Introduction To 3D Character Animation In Unreal Engine 4!
4.5 (280 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,914 students enrolled

Introduction To 3D Character Animation In Unreal Engine 4!

Bring A Character To Life In Unreal Engine 4! Scene Files Included - Build Your 3D Animation From Start To Finish!
4.5 (280 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,914 students enrolled
Created by Michael Ricks
Last updated 5/2020
English
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $129.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 35% off
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This course includes
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 12 articles
  • 9 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will learn how to create a stunning cinematic animation scene in Unreal Engine 4, from beginning to end
  • You will learn how to create the scene in the "Preview This Course" video, step-by-step
  • You will receive all scene files including alien character, male & female characters, spaceship interior & music
  • Learn the benefits of "real-time rendering and animation" - a true game changer in the industry
  • You will learn how to export a Genesis character from DAZ Studio, and import it to Mixamo to prepare for animation
  • Learn how to export the character and animations from Mixamo and then import them to Unreal Engine 4
  • You will learn how to use realistic PBR (Physically based rendering) Materials in your scene to give ultra realism
  • You will learn how to create smooth camera moves inside Unreal Engine 4, giving your scene a professional cinematic look and feel
  • You will learn how to color grade your scene with HitFilm 3 Express ( a free video editing program) and upload your finished scene to YouTube
  • BONUS MATERIAL: You will get a tutorial on how to use Unreal Engine 4's "Decals" which will give your scene a new level of realism
Requirements
  • This course is for beginner to intermediate animators.
Description


TESTIMONIAL

"One word for this course . . . "FANTASTIC"! This course is as close to perfection as you can get. The instructor speaks slowly, with enthusiasm. He covers all the necessities without bogging you down with too much info. I love how he gets you having fun quickly with the Sequencer section. The audio is of great quality. His depth of knowledge in a variety of 3D packages is amazing. I am familiar with DAZ3D, Mixamo and Unreal but I learned so many great tips and discovered several things that I was doing incorrectly. I searched Youtube for UE4 sequencer tutorials and found none of them to be satisfactory. After ten minutes with this course, I was very confident with Sequencer. If you are interested in getting DAZ3D characters into Unreal, and a ton of bonus tips and information on top of it, you DO NOT want to miss out on this fantastic course!" ~ J Jackson

What You Will Learn In This Course

In this course we will cover the  steps on how to animate your character in Unreal Engine 4.  This is a  project based course, and I’ve designed it to be really, really fun!   All the scene files you will need are included in the course.  You will  get the Exile Alien character along with 28 motion-capture animations  that work with him.  You’re going to love how easy it is - you just drag  and drop your character in the scene and it’s ready to go!

We’re also going to cover lighting, physically based materials, camera movement and much more.  Best of all it’s FUN! 


DAZ Studio Export

We will cover how to prepare your DAZ Genesis  character for export and animation.  There are certain steps that need  to be taken in order for the character to be able to accept  motion-capture animations in Mixamo and then imported into Unreal Engine.


Mixamo

(Note: Even though Mixamo discontinued direct support for Unreal Engine, this method works by exporting standard FBX from Mixamo to UE4.)

Next, we’ll upload your character into Adobe Mixamo and add motion-capture animations.  Mixamo is a ton of fun, and super easy to use as you’ll see.  There are literally thousands of animations in Mixamo, and all you have to do is click on the animated preview and it will be applied to your character.  So you’re basically auditioning your character using different animations.   You can adjust the speed of the animation, and adjust things like the arm spacing as well.  Your character won’t have his materials or textures applied - we will do that over in Unreal Engine 4.


Unreal Engine 4 - Drag and Drop Animation

Inside of Unreal Engine 4 we will have some fun with the Mixamo  animations you applied to your character.  All you have to do is select  your character and drag him into your scene.  Hit play, and the  animation begins, being rendered in real-time!


