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Developer's Workshop: Animation Blending

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Shadow Elusive
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Joined: 01/10/2013 - 09:38
Developer's Workshop: Animation Blending

So there's this nifty feature Unreal Engine 4 has called animation blending. It allows automatic, live blending of one animation into the next, and allows us to put all kinds of things together without having to customize the animations to flow into each other.

This obviously works wonders for how good just about anything you do in-game looks. In the gifs to come, the character in simple spandex – we'll call him Simple Spandex Man from here on - represents how smooth the animation blending works, when it works. That part is being played by Simple Spandex Man because what we're really testing in these shots, is being able to use animation blending on characters in cutscenes (using the in-engine system Sequencer). So they match up to the game performance. Simple Spandex Man is using standard skeletal meshes.

That mean looking guy is an NPC named Rottweiler, a vigilante of Titan City. In this case, he also represents a character blueprint in action (all attacks you see are real attack animations for in-game use). The character blueprint contains all the skeletal meshes at work in the character. Comparing his movements to the simple spandex character lets us see if the skeleton meshes bundled into the character blueprint are blending as well as the defaults. Admittedly, the dev decided he may as well make it look fun.

The answer, at first, was no. For whatever reason, our animation blueprints was bugging out on it. But we fixed it, and now when you put both next to each other and try to make them do the same thing, they behave exactly the same way.

It's always something in development. Till next time Titans.

Note: sequence of animations being blended here is run, jump, flip, fly.

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Interior Map Lead and UI Designer