animation Retargeting tips here!


For those of you knew to the UE4 Animation Retargeting system, by Lina Halper, it is an awesome new system that allows us to match custom custom character skeletons to the Epic Skeleton without having to alter the original asset’s rig or animations.

This allows you to post marketplace offerings that do not use the Epic skeleton directly, but instead you supply the Ue4 Rig Asset that you create and test to ensure that people who buy the skeletal mesh can retarget any of their animations to your custom skeletal mesh.

This ensures that the UE4 Marketplace is able to offer as many custom high quality skeletal meshes and animations as artists want to create or have already created!

I personally petitioned to Epic that the Animation Retargeting system be created so that artists did not have to re-rig and recreate all their animations in order to offer their skeletal meshes on the UE4 Marketplace.

I am very happy to now show a video of this system fully working, it’s a major victory for Epic and the UE4 Marketplace!

**Success Video**

Here is a video of a custom skeletal mesh using animations from the Movement Animset Pro Marketplace offering, which uses the Epic Skeleton!

The skeletal mesh is from !

I've been working with Lina on getting the Animation Retargeting system fully production-level ready, and this video is my demonstration that it is!

This video uses 4.5.1 which includes a very important fix for the UE4 Animation Retargeting system.

Enjoy the Video!

**As of 4.5.1 we can truly keep our custom skeletal mesh original rigs and animations and just use the UE4 Rig Asset, while still enabling everyone to use Animations that conform to the Epic Skeleton!**

This is awesome! This adds so much potential to various animation sets. Good job!

Great job Rama! Thanks for sharing this with everyone! :slight_smile:

Awesome, Rama! And thanks for the tutorial. :slight_smile:

thanks for posting this up.
I tried this with 4.4 but failed miserably. using the Epic skeleton is really not an option for me because I used biped which doesn’t allow to change the bone hierarchies, and I need to be able to use all my existing animations from my UDK game :slight_smile:
it’s strange though that it makes a new version of every animation that you retarget. I was kinda expecting an intermediate thing that hooks your skeleton to the other skeleton and works on the fly using the same animation assets. making this process every time you get a new/updated anim package from the marketplace might be too time consuming :confused:

anyway I’ll try it when I have some time (really want to set this up)

This is not run-time. We bake animation for fast look-up during run-time, and this requires run-time process, so we’re doing this offline for now. We’d like to do this for run-time, but we’ll see how this works first before going for that.



Thanks for the tutorial&tips.
But what about the other way around? Let say i have a custom rig with some animations i want to use in the default character (heroTPP/Epic Skeleton Character). Is this possible at all?
This is what i reported back to epic; tried this and ue4 just crashed:

  • Created the rig asset for the custom rig instead of the epic skeleton (t-pose’d the custom rig ofc)
  • Then matched all the bones i could in the epic skeleton
  • Tried retargetting selecting HeroTPP from the list (in the left there is the custom rig and in the right heroTPP)
  • And Boom! crash report window after ue4 closes.

Rama strikes again!
Fantastic Job :smiley:
I know a lot of people are going to benefit from this. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!


This is great! Unless I am misunderstanding this like mecanim in Unity? I never dreamed retargeting would come to UE4 this soon. I look forward to trying this feature.

Great to hear from you Jeremy!

This is great! Unless I am misunderstanding this like mecanim in Unity? I never dreamed retargeting would come to UE4 this soon. I look forward to trying this feature.

Yes it is exactly full animation retargeting, nothing less, thanks to Lina Halper, the Epic Engineer who made this awesome new system!

Can anyone else try this and let us know if you get a crash too, or if it works for you?

I am not denying your experience Meguido, I just want more repro cases to look at to know if this is particular to your project or not.

So anyone else please try his repro and see what happens for you!


PS: I am busy in c++ mode today, or I’d test it myself :slight_smile:

No problem Rama. I could just post a video if it’s necessary.
About the project related thing well i tested it in a blank project. But maybe have something to do with my install of ue4 (maybe something got corrupted or some weird thing). So yeah would be cool if others can test that out too and report it back.

Great to hear from you Meguido!

Anyone else can confirm this crash?


I finally had some time to try this today, and I had a crash just like Meguido.
the crash comes when I try to retarget one of the animations, after I have all the mapping of bones and pose done.

made an AnswerHub post with more details here]

Looks like your error is even worst than mine. I get preview of both t-posed meshes in the retarget animation window. But still the error pops up at the same moment.
After reading your answerhub post i found that you did it in the same way epic explains in the doc: I mean you create the rig using the skeleton from the herotpp (or the default ue4 character) and the retarget it to your own custom rig.
I did it the other way around; i imported my custom rig and created the rig asset for him and the applied it to the herotpp.
I did that because i don’t want to use basic ue4 animations on my custom rig but the custom rig’s animations into the herotpp.

I repro’ed getting a crash while trying to retarget my custom anims to the Epic skeleton today :slight_smile:

EDIT: It looks like Lina has already fix this crash and we can expect it in near future release! Yay!



Thank you and thanks very much to Lina.
I’m really waiting for this fix because i’m stucked in there si really looking forward for it.

Bumping this thread, feel free to share your success videos with Animation Retargeting here!

Here’s mine!


hi again,

using the 4.6 preview I was able to go some steps further. the preview still shows an empty grid but the crash is gone.

my problems don’t seem to be closer to being fixed though, rather it only seemed to open the door for more problems to come in :frowning:
here’s my new AnswerHub post]

Can someone point me in the direction of how one creates custom rig assets?

EDIT: Nevermind figured it out. The option is quite obscure, maybe consider exposing it into the Create - Animation menu?