Using an existing Skeleton for a slightly modified Mesh

Hi guys I am in the process of creating a mod for a game, I want to use the skeleton and animations for an already created character but my character is shaped slightly differently so i had to re adjust the skeleton and it comes into UE4 all deformed,

Is their any way around this or will I have to create the Animations for the old skeleton from scratch since i moved the skeleton bones around,

If using skeletons again do they HAVE to fit inside a slightly different mesh ? or could I skin it with the bones being slightly out of place?

Please check out Animation Retargeting

TLDR; You can do this as long as you use the same structure(maybe with some additional bones)

Thanks alot for the info, If you dont mind which section should I be following:

  • Retargeting Using the Same Skeleton
  • Retargeting Using Different Skeletons

As it is basically the same skeleton but the bones have been moved around, but they are all named the same.

If you are using the same skeleton structure i you should go with the first option. By giving the same name to the bones your job just got easier because you do not need to manually map the names of the bones from the retarget manager. There is also a youtube tutorial series on animations that you should watch.

Ahh i see, I have another issue, when exporting the skeletal mesh I am basing my Character on, The bones rotation transformations are not zeroed out, same with the original mannequin from Ue4 template the rotations are not zeroed, am I missing something here?, I was under the impression before importing to a game engine (also before animating) the axis orientation’s need to be corrected + the rotations for the bones need to be zeroed.

I believe you need to either do that yourself inside maya before exporting (rotate the root), or do that inside the engine on the retarget manager, when you set the poses of the reference and target skeleton to match.

I figured it out, I followed the method 1 Retargeting Using the Same Skeleton.

Also when repositioning the existing skeleton I made sure I did it in the Translate XYZ and not mess with the Rotations as it would destroy the animations.