An Army of Animated Aliens

Inside the course, there are 28 animated aliens, ready for you to  drag and drop into your Unreal Engine scene for instant animations!  In no time at  all, you’ll have your aliens fighting, jumping, running, or falling.   You’ll have enough animations to make some really awesome movie scenes!   

Unreal Engine 4 Sequencer

Next up is the Unreal Engine Sequencer, which is very similar to a non-linear editor.  We will set up your scene, complete with spaceship interior, Exile alien characters, lights, smoke effects and cameras and get it ready for animation.  Sequencer makes it really fun to get your scene set up and feels very similar to being on a real movie set.  In fact, I’ve found that’s the best way to think about it - like you’re in the real world.  Unreal Engine’s lighting system behaves like real world lights, so it’s very responsive and intuitive, as you will see.


Exporting your video file - and rendering in near real time!

Now we will export your movie in high-definition... in near  real time!  No longer does it take hours  or days to render a single frame!  This is a real game changer!  Imagine  being able to setup, animate and then render 1 minute of finished  animation per day...it would be entirely possible to complete a  2 hour  feature film in 120 days!  Unreal Engine 4 has provided the tools to make  this possible some day.


HitFilm3 Express

We will then take our rendered video file and bring it into HitFilm  Express, or your favorite video editing program. There we will add color  grading, music, sound effects and fine tune our edits to prepare our  scene for final output.


Your finished High-Definition Scene

By the end of the course you will have completed your own animation  scene from beginning to end and have a good understanding of Unreal  Engine's animation workflow.


Enroll Now

Go ahead and click on the enroll now button to get immediate access to your scene files and get started right away!   

To recap, you’ll get:

  • The Exile Alien Character along with 28 motion-capture animations

  • The complete Unreal Engine 4 project with all assets

  • The Genesis 2 Male and Female characters

  • Complete sci-fi spaceship interior

  • Best of all, it’s FUN!  See you on the inside!

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to animate a character inside of Unreal Engine 4.
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to create stunning cinematic animations inside of Unreal Engine 4.
Course content
Expand all 43 lectures 05:39:08
+ Introduction
2 lectures 07:33

What You Will Learn In This Course

Hello!  I’m Michael Ricks and I’ll be your guide as we cover the steps on how to animate your character in Unreal Engine 4.  This is a project based course, and I’ve designed it to be really, really fun!  All the scene files you will need are included in the course.  You will get the Exile Alien character along with 28 motion-capture animations that work with him.  You’re going to love how easy it is - you just drag and drop your character in the scene and it’s ready to go!

We’re also going to cover lighting, physically based materials, camera movement and much more.  Best of all it’s FUN! 

DAZ Studio Export

The first thing we’ll cover is how to prepare your DAZ Genesis character for export and animation.  There are certain steps that need to be taken in order for the character to be able to accept motion-capture animations in Mixamo.

Mixamo

Next, we’ll upload your character into Adobe Mixamo and add motion-capture animations.  Mixamo is a ton of fun, and super easy to use as you’ll see.  There are literally thousands of animations in Mixamo, and all you have to do is click on the animated preview and it will be applied to your character.  So you’re basically auditioning your character using different animations.   You can adjust the speed of the animation, and adjust things like the arm spacing as well.  Your character won’t have his materials or textures applied - we will do that over in Unreal Engine 4.

Unreal Engine 4 - Drag and Drop Animation

Inside of Unreal Engine we will have some fun with the Mixamo animations you applied to your character.  All you have to do is select your character and drag him into your scene.  Hit play, and the animation begins, being rendered in real-time!

An Army of Animated Aliens

Inside the course, I’ve set up 28 animated aliens, ready for you to drag and drop into your scene for instant animations!  In no time at all, you’ll have your aliens fighting, jumping, running, or falling.  You’ll have enough animations to make some really awesome movie scenes!  Take a look at all these animations that are included with the course.

