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I got a model from TurboSquid. Which is an archer and when i imported the model I got all the textures to be put on properly. The thing is the actual character has no children nodes, is it possible to still animate this model. I have looked throughout the files and there are a bunch of textures, but I don't happen to see any animations.

Along side that the asset comes with an Avatar, I looked on the docs and still a little confused as to what that is about. If I cannot animate this model how could I force it to animate somehow or how could I make my own model.

I am not a artist at all and just focus on the gaming logic and and programming, and I am working solo. Just wondering what are some options to get a game up and running with some decent graphics. So, far I use the model to get the game play down, but now I want to make it visually appealing.

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You can animate your model in a 3D animation-software that supports skeletal animation. The process of applying a skeleton to a mesh is called rigging.

Depending on the current pose of the model, the rigging can be easier or more difficult to do. Normally you'll want a pose with arms spread out, much like in this drawing of Leonardo da Vinci:

leonardo da vinci

If your model is already in an "action-pose", it's going to be harder to rig and animate. Also animations that deviate a lot from the "base" pose of the model will be much more challenging.

So your first step would be the rigging (applying a skeleton to your mesh) and then animating. You can then export the model with animations and play these in Unity.

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Here's a great video tutorial on what "rigging" consists of: It's for Blender but the idea is roughly the same for any other similar software. At any rate, Unity doesn't let you create animations from scratch. At most it lets you re-combine existing ones, but those initial animations need to be created with a specialized software (such as Blender, 3d Studio Max, Maya, etc). – Shivan Dragon Jan 21 '13 at 15:08

ZYeek, What is the file extension on the model that you downloaded(*.3ds, *.obj, etc.)? Providing that will allow people answering your question to give you a better direction on what steps to take. Blender (as Shivan suggested) is probably your best bet, it works well with Unity,it's free, has strong & helpful community support, can import and export the more popular model formats, and there are even skeletal rigs that are structured to be quickly added for prototyping (for typical biped characters), that you can attach to your model, an example is the BlenRig System. The only down side is the time to learn rigging, if your willing to learn it, or would rather use a site like Maximo. In the long run your best bet would be to put in the time to learn character rigging, using your program of choice, modeling and rigging your own characters will give you the most complete coverage on your animations.

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If you have Unity 4, you can use Unity's new Mecanim animation tool. Here's a tutorial: Also, on the asset store, you can get 150 free Mecanim animations:

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