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2 - Your Character - Creating a Shadow Physics Asset

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Prerequisite Topics

This page assumes you have prior knowledge of the following topics. Please read them before proceeding.

With your project ready to go, in this step, we'll create a new Physics Asset for the Third Person Character's Skeletal mesh that will be used for shadow representation with Capsule Shadows.

Steps

  1. Inside of the Content Browser, use the folder hierarchy to navigate to Mannequin > Character > Mesh folder. Here you will find the asset named SK_Mannequin, which you'll use. Select it, and then right-click, to bring up the context menu. From there, select Create > Physics Asset > Create.

    ContextMenuCreatePA.png

  2. After you click Create, the New Asset window will open to create the new Physics Asset. Set the Minimum Bone Size to 15 and then click OK.

    NewPhysicsAsset.png

    Only use Sphyl bodies for the best result. Sphere bodies will also work, but they are not as flexible in their use with character Skeletal Meshes.

  3. Next, the Physics Asset Tool (PhAT) will open with your new Physics Asset for the Skeletal Mesh SK_Mannequin.

    PA_Character.png

  4. This is an optional step. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you take a moment and give your newly created Physics Asset a name. Do this by minimizing the PhAT window, and in the Content Browser, locate the Physics Asset that was created for SK_Mannequin in your Mesh folder. Give it a name so that you can locate it later ("SPA_Mannequin" would be a good name). Once you've done this, you can maximize the PhAT window again.

    CB_SPA_Mannequin.png

  5. In the PhAT window, you'll now want to adjust the various Physics Bodies, so that the capsule represents the character more accurately. This will require deleting some existing bodies, along with scaling and rotating the remaining ones to better fit. Below, you'll find a list of things you should keep in mind when adjusting and removing your capsules:

    • Limit the number of bodies by removing unnecessary capsules; like hands, arms, multiple capsules for the torso and neck, etc.

    • Foot capsule placement is very important to make your character look grounded, and may need to be tweaked later to look more accurate.

    • Use a little bit of overlap between the capsules's joints to avoid gaps in the shadow.

    • Capsules for the arms are not necessary for this Quick Start and can be removed.

  6. When you are finished with your adjustments, you should have something that looks similar to this. The placement does not have to be perfect and can easily be tweaked later to refine any shadowing issues that you may run into.

    PA_CharacterAdjusted.png

End Result

Now that the Physics Asset for the character's capsule representation is complete, you should be familiar with the process of creating a new Physics Asset and setting it up to represent your character with as few bodies as possible.

Before.png

After.png

Before: 21 Capsule Bodies

After: 10 Capsule Bodies

In the next step, we'll assign our new Physics Asset to our Skeletal Mesh.

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