Unreal Engine 4 Sequencer

Next up is the Unreal Engine Sequencer, which is very similar to a non-linear editor.  We will set up your scene, complete with spaceship interior, Exile alien characters, lights, smoke effects and cameras and get it ready for animation.  Sequencer makes it really fun to get your scene set up and feels very similar to being on a real movie set.  In fact, I’ve found that’s the best way to think about it - like you’re in the real world.  Unreal Engine’s lighting system behaves like real world lights, so it’s very responsive and intuitive, as you will see.

Exporting your video file - and rendering in near real time!

Now we’re going to export your movie in high-definition... in near real time!  Check this out - what you’re seeing on the screen is being output in high definition at this speed!  No longer does it take hours or days to render a single frame!  This is a real game changer!  Imagine being able to setup, animate and then render 1 minute of finished animation per day...it would be entirely possible to complete a  2 hour feature film in 120 days!  Unreal Engine has provided the tools to make this possible some day.

HitFilm3 Express

We now take our rendered video file and bring it into HitFilm3 Express, or your favorite video editing program.  Here we will add color grading, music, sound effects and fine tune our edits to prepare our scene for final output.

Your finished High-Definition Scene

By the end of the course you will have completed your own animation scene from beginning to end and have a good understanding of Unreal Engine 4's workflow.

Enroll Now

Go ahead and click on the enroll now button to get immediate access to your scene files and get started right away!   To recap, you’ll get:

  • 28 motion-capture animations

  • The complete Unreal Engine 4 project with all assets

  • The Exile Alien Character

  • The Genesis 2 Male and Female characters

  • Complete spaceship interior

  • Best of all, it’s FUN!  See you on the inside!

Preview 05:50

• In this course, you will learn how to create, render and output this movie scene of an alien spaceship interior, complete with aliens, lighting, and smoke.

• The course comes with all scene files, alien model, Sci-Fi Warrior Female model, and spaceship interior.

Preview 01:43
+ RESOURCES - All the course project files needed are in this section
3 lectures 01:44

Your Unreal Engine 4.24 Project File

In this section (scroll to bottom) you will find your Unreal Engine 4.24 Project which you can download from my Google Drive:

(It is approximately 3.5 GB in size so may take awhile to download depending on your internet speed)

AlienSpaceship 4.24.zip  is Version 4.24 of Unreal Engine

If you want to create your project in a more recent UE4 version, follow these steps:

1. From the Epic Launcher, open a new version 4.24 (or 4.25, 4.26 etc)

2. Select to open, 'AlienSpaceship 4.24 project

3. Unreal Engine will give you a warning asking if you want to open a duplicate project

4. Select "yes" and it will create a new project in your new version.

5. You may receive an error stating you need the Substance Plugin.  If so, go to the Marketplace and add the Substance

plugin to the Engine version you are using.

6.  If you get a message about 'Houdini' choose the option to eliminate or disregard Houdini plugin.


Preview 00:38

Your Unreal Engine 4 Project Files & Music

In this section you will find your Unreal Engine 4.18 Project:

AlienSpaceship 1.1.zip  is Unreal Engine 4.18

If you want to create your project in a more recent UE4 version, follow these steps:

1. From the Epic Launcher, open a new version 4.20 (or 4.21, 4.22 etc)

2. Select to open, 'AlienSpaceship 1.1 project

3. Unreal Engine will give you a warning asking if you want to open a duplicate project

4. Select "yes" and it will create a new project in your new version.


The complete Unreal Engine 4 Project file for the spaceship scene
00:56
Where To Get Your FREE Genesis Base Character Bundles
00:09
+ Quick Start - Let's Have Some Fun!
4 lectures 52:03

Quick Start - Let's Have Some Fun!

In this module you're going to open up the Alien Spaceship scene, learn the basics of moving around the Unreal Engine 4 interface, and setup your first motion-capture animated character. 

Getting around Unreal Engine 4 - A quick tour of the basics of getting around.
08:45
Congratulations!  


You've completed your first animation video in Unreal Engine 4 and it should look something like this video.  Give yourself a pat on the back because you've come a long way in a short amount of time!

