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Animation notifies

Last updated by Chris Linder (DemiurgeStudios?) for adding how multiple events are processed in close proximity to one another. Original author was Nathaniel Brown (KungFuTheatreTeam?).


Animation notifies are one of the most useful abilities of the Unreal Engine's animation system. Especially post-829, since their functionality has been expanded a great deal. They allow you to insert callbacks into an animation at a given frame in the sequence, which can perform a variety of tasks. Some examples are, but not limited to the following, AnimNotify_Script (calls a uscript function), AnimNotify_Sound (plays a sound), and AnimNotify_Effect (spawns an effect, with options for attaching it to a bone).

In this article I'll try to go over how they work, how to use them, what the different types do, and how to add new ones. Also I'll provide an example class, which should ease you into how to create new types.

Note: This article should be useful for both artists, and programmers.


The animation code (UnSkeletalMesh.cpp) checks for a notify in each frame for each sequence (in case of skeletal blended animation). If you want to disable a notify, a native function is provided; EnableChannelNotify() (this is pretty useful for instances of blended animation where you may not want the notify to be called). Each AnimNotify_* object has a Notify() function, this is where the magic is done. Each type just overrides this to add its unique functionality.

Adding a notify

This is a relatively painless process; just go into the AnimationBrowser and select your mesh, and then the sequence you want to add a notify to. You'll see a box appear on the right panel of the browser window. It should say Animation. LOD, Mesh, Redigest, and Skin. Above that is a list of tabs, click on Notify. The item list should now just say Notify. If you click add and then new (not the button, just the text) you should be able to drop down a list of notify types you want to insert. You may have to adjust the box's size to fully see this. Once you have added your new notify type, then you need to type in the frame it should occur one (Note:. This is now displayed in frame numbers instead of time).

The major limitation with animation notifies is that you can not add two notifies at the same time. You should also never put a notify on the very last frame because this will interfere with the AnimEnd event. You can put notifies very very close to each other if you want then to occur at the "same" time. For example, one notify can be at frame 20.0 and the next one can be at frame 20.001. These two notifies will almost always be executed in the same tick but you can not guaranty it. If you must have two things happen at the same time, use an AnimNotify_Script and write a function to do what you want. One more thing to watch out for is that the engine can only execute four animation notifies in a single tick. If there are still more to process, they will be processed the next tick. Once again, if you are really packing in many many notifies, you should probably just write a function and use AnimNotify_Script .

Notify types

Below is a list of the various default notify types and what they do.


This notify generates an effect at the specified point in the animation, which can be either attached to a bone, spawned at a bone location, or spawned at the actors location, all of which can be offset by location and rotation.

Variable Description DataType
EffectClass Effect class type to spawn Class (Actor)
Bone Name of the bone to attach to, or spawn at (if any) Name
OffsetLocation Offset from the actor's location (or bone) Vector
OffsetRotation Offset from the actor's rotation (or bone) Rotator
Attach Whether or not to attach to the bone Bool
Tag Tag to use on the effect (for later destroying) Name
DrawScale Scale of the effect Float
DrawScale3D Axis scale of the effect Vector


DestroyEffect kills an effect created by AnimNotify_Effect. If an emitter is used you can opt to tell it to wait till all of the particles have died before being destroyed via bExpireParticles.

Variable Description DataType
DestroyTag Tag of the effect to destroy (set by AnimNotify_Effect) Name
bExpireParticles If effect is an emitter let all particle die before destroying Bool


A simple notify that plays a sound at the specified frame.

Variable Description DataType
Sound Name of the sound to be played Sound
Volume Volume of the sound Float
Radius Radius of the sound Int


The classic AnimNotify, this calls an UnrealScript function at the specified frame.

Variable Description DataType
NotifyName Name of the script function to call Name


This useful notify is for easy creation of new notifies that don't require c++ code. It has an Unrealscript event that gets fired at the appropriate frame, this allows for easy extensions. AnimNotify_Trigger is a good example of this.

Variable Description DataType


MatSubAction allows you to add a matinee subaction at a specific point in an animation. This could be extremely useful for triggering camera positions by gestures, or adding specific CameraEffects such as motion blur at a key point.

Variable Description DataType
SubAction Matinee subaction to perform MatSubAction (editinline)


This notify simply calls the Trigger() method of an actor whose Tag matches EventName.

Variable Description DataType
EventName Name of the actor's tag that you wish to trigger Name

Making new notifies, technical overview

Found in MakingNewAnimNotifies, for licensees only!