Can you use an existing skeleton/rig in the ART Animation tool in Maya?
So in Maya with the Animaiton and Rigging Toolset, you can create a skeleton and rig it to a mesh to get your character ready to animate. However I was wondering if its possible to use the Animation tool with the toolset with a mesh thats already skinned to a custom skeleton? In my case its a character from another game that has bones that control parts of the mesh like weapons, cloth, etc, and I don't think I'd be able to get those unique bones into the skeleton with the rigging tool of the toolset. The reason I ask is this is I want to be able to use the animation tools with the control rig and all the import/export features that would greatly increase efficiency in getting animations into UE4. Any ideas?
Hi Krailyx, There's probably a few ways to go about this, and without really looking at your current skeleton/rig, it's hard to say which one would be best.
Hacky Option 1: First off, you can't really just plug an existing skeleton into the ART toolset. Jeremy built it from the ground up to be an all-in-one rigging and animation solution. But, if you wanted to have the functionality of the UI and rig, while keeping your current skeleton, I think you could create a new skeleton that matched the proportions of your old one through the normal ART setup process (described here: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Content/Tools/MayaRiggingTool/RigTool_Rigging/index.html) and then constrain your old skeleton to the newly created one. So, it will still be driven by the ART control rig, but will preserve whatever naming convention, etc you have currently. The export animation functionality will not work however as it will export the new skeleton not your old one. So, at export time, you'll just have to grab your old hierarchy in the outliner, bake animation, and then export selected. Whew!
Option 2: Recreate the old skeleton in ART. I'm not sure how much you played around with ART, but there is support for adding extra bones for weapons, cloth, etc. Just look at that link I pasted above under 'Adding Extra Joints'.
Hope that helps, and if anything needs clarification or anything, just yell.
answered Mar 27 '14 at 12:56 PM
Ray Arnett STAFF
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