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Using UE to animate instead of Max? Is this a good idea?

Could UE be a quicker easier substitute for 3dsmax animations? Most of my renders have been showing how mechanical things work, some architectural.

Few things looking to simplify & reduce:

1- Rendering times. Waiting for frames.
2- Real time rendering. Getting photo real has been hard to learn.
3- Character Keyframing. Can UE pipeline make it easier to animate characters? I mean possibly by recording actual game play footage? Can a nice animation be done in realtime of character?

Also interested in making interactive scenes with VR. That of course can not be done in a traditional animation package. But my first concern is can UE replace simple animation work that does not require perfect lighting and GI. I guess that is the question.

Another thing is could the HTC Vive be a practical way to create motion capture in UE for making animations. Being that I am not a strong character rigger or character motion animator, looking for cheaper faster alternatives to do projects faster. Advise appreciated.

Yes and no. I think it really depends on your skill as well as your knowledge of Max.

I’m almost 100% sure Max will give you more freedom, but if you aren’t too skilled UE might be easier and therefore give better results.

~ Jason

You could probably create mechanical rigs with blueprints quite ok. Characters not so much. Ideal would be an “Create/Rig/Animate” panel in persona with :

  • way to create rigs (shouldn’t be too hard to wire up blueprints for this).
  • way to skin (again can’t see how this would be too hard to wire up)
  • save/cache the animation.

Or even better, make the whole thing live, so you could make/tweak animations on the fly in sequencer. Then maybe bake it down to an animation file in the end, so the rig doesn’t need to evaluate during gameplay.
Or keep the rig live so you can wire up IK functionality directly into gameplay.

It’s shouldn’t be TOO labour intensive since most of the individual features are already present in one form or another (curve editing, blueprints for rig building, skin data etc.). This would be a massive time saver
compared to animating in an external package and exporting data into the editor, just to notice something is off and re-do the entire process again.

But yeah that would be a nice editor feature for sure :slight_smile:

3ds Max has a lot more tools for animation, the only downside is that you have to export to UE4 to use them which slows down the process a bit. Still, for very simple stuff like some cinematic camera animation and platforms/doors it would be just fine to do it in UE4.

UE4 is not equipped for animation creation, 3DS Max is.
Can you do it? Yes, but it’ll be hard.