Need advice on a character death animation. (Video game)

I have a single character mesh with a single armature. IK on the arms and legs. Non-deformed bones for equipment placement.

I would like to have a ragdoll or collapsing bone animation for the characters death. The character is itself a human skeleton.

I’ve never done this kind of animation before in Blender. I’m looking for some ideas on how to approach it. I haven’t found any satisfactory suggestions while searching the internet, yet.

Some methods that come to mind but seem sloppy to me:

  1. Separate the parts of the character I want to dislodge and fall into their own meshes/objects within the blend file. Then, have them fall onto an empty plane. I’m worried this approach would break my current “walking” and “attacking” animations. Since those keyframes were set when the armature and mesh were as one. I don’t know.

  2. Manually animate a collapsing of the character as it heads toward the floor. This has it’s own problems. I’d have to add deform to bones I don’t want deforming. It would also take a lot of tedious work to look believable.

I’m using Unity to build the game this asset will be used in. Exporting as .fbx. If that matters I don’t know. Those of you familiar with Unity might shed light on some other approach I haven’t considered or are unfamiliar with.

Thanks in advance.


I think the thing to look at here is how Unity handles rag-doll physics.

You could set up a rag-doll in blender, and record the animation for that, and use that as you’re death animation, but… well… it will be the same every time, and won’t react to the enviroment.

I think you’re right. I will play around in Unity. Thanks.