Retarget Unreal mannequin animations to Polygon characters

Learn how to retarget animations various UE mannequin-based animations to Polygon characters by Synty Studios.

There is bunch of great assets on the Unre­al Mar­ket­place from the Syn­ty Stu­dios called POLYGON. They include plen­ty of stuff, they are neat, but they all lack ani­ma­tions. If you’re read­ing this, then you have prob­a­bly tried to retar­get Poly­gon char­ac­ters to use Unre­al man­nequin-based ani­ma­tions (from packs like MCO Mocap Basics or the default ones) and end­ed up with some­thing like this:

Does­n’t look par­tic­u­lar­ly the same, eh?

The issue here is that the Poly­gon skele­ton uses a T‑pose, while the Unre­al skele­ton uses the A‑pose:

Let’s fix this real quick.

Step-by-step guide

1. Open the Unreal Skeleton

It’s called UE4_Mannequin_Skeleton in most cases.

2. Open the Retarget Manager

If you don’t have that tab opened, click the Retar­get Man­ag­er but­ton on the top toolbar

3. Make sure to select the Humanoid rig

It’s the drop­down option in the Set up Rig section:

4. Modify mannequin pose

Rotate the upperarm_l and upperarm_r up using the green axis, 50 degrees both.

Then the lowerarm_l and lowerarm_r slight­ly back using the blue axis, -20 degrees both.

Final­ly, rotate the lowerarm_l and lowerarm_r slight­ly down using the green axis, -10 degrees both.

You could also rotate the hand_l and hand_r slight­ly up, 10 degrees both.

Then click Mod­i­fy Pose and then Use Cur­rent Pose:

Save the file. Now the man­nequin is ready to be used to retar­get Poly­gon char­ac­ters animations.

5. Retarget the animation

In the con­tent brows­er, find the ani­ma­tion you want to retar­get, right-click it, hov­er the Retar­get Anim Assets and click Dupli­cate Anim Assets and Retar­get.

In the left side of win­dow that opens select the Poly­gon skele­ton (the name dif­fers from pack to pack, but in the City pack it’s called SK_Character_City_Rig), the pre­view of the skele­ton should appear in the right pre­view box. You can spec­i­fy the pre­fix, the suf­fix and choose to replace the part of the name of the ani­ma­tion you’re retar­get­ing. You can also spec­i­fy where the dupli­cat­ed ani­ma­tion will be stored:

If you look close­ly enough, you can see that some of the fin­gers don’t look that good, but it’s a small price for the ready animation!

If you pre­fer the video ver­sion on how to retar­get Poly­gon char­ac­ters, you can always watch the full video this tuto­r­i­al is based on. There’s also a chance you may want to read on var­i­ous post-pro­cess­ing set­tings in Unre­al Engine: How to Achieve Cin­e­mat­ic Qual­i­ty With Post-Process Effects in Unre­al Engine 4.

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