I am developing for mobile and to make the game run on lower spec mobiles, I was only going to import bones/rig for the main character. There are other humanoid characters in the scene which do move about and are rigged already in my 3d app but since they wont be controlled in anyway by the player in the game, I just wanted to bake and import their animations alone without the bones. I know unity can handle blendshapes but I am more comfortable with rigs and also cos these characters are already rigged properly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you propose the engine should animate the vertices, if it lacks the rig/bones? Should it store an animation curve for every vertex? That sounds like a lot more data to store and process than a few bone transforms. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Jun 1, 2015 at 19:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory Maybe he wants morphs. Those do need a lot more space, but they are easier on the GPU and CPU \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Mar 25, 2016 at 10:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bálint The asker specifically mentions blendshapes but asks for a way to export skeletal animation instead because "these characters are already rigged properly." My question from last year was intended to be instructive, and prompt the asker to think about what animation data without bones would look like, and whether it would really be more efficient for their use case. In any case, this user hasn't signed in since June of last year, so I think this question is probably abandoned. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Mar 25, 2016 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a question. How and why is a question like this that is almost a year old still active ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Uri Popov
    May 25, 2016 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @UriPopov Old questions, that don't have positively voted answers are sometimes touched by the Community user. This brings them to the "top of the stack" so they can have another chance at being answered. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    May 25, 2016 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


No. Your 3D model MUST have bones of some kind in order to tell the game engine how it should move. Bones also include optional scripts, ik chains, etc., in order to tell it how to move around. Think of it in real life - without bones your body could not move at all. Same concept here. :D


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