AnimationNodeSub2 in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our in-depth tutorial on using the AnimationNodeSub2 class in Godot 4! If you’ve ever wanted to create animations that look polished and professional in your games, understanding how to manipulate animation nodes is crucial. In this article, we will explore the capabilities of AnimationNodeSub2, how it operates within a blend tree, and how to use it to enhance your game’s animations. Whether you’re just starting your game development journey or you’re looking to fine-tune your skills, this tutorial will provide you with the knowledge to master animation blending like a pro. So buckle up as we dive into the exciting world of subtractive animation blending!

What is AnimationNodeSub2?

The AnimationNodeSub2 class is a powerful feature within the Godot Engine, designed to blend two animations subtractively. It inherits from a series of classes culminating in the Object class, which makes it a versatile resource within Godot’s animation system. This node is particularly useful within an AnimationNodeBlendTree, where it can be used to blend animations based on an ‘amount’ value.

What is it for?

The primary purpose of AnimationNodeSub2 is to allow developers to subtract one animation from another. This is commonly used for when you want to remove unwanted motion or effects from an animation before adding it into another animation sequence. For instance, if you have an animation of a character with an excessive jump motion, you could use AnimationNodeSub2 to cancel out part of the jump before combining it with a different movement.

Why Should I Learn It?

Understanding AnimationNodeSub2 can significantly enhance the flexibility and quality of your game’s animations. It’s a unique tool that allows for more advanced animation blending techniques, which can help you:

– Improve the realism and fluidity of character movements.
– Combine multiple animations seamlessly.
– Cancel out undesired motions to create the exact effect you want.

By learning this class, you will expand your animation toolkit, helping you to create more dynamic and interesting games that stand out from the crowd. Let’s get started on uncovering the power of subtractive animation blending!

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Setting Up Your Blend Tree

Before diving into the specifics of using AnimationNodeSub2, let’s set up a simple blend tree in Godot 4 to work with. In Godot, blend trees are part of an AnimationTree node, which controls how different animations are blended together.

var animation_tree =
var blend_tree =

animation_tree.tree_root = blend_tree

Once we have our blend tree set up, we need to create our animation nodes. Here, we’re setting up two basic animations that we will then subtract using our AnimationNodeSub2 node.

var animation_player =

var idle_animation =
idle_animation.animation_name = "Idle"

var walk_animation =
walk_animation.animation_name = "Walk"

animation_player.add_animation("Idle", your_idle_anim_resource)
animation_player.add_animation("Walk", your_walk_anim_resource)

Adding the AnimationNodeSub2 Node

With our animations ready, we can now add an AnimationNodeSub2 to our blend tree to subtract one animation from the other.

var sub2_node =

blend_tree.add_node("Subtract", sub2_node, Vector2(300, 150))
blend_tree.connect_node("Idle", "Subtract", 0)
blend_tree.connect_node("Walk", "Subtract", 1)

In the code above, we’re connecting our “Idle” and “Walk” animations to the inputs of our AnimationNodeSub2 node. The positions indicated by Vector2 are for illustrative purposes and represent where the nodes will appear in the visual blend tree.

Controlling the Amount of Subtraction

The subtractive process is influenced by the ‘amount’ property. This value determines to what extent the second animation is subtracted from the first. An amount of 1.0 would mean fully subtract the second animation, while 0.0 would leave the first animation unchanged.

sub2_node.amount = 0.5  # Half subtract the second animation from the first.

You can animate or change this value at runtime to dynamically adjust the blend. Below is an example of how to set up an animation track in your AnimationPlayer to change the ‘amount’ over time.

var track_index = animation_player.add_track(AnimationPlayer.ANIMATION_TRACK)
animation_player.track_set_path(track_index, "AnimationTree/tree_root/Subtract:amount")

animation_player.track_insert_key(track_index, 0.0, 0.0)
animation_player.track_insert_key(track_index, 1.0, 1.0)

This will create an animation that transitions from no subtraction to full subtraction over one second. Now that we’ve set up and understand how the AnimationNodeSub2 node functions within a blend tree, let’s utilize it in more complex ways.

