Introduction To Character Animation In Unreal Engine 4

Michael Ricks, Animator, VFX Artist

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24 Videos (4h 1m)
    • Animate Your Character In Unreal Engine 4

      5:50
    • Download Links For Programs REV

      2:58
    • Quick Start

      8:45
    • Practice Animation Scene

      37:44
    • Practice Animation HD Output

      0:47
    • Depth of Field

      4:47
    • DAZ Studio Export Genesis 2

      4:39
    • DAZ Studio Export Genesis 3

      4:59
    • Genesis 8 Character Export to Mixamo then UE4

      8:25
    • DAZ Studio Export SciFi Interior

      6:29
    • Mixamo Introduction

      3:07
    • Mixamo Upload Genesis 2 Character

      6:17
    • Mixamo Upload Genesis 3 character

      3:29
    • Import Genesis 2 to UE4

      14:11
    • Setup Your SciFi Interior In Unreal Engine

      18:55
    • Light shafts and fog effects

      11:42
    • Adding Your Characters To The Scene

      11:06
    • Add Steam, Smoke and Fire Effects

      8:08
    • Lights Camera Action 01

      26:45
    • The Unreal Engine Sequencer Shot #2

      11:44
    • The Unreal Engine Sequencer Shot #3

      20:29
    • HitFilm3 Express Importing Our Footage

      5:45
    • HitFilm3 Express Color Grading

      5:36
    • Conclusion Video

      8:40

About This Class

What You Will Learn In This Course

In this course we will cover the steps on how to animate your character in Unreal Engine 4.  This is a project based course, and I’ve designed it to be really, really fun!  All the scene files you will need are included in the course.  You will get the Exile Alien character along with 28 motion-capture animations that work with him.  You’re going to love how easy it is - you just drag and drop your character in the scene and it’s ready to go!

We’re also going to cover lighting, physically based materials, camera movement and much more.  Best of all it’s FUN! 

DAZ Studio Export

We will cover how to prepare your DAZ Genesis character for export and animation.  There are certain steps that need to be taken in order for the character to be able to accept motion-capture animations in Mixamo and then imported into Unreal Engine 4.

Mixamo

Next, we’ll upload your character into Adobe Mixamo and add motion-capture animations.  Mixamo is a ton of fun, and super easy to use as you’ll see.  There are literally thousands of animations in Mixamo, and all you have to do is click on the animated preview and it will be applied to your character.  So you’re basically auditioning your character using different animations.   You can adjust the speed of the animation, and adjust things like the arm spacing as well.  Your character won’t have his materials or textures applied - we will do that over in Unreal Engine 4.

Unreal Engine 4 - Drag and Drop Animation

Inside of Unreal Engine we will have some fun with the Mixamo animations you applied to your character.  All you have to do is select your character and drag him into your scene.  Hit play, and the animation begins, being rendered in real-time!

An Army of Animated Aliens

Inside the course, there are 28 animated aliens, ready for you to drag and drop into your Unreal Engine 4 scene for instant animations!  In no time at all, you’ll have your aliens fighting, jumping, running, or falling.  You’ll have enough animations to make some really awesome movie scenes!  

Unreal Engine 4 Sequencer

Next up is the Unreal Engine Sequencer, which is very similar to a non-linear editor.  We will set up your scene, complete with spaceship interior, Exile alien characters, lights, smoke effects and cameras and get it ready for animation.  Sequencer makes it really fun to get your scene set up and feels very similar to being on a real movie set.  In  fact, I’ve found that’s the best way to think about it - like you’re in the real world.  Unreal Engine’s lighting system behaves like real world lights, so it’s very responsive and intuitive, as you will see.

Exporting your video file - and rendering in near real time!

Now we will export your movie in high-definition... in near real time!  No longer does it take hours or days to render a single frame!  This is a real game changer!  Imagine being able to setup, animate and then render 1 minute of finished animation per day...it would be entirely possible to complete a  2 hour feature film in 120 days!  Unreal Engine has provided the tools to make this possible some day.

HitFilm3 Express

We will then take our rendered video file and bring it into HitFilm3 Express, or your favorite video editing program. There we will add color grading, music, sound effects and fine tune our edits to prepare our scene for final output.

Your finished High-Definition Scene

By the end of the course you will have completed your own animation scene from beginning to end and have a good understanding of Unreal Engine 4's animation workflow.

Get Started Now

Click the download link below or in the project section to get immediate access to your scene files and get started right away!   

Unreal Engine 4 Alien Spaceship Project

Please note: This is a large file, approx 1.6 gigabytes and contains the entire Unreal Engine 4 Project file.

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To recap, you’ll get:

  • The Exile Alien Character along with 28 motion-capture animations

  • The complete Unreal Engine 4 project with all assets

  • The Genesis 2 Male and Female characters

  • Complete sci-fi spaceship interior

  • Best of all, it’s FUN!  See you on the inside!

4 of 4 students recommendSee All

Great class! Looking forward to the next one!

63

Students

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Projects

Michael Ricks

Animator, VFX Artist

I've been making films and doing visual effects on indie films for over 15 years. When I discovered Unreal Engine 4 I was blown away by it's realistic real-time rendering engine!  I immediately saw that Unreal Engine (UE4) was a game changer and that it had now become possible for a small studio consisting of a few artists to pull off a Hollywood quality feature length animated film! 

In the past it would take hours, if not days, to render each frame of an animation, which ma...

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