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I'm thinking of how souls games have a male and female body type with slightly different proportions and heights and yet are able to have the same animations between the two.

I don't think they have duplicate weapon animations for each body type across all animations as that would double the animation work. The female body mesh would likely be shorter, have broader hips, and have narrower shoulders so simply using a male armature for that mesh wouldn't look good.

So how can I do it? Are all the armature tweaks to fit the body done with custom code that is inaccessible to me or is there a way in Blender to adjust the armature proportions in a way that is reversible?

So far I've thought of adding another layer of bones which can be used to create poses that adjust the default transforms of the Armature's bones to conform to the female mesh if I don't encounter any issues with doing so. I believe that I can still assign weights and weight paint even when the armature isn't in its default pose so this should work fine... in theory. Other than that, before I jump straight into this, is there a more clever way of doing this or do I have the right idea?

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What you are talking about sounds like animation re-targeting. Though it sounds like you are not working with motion capture, the principle should work the same with hand-keyed information. Here is a plugin someone wrote that does this exact thing. https://github.com/Mwni/blender-animation-retargeting

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm looking into it and, for the armature I want to retarget to, I'm not sure if I need all the controls of the original armature or if it will just work with the base layer of the armature. Adjusting or recreating the entire rig for each body type would also be a real hassle. $\endgroup$
    – DED
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 0:06
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    $\begingroup$ For anyone wondering, it looks like it works fine with a copy of just the base layer of the armature to fit the new body type without all the bone controls. $\endgroup$
    – DED
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 23:16

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