I have created a fully rigged and fully animated humanoid model in Blender with rigging based on Unity's Mecanim standards for humanoid models.

Now, I want to create custom animation for it in Blender where it's attacking with a sword. I also want to create a sheathing/unsheathing animation.

Also, once the model is imported into Unity, I want to be able to replace the sword and the sheathe props with another model, but still be able to retain the animation.

What's the best way of doing this?

  • Do I need to modify the rig to include the sword and sheathe meshes? Will adding new bones break my model's compatibility with Mecanim?
  • If I'm going to add new bones, then that means I will have to include the mesh data of the sword and sheathe to the model, but if that's the case, then how can I replace the sword and sheathe models in Unity if the sword and sheathe are part of the character model?
  • If the sword and sheathe aren't going to be part of the character armature, then how can I create their animations in Blender which Unity will use?

Fig. 1. The model and its armature.

Fig. 1. The model and its armature.


2 Answers 2


Parent an empty object to the hand bone and use it for swapping and holding props. Whenever you pick up another object, create it at the empty object's position and parent it to it.

This way you can keep your animations you did with Blender and just replace the props in Unity.


Could you not have the sheath attached to the hip bone in unity? and the sword attached to the hand?

That way they could follow the motions and could still be swappable. If you wanted a custom animation for sheathing or something you could have an animation play on the sheath when or something like that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Indeed I can do that, however, for my case, I would like to create custom animations for the sword, like say for example have it spin around the ninja, and I don't think I can effectively do this without having it integrated with the model's animations. \$\endgroup\$
    – brain56
    Nov 5, 2015 at 22:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @brain56 I dont really know what else you could do then. The only other option I can think of is animate a mount point for the sword on the body, then attach the actual objects to the point and swap them out. I once worked on a TMNT game where we did something like that. Though that was mostly on the art side, so I dont know too much about how they handled it \$\endgroup\$
    – ProtoJazz
    Nov 6, 2015 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see. Thanks for sharing your insight and experience, I may try an approach similar to that! This is of great help, thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – brain56
    Nov 6, 2015 at 18:52

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