Introduction to 3D Character Animation in Unreal Engine 4

Video description

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) has emerged as a leading resource in the creation of games, animations, television shows, and illustrations. This course will help you animate your character in UE4 easily. It features all the required scene files and even makes it easy for you to just drag and drop your character in the scene to make it ready to go.

The course will take you through the essential steps that need to be taken for the character to be able to accept motion capture animations in Mixamo and then get imported into Unreal Engine.

Even though Mixamo discontinued direct support for Unreal Engine, the following method works by exporting standard FBX from Mixamo to UE4 -

You’ll upload your character to Adobe Mixamo and add motion capture animations. All you need to do is click on the animated preview and it will be applied to your character. As you hit play, the animation begins, being rendered in real-time. You can adjust the speed of the animation and other aspects too. As your character will not already have its materials or textures applied, you’ll be able to do that in UE4. You’ll find 28 animated aliens, ready for you to drag and drop into your Unreal Engine scene for instant animations.

Next, you’ll work with the Unreal Engine Sequencer, which is similar to a non-linear editor. You will set up your scene, complete with spaceship interiors, Exile Alien characters, lights, smoke effects, and cameras, and get it ready for animation. As you progress, you will export your movie in high definition in real-time. No longer will it take hours or days to render a single frame; it will be entirely possible to complete even a 2-hour feature film in 120 days using UE4.

Toward the end, you will take your rendered video file and bring it to HitFilm Express, or your favorite video editing program, where you will add color grading, music, and sound effects, and fine-tune your edits to prepare the scene for final output.

By the end of this course, you will have completed your own animation scene, and have a solid understanding of Unreal Engine's animation workflow.

What You Will Learn

  • Explore the benefits of real-time rendering and animation
  • Export a Genesis character from DAZ Studio, and import it to Mixamo to prepare for animation
  • Export the character and animations from Mixamo and then import them to UE4
  • Use physically based rendering (PBR) materials in your scene to achieve ultra-realism
  • Color grade your scene with HitFilm 3 Express and upload your finished scene to YouTube
  • Gain access to a tutorial on how to use Unreal Engine 4 s ‘Decals’ that will give your scene a new level of realism


This course is for artists, filmmakers, and game developers interested in creating stunning cinematic animations in UE4.

About The Author

Michael Ricks: Michael Ricks is an animator, VFX artist, and an independent filmmaker. He has been making films and creating visual effects for Indie films for over 15 years. Upon discovering Unreal Engine 4, Michael was overwhelmed by its realistic real-time rendering engine. In the past, it would take hours, if not days, to render each frame of an animation and it was impossible for an independent artist to complete a full-length film, but Unreal Engine 4 has leveled the playing field. It has enabled the storyteller to create their vision with their animation skillset. No longer will you be held back due to the limitations of technology - join Michael on this fun and creatively satisfying journey to explore the interesting UE4 toolset now!

Table of contents

  1. Chapter 1 : Introduction
    1. What you will learn in this course about Unreal Engine 4
    2. This is the Unreal Engine 4 movie scene you will be creating in this course
  2. Chapter 2 : Download Unreal Engine 4, DAZ Studio HitFilm3 Express
    1. Video: Download the programs you'll need (all are free)
  3. Chapter 3 : Quick Start - Let's Have Some Fun!
    1. Getting around Unreal Engine 4 - A quick tour of the basics of getting around.
    2. Your First Practice Animation Exercise - Let's Jump Right In!
    3. HD Video Of Your Practice Scene
    4. Depth of Field in Unreal Engine 4
  4. Chapter 4 : Preparing Your Character For Animation and Export From DAZ Studio
    1. DAZ Studio Export - Genesis 2 Character
    2. DAZ Studio Export - Genesis 3 Character
    3. DAZ Studio Export - SciFi Interior
    4. DAZ Studio Export - Genesis 8 Character
  5. Chapter 5 : Mixamo Animation - Now let's make your character move!
    1. An Introduction to the Amazing Adobe Mixamo Animation System
    2. Uploading Your DAZ Genesis 2 Character To Mixamo
    3. Uploading your Genesis 3 Character to Mixamo
  6. Chapter 6 : Unreal Engine 4: Lights, Camera…ACTION!
    1. Import Your DAZ Genesis Character and Mixamo Animations
    2. Setup Your SciFi Alien Interior in Unreal Engine 4
    3. Setup Light Shafts and Fog Effects for Moodiness In Your Scene
    4. Adding Your Characters To The Scene
    5. Add Particle Effects - Smoke, Steam Fire!
    6. The Unreal Engine Sequencer - Let The Magic Begin!
    7. The Unreal Engine Sequencer: Creating Your 2nd Shot
    8. The Unreal Engine Sequencer: Creating Your 3rd Shot
  7. Chapter 7 : HitFilm 3 Express - Editing Your Scene
    1. HitFilm3 Express: Importing Your Footage Music
    2. HitFilm3 Express: Color Grading Your Footage
    3. Preview of Allrightrig - lip sync animation within Unreal Engine 4 coming soon!
  8. Chapter 8 : Adobe Fuse, Mixamo Unreal Engine 4
    1. Adobe Fuse Character Creation Part 1
    2. Adobe Fuse Character Creation Part 2
  9. Chapter 9 : How to Create Materials in Unreal Engine 4
    1. How to export textures from DAZ and create materials in Unreal Engine 4
  10. Chapter 10 : Get Your FREE Paragon Characters from Epic Games!
    1. Cool Things Coming Up

Product information

  • Title: Introduction to 3D Character Animation in Unreal Engine 4
  • Author(s): Michael Ricks
  • Release date: May 2020
  • Publisher(s): Packt Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781800565708