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Question Help understanding animation layers

Discussion in 'Animation' started by dccoo, Jun 28, 2023.

  1. dccoo


    Oct 3, 2015
    I'm new to animation layers. My character animator has 2 layers: one for the lower body (legs, feet) and one for the upper body (chest, arms, head, hands), with their respective Avatar Masks.

    I have some animations that I want the whole body to play and others I want the upper body to do something while the lower body can keep doing what it is.

    The thing is the state machines of both layers is exactly equal (except for the animations I'm setting for the states). They have exactly the same states, transitions, etc. Everything that I set on the base layer, I repeat for the second layer.

    I think I'm doing a wrong design here... I just thought about removing the Avatar Mask from the base layer (lower body) and just call anything in the second layer if it is used, since just a few animations use it.

    What do you guys think? Am I right on my thoughts? I would also appreciate any links with good information, tips, etc. for the usage of layers.
  2. halley


    Aug 26, 2013
    Yes, typically the base has no mask and applies to the whole figure, and then each successive layer has adjustments to that base layer.


    Your base layer is in a state of no movement, playing an idle standing animation.

    A layer is applied to the base layer, say it has the uppper body as its mask, and it enters a state of "checks the wristwatch." The left arm raises and the head looks towards the left wrist. Maybe other states on this layer are "carries a box" or "brushes hands through the reeds" or "wraps arms to keep warm."

    The base layer can freely switch to walking at any point without disrupting the other layer state or animation. Now the player is walking with the legs and root motion, and still looking at the wristwatch or keeping warm with the upper body motions.
    dccoo likes this.