Blueprint for Cycling Multiple Idle Animations

What makes games really pop and come to life are the small things. One of the most important of these is variation in character idle animations. Perhaps the most iconic of which are idle and repeat click animations on peasants and grunts in the Warcraft series of video games.

Achieving the same result in Unreal Engine 4 is pretty straight forward.

First we setup some preliminary variables in the AnimBlueprint for the 3d character model that shall have multiple Idle Animations.

Initial Setup

 

Then we take the first sequence pin to setup Speed and IsInAir variables. The speed variable will drive the locomotion 1D blend animations while the IsInAir variable controls animations for falling and jumping.

Update speed and check if jumping

 

And lastly we take the second sequence pin to set the switch boolean “Show Wait Anim” whenever a certain amount of time has lapsed. The blueprint starts counting time if speed is zero and hence the character is not moving.

Cycle Wait animation

 

If the character moves the timer is reset, the alternative idle animation is played and the timer is reset again to replay after another time interval.

This is a very simple system that can easily be expanded for more complex animations including variations in time and order of animations. So for example a character that is standing still might look around or shuffle in place every little while for a much more realistic and convincing appearance.

Unreal Engine 4 Intro

Unreal Engine 4 is a game development engine from Epic Games capable of creating AAA quality games for a long list of platforms. You can create game packages for Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux, Android, HTML5, Play Station 4 and Xbox One.

I’ve put together these videos using Unreal Engine 4. It is remarkable how quickly you can achieve decent looking results. The programming for the games is done in C++ and Blueprint a UE4 node based visual scripting language.

This short demo shows some of the basic movement and camera effects you can put together with UE4.

 

The following short tutorial talks about the AnimGraph where the animation system is controlled.

The models and other assets in this video are from a large set of free samples provided with Unreal Engine. You are also free to modify and reuse UE4 provided samples in your own games commercially.

 

If you have any questions or comments please leave a comment. You can also check out my channel for more details at YouTube Channel on Unreal Engine 4