Subtractive Blending in Practice

Now that you’re familiar with adding the node and controlling its properties, we’ll put it into practice by creating a more complex blend scenario. Consider a scenario in which you want your character to start walking but have a limping effect that you want to subtract from its walk cycle. We can set up a limp animation and subtract it from the walk cycle dynamically during gameplay.

var limp_animation =
limp_animation.animation_name = "Limp"

animation_player.add_animation("Limp", your_limp_anim_resource)

blend_tree.add_node("Limp", limp_animation, Vector2(300, 100))
blend_tree.connect_node("Limp", "Subtract", 1)

By using this setup, you can fine-tune how much of the limp you want to subtract from the walk cycle, creating nuanced and responsive character movements based on game events or character status.

In the next part of our tutorial, we’ll continue exploring the versatile applications of the AnimationNodeSub2, including blending multiple layers of animations and integrating user input to control the animation blending in real-time. Stay tuned to enrich your animation blending skills further with Godot 4!

Integrating AnimationNodeSub2 with User Input

To create truly interactive animations, it’s often necessary to integrate user input directly into the animation blending process. Let’s say you want your character’s walk animation to be influenced by the degree of injury, which the player can control.

First, we need to capture user input to set the limping amount:

func _process(delta):
    var injury_intensity = 0.0  # Assume we get this value from gameplay logic or input.
    # This is just a placeholder to show how you might capture input.
    # In an actual game, you might hook this to a health system or an input event.
    if Input.is_action_pressed("increase_injury"):
        injury_intensity += 0.01
    if Input.is_action_pressed("decrease_injury"):
        injury_intensity -= 0.01
    injury_intensity = clamp(injury_intensity, 0.0, 1.0)
    animation_tree.set("parameters/Subtract/amount", injury_intensity)

Here, we increase or decrease the limping based on the input, clamping the value so it doesn’t go below 0 or above 1.

Blending Multiple Layers of Animations

What if you want to blend multiple animation layers? Here, we add an upper-body animation that the player can control, overlaying it on the existing walk/limp animation.

var shoot_animation =
shoot_animation.animation_name = "Shoot"

animation_player.add_animation("Shoot", your_shoot_anim_resource)

blend_tree.add_node("Shoot", shoot_animation, Vector2(300, 50))

To blend this “Shoot” animation with the walk cycle without affecting the lower body, we can use an AnimationNodeBlend2:

var blend2_node =

blend_tree.connect_node("Subtract", "Blend2", 0)
blend_tree.connect_node("Shoot", "Blend2", 1)

blend_tree.add_node("Blend2", blend2_node, Vector2(500, 150))

Then we can control the blending via input in a similar way to the limping intensity:

func _process(delta):
    var shoot_intensity = 0.0  # This would be set based on gameplay mechanics.
    if Input.is_action_just_pressed("shoot"):
        shoot_intensity = 1.0
    animation_tree.set("parameters/Blend2/blend_amount", shoot_intensity)

Dynamically Adjusting Animation Speed

Animation speed can greatly affect the feeling of your game’s aesthetics. Perhaps you want the character to move slower when heavily injured. To do this, you can dynamically adjust the playback speed of the animations.

func _process(delta):
    var injury_intensity = animation_tree.get("parameters/Subtract/amount")
    var speed = lerp(1.0, 0.5, injury_intensity)  # Interpolation between full speed and half speed
    animation_player.playback_speed = speed

This snippet uses linear interpolation to adjust the animation playback speed based on the injury intensity.

Combining Subtractive Blending with Other Nodes

There’s also the possibility of combining subtractive blending with other complex animation nodes such as AnimationNodeStateMachine for creating state-driven animation systems, or AnimationNodeTimeScale for adjusting the time scale of certain animations individually.

Subtractive animation blending is a powerful tool in the realm of game development. By mastering the AnimationNodeSub2 and understanding its interaction with user input and other animation nodes, you can create more dynamic and responsive animations that enrich the gaming experience. Whether you’re looking to construct subtle character traits, intricate combat systems, or responsive character controls, the AnimationNodeSub2 in Godot 4 gives you the granular control you need to achieve your vision. Keep experimenting with these concepts and you’ll be on your way to creating stunning and interactive animations for your games!

Remember that at Zenva, we believe in hands-on learning to gain concrete skills for real-life applications. Keep practicing, and don’t hesitate to review parts of this tutorial or start from the beginning if you need to solidify your understanding more. Happy animating!Continuing from where we left off, let’s delve deeper into the possibilities of blending animations using Godot’s powerful AnimationNodeSub2. We’ll explore further through examples that demonstrate how to incorporate more complex animations and deal with scenarios that might arise in a dynamic game environment.

