Hello, my name is Alejandro Gorgal (everybody calls me Alex or Linfo though); Im the character modeler and animator of "Depth", making divers so you can tear them apart.

Posted by linfosoma on May 11th, 2010

Im not sure if anyone actually reads my blog posts but whatever, it may be of use to someone.

Anyway, now that the characters for Depth are finished Im currently working on rigging and animations.
This is very fun stuff, and not that hard either.

Im doing both the rigging and animation in Blender, and exporting to UDK using a psk/psa plugin which can be found here.

There are several tutorials regarding rigging an animation that can be found in youtube which I can also link if required, but I will use this post to discuss the problems (and solutions) that I encountered along the way:

1-My rig is too small/offset:

If you import your psk into UDK and your rig is too small, you will need to resize both the armature and the mesh separately in edit mode before exporting. Resizing the armature in object mode will look fine in Blender but will cause your skeleton to be offset in UDK, so set the scale back to 1 if you did that by mistake.
Since you have to manually rezise both the armature and mesh separately, it's better to try and find the correct scale for your mesh before you start doing any serious weight painting work.

2-My animation is going super fast:

So, you made your first animation and import it into UDK, then when you play it it goes super fast.
There's two ways to solve this problem, the first is to adjust the framerate in Blender before exporting (try a value between 5 and 10 fps), the seccond is to adjust the "animation rate" settting in UDK.

3-My animation looks weird in other characters, but Im suing the same rig:

If you used the same skeleton in several characters (which is always a good idea for several reasons) you should be able to use the same .psa (animation files) in all of them. A problem that I encountered is that in some characters this would look wrong. Why? Because even though they have the same bones they do not have the same rotation/location/scale.
The best way to fix this is to clear the rotation of all the bones before you start animating (you can do this in Blender by selecting all the bones in EDIT mode, and hitting ctrl+N, then pick clear rotation).
You may need to manually adjust the rotation of a few bones, my suggestion is to make a very simple animation (one that is only 1 keyframe long works) and test it out in UDK until you get it right.

Ok, I think those are probably all the biggest problems I had to figure out on my own, at least with this Im hoping you wont have to!

If you have questions about rigging, animation, or inverse kinematics in Blender drop me a message and I'll see if I can help you out.

Alex-

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