While working on my Superman Project I had to create some flying poses using Unreal’s animation system. Now that I’ve got the hang of the system it isn’t that tough to use but things like bringing all the fingers in to make a fist felt a lot clunkier than it needed to. I thought that it might be a lot easier just to be able to grab and pose the character in VR.
So I dug around in UE4 and found that they had some basic support for a manually posed character. From there I added support for visualizing the bones, posing them, and moving around the entire mesh to make it easier to animate without having to bend down etc…
From there I worked on saving a pose out to an Animation Sequence and eventually allowing multiple poses to be saved out at hard-coded one second intervals to start, which leads to the jerky mess you see here:
My next step was to add a basic timeline interface to allow people to place keyframes where they wanted and overwrite/delete them afterwards. To fully support this I had to add in animation playback by interpolating between the keyframed poses the user had saved. I’d consider this the most barebones possible toolset to create an animation. I keep things simple here to suit my skill level:
Overall I’ve been really happy with how the project has progressed. It’s in a working state right now but I’d like to speed up the posing process. Right now you shift everything bone-by-bone and you have a very fine degree of control over the final pose. My next step is to look into IK and maybe some physics animations to allow the user to create quick and fun animations and make the experience more friendly and inviting. It still has yet to pass the “Mom test” of usability so that’s what I’m gunning for next!