I've recently been looking into animations within Unity, and came across the idea of splitting my humanoid character's object into two at the waistline. The Idea being that animations used for movement can be applied to the legs, without interfering with general upper body animations/stances (and vice versa). Is this a viable option and would there be any adverse effects from doing this?

Also, is there any real need? I've noticed Unity is quite flexible when it comes to animations, but am unsure whether unity would be able to handle this? My main issue is different weapon types, where I would like the hands in different idle positions, but without having to have 4 or 5 different running forward animations.

  • \$\begingroup\$ this is an extremely uninformed answer, hence why it's not a real one: i believe you can have partial animations and apply multiple at once to your character. Like having one animation for leg movement and another for torso/arms, and maybe another one for the head. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian H.
    Jan 29, 2018 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


Is this a viable option and would there be any adverse effects from doing this?

Yes, it's viable, although in my experience it's usually better done as "full body" and "upper-body only" animations rather than a hard split between independent upper and lower body animations.

The reason (and thus the main disadvantage of this approach) is that a human body doesn't actually have a hard split at the waist, and the physics of the body act to prevent (or make difficult, depending on one's flexibility) certain anatomical configurations that would be trivially constructible in a system you're proposing.

Thus, you often end up wanting to build some kind of blending mechanism to smooth out or otherwise control and prevent the unnatural configurations, and it seems easier and more natural to do that by blending upper-body-only animations over full-body ones using various calculations for weight.


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