I'm using animation layers for a model of type "Generic".

The "Base" layer contains an "Idle" animation.

The "Shooting Layer" contains a pistol shooting animation.

I want the shooting layer animation to only affect the upper body. To do that, I need to use an Avatar Mask, I think.

In the avatar mask, I have to select if I want it to be of type "Humanoid" or of type "Generic".

I will not use a "Humanoid" avatar mask because my animations are perfectly tailored for my model, and I don't need any retargetting.

Instead, I wanted to use the "Transform" avatar mask type. However, it seems to expect an avatar:

enter image description here

However, I haven't had the need to create one yet.

Do I really need to create an avatar? I don't want any "Humanoid", I want to have full control over my animations and over what's going on. I have tried "Humanoid" before, and for me, it's a total loss of control as I can no longer tell what is a bug / mis-use by me and what is automatic retargetting done by Unity, so I want to avoid it by any means.

Why do I have to create an "avatar"? What is it actually? Unity already has my generic model to work with, so it knows the transform. Why does it want an "avatar"?

Edit: The strange thing is: I can create an avatar the usual way -> "Rig -> Create Avatar" -> "From this model".

Then I have an avatar. In the avatar mask, I need to feed an avatar. I do this, then it shows my transform. Now I can delete the avatar, and it still remembers my transform.

Strange... not sure why Unity can't simply use the transform.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you are "trying to tackle a certain animation problem", why aren't you asking about that then? \$\endgroup\$ – Tyyppi_77 Jul 23 '20 at 11:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tyyppi_77 The actual problem is so huge in aspects that there are so many settings involved that I feel that it's easier to break it down into several questions. My problem involves Root Motion, Avatar Mask and Animation Layers. I will add all this information to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – tmighty Jul 23 '20 at 11:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Presumably you continued searching the docs to find the overview of what Avatars are and to read more about how an Avatar provides a mapping of bone IDs to humanoid body parts? What part exactly was unclear? \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory Jul 23 '20 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only reason why I thought I had to use an avatar is because I wanted to create an Avatar Mask for Animation Layers. I don't want to do any re-targetting or so, I just want to create a mask for animation layers. \$\endgroup\$ – tmighty Jul 23 '20 at 11:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Tyyppi_77 — you'll likely get more useful answers if you describe the effect you want to achieve and ask how to achieve it, than by systematically going through all the possible ingredients of a solution and asking "how does this work?" \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory Jul 23 '20 at 11:42

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