 


Your First Practice Animation Exercise - Let's Jump Right In!
37:44
HD Video Of Your Practice Scene
00:47

In this module you will learn how to setup your camera to produce a depth of field effect with your foreground character in sharp focus and your background out of focus for a truly cinematic look. 

Depth of Field in Unreal Engine 4
04:47
+ Preparing Your Character For Animation and Export From DAZ Studio
4 lectures 24:32
DAZ Studio Export - Genesis 2 Character
04:39

Why Genesis Characters?

  • High quality, affordable models - the base model is free from DAZ 3d
  • Huge content library of affordable characters based on the Genesis base model
  • Easier than creating a character from scratch in Maya or other 3d software package

In this course we will be using the free Genesis 2 Male and Female characters, because they interface very well with both Mixamo and Unreal Engine 4.

DAZ Studio Export - Genesis 3 Character
04:59

Important Update: DAZ no longer offers the SciFi interior for download, but the SciFi Interior is already loaded and ready to go in your Unreal Engine Project file. 

If you wish to substitute another free DAZ asset, feel free to do so as you follow along in this tutorial.

DAZ Studio Export - SciFi Interior
06:29

How to export the new Genesis 8 Characters

DAZ 3D recently introduced the latest generation of characters - the Genesis 8 characters!  These are the most advanced characters to date and you will be able to export them, upload them to Mixamo for motion-capture animations and then import them into Unreal Engine 4!  This video explains the process step-by-step. 

DAZ Studio Export - Genesis 8 Character
08:25
+ Mixamo Animation - Now let's make your character move!
3 lectures 12:53
An Introduction to the Amazing Adobe Mixamo Animation System
03:07
Uploading Your DAZ Genesis 2 Character To Mixamo
06:17
Uploading your Genesis 3 Character to Mixamo
03:29
+ Unreal Engine 4: Lights, Camera...ACTION!
8 lectures 02:03:00
Import Your DAZ Genesis Character and Mixamo Animations
14:11
Setup Your SciFi Alien Interior in Unreal Engine 4
18:55

In this module we will learn how to set up:

  • Volumetric Fog
  • Exponential Height Fog
  • Bloom
  • Lens Flares

These lighting effects will help to achieve a dramatic mood for your scene!

Setup Light Shafts and Fog Effects for Moodiness In Your Scene
11:42
Adding Your Characters To The Scene
11:06

Using the particle effects that come with the Starter Content we will:

  • Create Fire
  • Create Smoke
  • Create Steam

These animated particle effects are already built and are drag-and-drop ready.!

Add Particle Effects - Smoke, Steam & Fire!
08:08
The Unreal Engine Sequencer - Let The Magic Begin!
26:45
The Unreal Engine Sequencer: Creating Your 2nd Shot
11:44
The Unreal Engine Sequencer: Creating Your 3rd Shot
20:29
+ HitFilm 3 Express - Editing Your Scene
4 lectures 20:01
HitFilm3 Express: Importing Your Footage & Music
05:45
HitFilm3 Express: Color Grading Your Footage
05:36
Awesome things on the horizon! Check this out.
08:40

This is a quick video showing a quick lip sync test animation using Allrightrig, a plugin developed to be used within Unreal Engine 4.  The voice audio does not match the character, but I wanted to show the potential of this new software. 

In the next course, "Facial Animation & More In Unreal Engine 4" I will go into this awesome plugin in more detail. 

Preview of Allrightrig - lip sync animation within Unreal Engine 4 coming soon!
Processing..
+ Adobe Fuse, Mixamo & Unreal Engine 4
3 lectures 20:40
Adobe Fuse Character Creation Part 1
11:08
Adobe Fuse Character Creation Part 2
09:10
Toon Girl Adobe Fuse Character With Animations
00:22
+ How To Create Materials In Unreal Engine 4
1 lecture 38:22
How to export textures from DAZ and create materials in Unreal Engine 4
38:22