In Placer - make your animations in place easily

In Placer is a Blender addon that allows you to make your animation in place easily.

For Blender 2.8+

Features

  • Mixamo and Unreal rigs are supported for now (See Caveats for details).
  • The addon basically has 4 buttons:
    • “Make it in place” button removes the forward and lateral movements at once.
    • “One Direction Only” buttons are available to remove the movement only in one direction if that’s what you needed.
  • Side panel is getting clustered very easily in Blender so I made it possible to choose if the addon should appear on the side panel or not. Addon still will be available in armature data properties in both cases.
  • Also the name that will appear on the side panel can be changed in addon preferences.

Why it’s needed?

The thing with video games is, you don’t control the character directly. You control the root component of your character (probably an invisible capsule component). You move this capsule component to move your character in the world and your character mesh just plays an in place walking, running or jumping animation accordingly. This is how character movement is handled in game engines in a nutshell.

But what if I use an animation that is not in place? In that case, this happens:

ezgif.com-gif-maker

With the in place version of it, it looks like this:

in place gif

That’s why in place animations are needed especially for game development.

Isn’t making an animation in place fairly easy using the graph editor in Blender anyway?

Well yes but not easier than a single click or a shortcut you would assign for it.

This addon has been developed to be a time saver, a convenience, a tool that can make your workflow easier. It just shortens the process of making an animation in place. If you use a lot of Mixamo animations, you would be doing the same thing again and again to make them in place. I think we shouldn’t be the ones who do the same thing repeatedly. We should be able to enable Blender to do those things for us and that was my sole purpose making this addon.

Isn’t Mixamo have the option to make animations in place directly?

Not every one of them has the option.

What about the root motion option in Unreal Engine?

It gives weird results time to time in my experience. And you’ll have a hard time if you decide to use root motion in a multiplayer game. If you’re working on a single player game and having no problems go for it of course.

Caveats

  • Make sure you’re in object mode and selected only the armature object.
  • Armature objects in Unreal format must be named as “root”.
  • Root bones of Mixamo rigs are named as “mixamorig:Hips”. Changing the name of it before using the addon would cause problems.
  • I use Mixamo auto-rigger for the game I’m working on. I can guarantee that addon works pretty good with Mixamo rigs. You can convert the Mixamo rig to Unreal format with using Mixamo Converter addon which is a free one. In Placer works with this rig in Unreal format too but the name of the armature object must be “root”. If there are two of them in the scene, Blender will name the second one “root.001” probably and trying to make that in place with the addon will cause an error right now. I’ll implement a better solution in the future.

You can download the addon here

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