Retarget Manager

The Retarget Manager within the Skeleton Editor allows you to manage your retarget sources, set up rigs and define retarged base poses for use with Animation Retargeting for characters that do not share the same Skeleton asset. You can open the Retarget Manager from the Toolbar of the Skeleton Editor.

Manage Retarget Source

Since retargeting uses the Skeleton asset, and since the Skeleton has its original proportions defined by the Skeletal Mesh for which it was initially created, it follows that one-directional retargeting will work smoothly in most cases. However, there will often come times when you will have special animations that are built just for the variant versions. For example, suppose you have multiple characters that share the same Skeleton asset (a base character, a short character and a tall character) and you have a special animation that was created just for the tall version of the character.

If you imported this new "tall-only" animation in, you would still need to use the same Skeleton asset as before, which was created from the base version of the character. This will cause the new animation's proportions to be distorted. The solution is to use the Manage Retarget Source option within the Retarget Manager which allows you to associate an Animation Sequence with the actual Skeletal Mesh for which it was designed. In this way, any problems of retargeting for special animations will be fixed.

Think of the Mange Retarget Source as a list of Skeletal Meshes that you can use to designate proportions. If you ever need a special animation for a retargeted Skeletal Mesh, you would need to make sure that the mesh was listed as a retarget source, steps for which are outlined below.

  1. Inside the Skeleton Editor, from the Toolbar click the Retarget Source Manager button.


  2. Click the Add New Retarget Source button.


  3. Choose the Skeletal Mesh for which the special animation was created.


    You should now see that Skeletal Mesh listed in the Retarget Manager.


  4. Open the special case Animation Sequence intented for your specific Skeletal Mesh.

  5. In the Asset Details panel, locate the Animation category and locate the Retarget Source property and choose your Skeletal Mesh from the dropdown menu.


    By choosing this mesh, you are specifying that you want to use the proportions of that mesh to drive this animation.

Set up Rig


The middle section of the Retarget Manager allows you assign a Rig to the Skeleton which can be used to pass animation data to a different Skeleton that uses the same Rig. This process is needed in order to perform any animation retargeting for characters that use different Skeleton assets. You can select the Rig to use from the Select Rig drop-down option where a Humanoid option is available which you will want to select for most characters (future engine updates may include the ability to create Rigs).


Once you assign the Humanoid Rig, you will need to assign Bones from the Skeleton that correspond to the same (or similar) location as the Node on the Rig. You can the drop-down menu for Node and manually assign the corresponding Bone from your Skeleton, or you can use the Auto Mapping feature located at the top of the menu. This will look through your Skeleton and attempt to find the best matching Bone for each Node on the Rig.

The Clear Mapping button will wipe all the currently assigned Bones from their corresponding Node assignment while the Show Advanced button will allow you to assign additional Node/Bone correlations for things like finger digits, IK Bones or Twist Bones. Once you set up the Rig for your source Skeleton (or the Skeleton asset that drives the animation that you want to retarget to another character), you will need to go into the Skeleton of the target Skeleton and assign the same Rig and define the Bones in the new Skeleton that best match up with the Nodes on the Rig.

Please see Using Retargeted Animations for a step-by-step guide on setting up a Rig to retaget animations between characters that use different Skeletons.

Manage Retarget Base Pose

There may be instances where you want to retarget animations to a Skeleton that is not quite using the same base pose as your Source Skeleton.

Take for example the Skeleton in the image below on the right when attempting to retarget an animation:


Our Source Skeleton (left) is in a A-Pose while our Target Skeleton is using an T-Pose. If we were to retarget animations as is now, we may encounter issues:


Above we have our target animation on the left of a character holding a shotgun, however when we retarget the animation to our new character on the right (because they are using different base poses) the arm positioning is not correct. We can fix this by Retargeting the Base Pose inside the Retarget Manager which allows us to define a retargeted Base Pose to use for animation retargeting purposes rather than using the characters normal Base pose.

We can select the Bones in our character and rotate them (in this case the Left and Right Shoulders) so that our character is in an A-Pose, then we click Save Pose:


Now when we go to retarget that animation, we will see the updated retargeted base pose:


And when we retarget animations for Skeletons that have more similar base poses, we get better looking results from the retargted animation: