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How to animate character in unity?


I'm new to unity. I trying to animate my character so that he can walk or idle in unity. I got my character (model) from the web and it is not animated. Anyone can help me by telling me how do I start to animate my character as I didn't know where to start. I being searching around the web for solution but I got query in how exactly does the character animate? Is it through scripting or we need to animate it in 3d max then export it to unity? If it through scripting, do we have to create different part of the joint of the character or itself will animate from the script?

Thanks in advance.

Sorry for all the trouble.


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asked Oct 18, 2010 at 02:20 PM

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Eugene 1
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2 answers: sort voted first


First of all let me say that this is a huge subject, so a single answer here won't cover even half of everything you need to know to create awesome animations that work exactly like you want them to.

I can try and point you to the right direction though. Character animation is created in your favorite 3D package (I guess your choice is 3DsMax). I don't know how well you know how to do it, but just to cover all bases:

  1. You create a rig for the model. The hard way - this can be done manually with bones created one by one, weights painted manually etc. On the other end of the scale- You can use some shortcuts, like using Character Studio for 3DsMax, and download some animations from the web that will move the character. Also check out sites like Mixamo that offer characters with animations fully compatible with Unity3D.

What this step allows you to do is hand over the model with the rig to an animator, that will move the character and create animations.

  1. You bake the animation into keyframes. This ensures that all of the details of your animation are "hard-coded" and won't need the actual rig to reproduce them once they get to Unity.

  2. Split the animations into segments. For example the walk animation is frames 1-50, run animation is 51-100 etc. OR you can split them into separate files. Either way works.

  3. Export the animation (plenty of information can be found in the Unity reference), usually to an FBX format. Check out the manual... There's a lot of information about how to do this, and searching the forum will help you do it right.

  4. Import the animation into Unity. This also is covered in the manual, so a basic read-through will help you to do this correctly. Usually after this step you can use the Animation view inside unity to scrub through the animation and see how it transfered.

  5. Play, blend, mix and weight the different animations inside unity using scripts. This really depends on what you are actually trying to do with the animation...

As a start I would advice you to open the 3rd person platformer tutorial and the Character animation tutorial. They cover the animation after they are ready for Unity, but you can open the FBXes in 3dsMax and see how they are built as a reference.

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answered Oct 18, 2010 at 03:08 PM

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Dear Eugene,

Perhaps you can try this, for a basic idle + walk + run+ turn it really works straight off the bat.


If you scroll to the bottom of the page there is a free unity project who has a character and the script implemented. there are also the links to the tutorials.

I hope this helps, below more info.



Mixamo released a Unity project file which includes an 'Animation-Driven Character Controller' powered by a RootMotionComputer script, created by Adam Mechtley. It allows the developer to use actual animation curves to drive the motion of the root of the character, instead of using a procedural approach which would lead in general to a worse quality and motion artifacts like foot slide.

You can download the project file, as well as see video tutorials about its use here:


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answered Nov 17, 2010 at 08:23 PM

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asked: Oct 18, 2010 at 02:20 PM

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Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010 at 02:20 PM