Updated on 16th Feb 2022

โœจ Tutorial: Adding a new Avatar Skeletal Mesh

Before you continue, make sure that your new Skeletal Mesh is using the default UE4 Mannequin structure, otherwise you will have to manually make changes to VRGK and/or your mesh to make it work. This tutorial is only showing you how you can use an imported Skeletal Mesh that is based on the default UE4 Mannequin.

The used Character is a 3rd party asset, used for tutorial purposes and is NOT included in VRGK.


Import your Model into the Unreal Engine 4 Project that is being used with VRGK. If you import your model, you may be able to directly create or set a skeleton asset. Please choose the Skeleton that comes with VRGK called "Skel_UE4_Mannequin_Skeleton". Doing that allows all the existing functionality from VRGK to work without problems.

If you did migrate your Character from another Project, or have created a new skeleton instead, you have to reassign its skeleton asset. You can do that by right-clicking on the character skeletal mesh in the content browser:

Please choose the Skeleton that comes with VRGK called "Skel_UE4_Mannequin_Skeleton":

Please remember that if you don't assign your own Avatar Mesh to the skeleton that comes included with VRGK, you will get errors. Even if the skeleton structure is the same, Unreal Engine does not know about it until you manually set the correct asset reference.

Changing the used Player Avatar

To change the skeletal mesh that is used for your Pawn, simply open the VR Game Pawn that you are using and select the Skeletal Mesh Components. For this example, we are going to use the Physics Pawn. The "Mesh" skeletal mesh component is the one you see inside VR. This is your First Person View.
The "SpectatorMesh" is only visible from the outside, with the Spectator Camera for Example.

Invisible Materials and the Head

The BP_VRBasePawn automatically assigns invisible materials to the head, so that you don't have issues inside VR. However, you may want to change or remove the way this works, because it is expecting the default ue4 mannequin. If you have visual errors , try removing it or changing the Material Index in the Blueprint nodes.

You can also manually set the Invisible Material to your head mesh, if you have the option to. You will still need to remove the Blueprint nodes though.

Only do this on your player mesh, not the Spectator mesh!

Finished Results

First Person View (inside VR)

Spectator View (from the Physical Spectator Camera)

The Wrist Twist issue

You may find yourself seeing that the Wrist looks unnatural. The truth is, there is no all around good solution yet and it varies with different meshes. You may need to adjust how this works.
For some users the following solution has worked, but not for everyone. You can try it out, but be aware that it may not work or does not what you are looking for.