Blending Animations & Properties

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When creating cinematic sequences, there may be times where you want to have a character in your scene move around or perform some kind of animation. In Sequencer, this is done by adding a Skeletal Mesh Actor to a Level Sequence then adding an Animation sub-track and specifying the animation that you want the Actor to perform. Sequencer enables you to crossfade and blend animations (as well as property values) automatically by dragging and dropping a property tracks onto an existing property track. When doing so, an automatic blend is applied which you can tune and tweak with easing properties or by defining your own custom curve asset.

In this guide, we create a sample sequence of animations where a character blends from a walk into a jump and back to a walk again.

AnimationBlending.png

Steps

For this how-to, we are using the Blueprint Third Person Template project with Starter Content Enabled.

  1. Inside your project, from the Main Toolbar, click the Cinematics button and Add Level Sequence.

    CharacterAnim_01.png

  2. In the Content Browser under Content/Mannequin/Character/Mesh, drag the SK_Mannequin into the level.

    CharacterAnim_02.png

  3. With the SK_Mannequin asset still selected, click the Track button in Sequencer to add it to your Level Sequence.

    CharacterAnim_03.png

  4. Click the Animation button on the new Skeletal Mesh Track and assign the ThirdPersonWalk animation.

    CharacterAnim_04.png

  5. Scrub the timeline to 30 and click the Animation button and add the ThirdPersonJump_Start animation.

    CharacterAnim_05.png

  6. Left-click and drag the ThirdPersonJump_Start animation in the tracks window onto the ThirdPersonWalk back to frame 25.

    CharacterAnim_06.png

    When dragging an animation on the timeline, negative numbers indicate how many frames you're moving back in the timeline, whereas positive numbers indicate how many frames you're moving forward in the timeline.

  7. Add the ThirdPersonJump_Loop at frame 39, then drag it backwards onto ThirPersonJump_start and crossfade it starting at frame 34.

    CharacterAnim_07.png

  8. Add the ThirdPersonJump_End animation and crossfade it 2 frames.

    CharacterAnim_08.png

  9. Add the ThirdPersonWalk and crossfade it for 3 frames.

    CharacterAnim_09.png

  10. At the start of one of the crossfades, right-click on the up triangle icon to bring up the Easing Curve options.

    CharacterAnim_10.png

  11. Under the Options section, select any of the desired Easing options to define how the curve is performed.

    CharacterAnim_11.png

    Alternatively, you can change the Method to Curve Asset.

    CharacterAnim_12.png

    When doing so, the Option section will enable you to define which custom Curve asset you want to use.

    CharacterAnim_13.png

  12. Scrub the timeline through the sequence to see the blending or click the Preview Play button.

End Result

Your sequence now includes a Skeletal Mesh with multiple animations that smoothly blend together with easing options available that you can use to tune the blend.

Blending by Weight Values

Another method of animation blending can be performed using the Weight sub-tracks on an animation track.

Below, we have one animation with a Weight value of 1.0 and another animation with a Weight value of 0.0.

CharacterAnim_14.png

We then scrub the timeline ahead and reverse the Weight values for each which produces an interpolation between the two values causing the animations to blend.

CharacterAnim_15.png

Blending Property Values

Blending is not restricted to animations, any 2D/3D transforms, vectors, colors, or floats can also be automatically blended.

By default, transform, vector, colors and similar tracks are set to Infinite which means the property value is persistent throughout the sequence. By turning this option off and using property Sections, you can blend those Sections together. In the example video below, we blend the color of a light over time within Sequencer using a similar approach to this guide.

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