Adjusting Subtractive Blending in Real-Time

Imagine you have a character that can sneak past enemies. You might have a separate sneak animation, but you want the character’s speed to affect how much of the sneak posture is applied over the normal walk cycle. This requires real-time adjustment of the subtractive blending amount based on the character’s speed.

func _process(delta):
    var speed = get_speed()  # Let's say this function gets the current speed of the character.
    var blend_amount = map(speed, 0, max_speed, 1.0, 0.0)
    animation_tree.set("parameters/Subtract/amount", blend_amount)

The map function here is a hypothetical one that you’d need to implement, which maps the speed value from its range to the desired range for blending.

Mixing Different Animation Types

Now, consider that our character can be both injured and sneaky at the same time. We have to blend both the injury animation and the sneak animation with the walk cycle. We can use multiple AnimationNodeSub2 nodes for this purpose.

var sneak_sub_node =
var injury_sub_node =

blend_tree.add_node("SneakSubtract", sneak_sub_node, Vector2(600, 150))
blend_tree.add_node("InjurySubtract", injury_sub_node, Vector2(600, 250))

blend_tree.connect_node("Sneak", "SneakSubtract", 1)
blend_tree.connect_node("Injury", "InjurySubtract", 1)

animation_tree.set("parameters/SneakSubtract/amount", sneak_blending_amount)
animation_tree.set("parameters/InjurySubtract/amount", injury_blending_amount)

In this setup, we’re using two separate subtract nodes to independently control the amount of sneak animation and injury animation that gets blended into the walk cycle.

Fading Animations In and Out

Another common requirement is fading animations in or out smoothly over time. To achieve a fade, you can animate the ‘amount’ property of the AnimationNodeSub2.

var fade_out_time = 2.0  # Time in seconds to fade out the limp animation.
animation_player.get_animation("FadeOutLimp").track_insert_key(0, 0.0, 1.0)
animation_player.get_animation("FadeOutLimp").track_insert_key(0, fade_out_time, 0.0)

You’d then play this animation when you want the limb effect to smoothly fade out over the specified duration.

Layering Subtractive and Additive Blending

In a more complex scenario, you might want to both subtract and add different elements to an animation. Godot’s animation system enables this through a combination of AnimationNodeSub2 and AnimationNodeBlend2.

var additive_node =
blend_tree.add_node("AdditiveLayer", additive_node, Vector2(900, 150))

blend_tree.connect_node("Subtract", "AdditiveLayer", 0)
blend_tree.connect_node("BonusAnimation", "AdditiveLayer", 1)

animation_tree.set("parameters/AdditiveLayer/blend_amount", 1.0)  # Fully apply bonus animation.

The above example first subtracts certain animations and then adds a bonus animation on top of that result. Perfect for when you need to layer complex sequences.

Executing Complex Transitions

Sometimes, you’ll need more control over the transitions between animations. For this, you might work with an AnimationNodeStateMachine to handle the flow from one state to another, while using AnimationNodeSub2 nodes within each state.

var state_machine =
blend_tree.add_node("StateMachine", state_machine, Vector2(1100, 150))

state_machine.add_node("Walk", animation_tree.get("parameters/Subtract"))
state_machine.add_node("Run", animation_tree.get("parameters/AdditiveLayer"))

state_machine.add_transition("Walk", "Run", "Walk_to_Run")
state_machine.add_transition("Run", "Walk", "Run_to_Walk")

By organizing your animations into states and defining transitions, you can create complex animation interactions while maintaining fine control over how animations blend together.

These examples reflect a fraction of the possibilities that Godot’s animation system offers, specifically with AnimationNodeSub2. As you experiment with these functionalities, your games will benefit from richer, more detailed animation systems that bring your characters and environments to life.

Remember, these concepts require practice to master. If you feel overwhelmed, take it slow, try different combinations, and debug as you go. The art of animation blending is a fine balance between technology and creativity, so keep experimenting and fine-tuning your animations until they match your ultimate vision!

Continuing Your Game Development Journey

You’ve made impressive strides in mastering the intricacies of the AnimationNodeSub2 with Godot 4, but this is just the beginning of your game development journey. To continue growing your skills and expanding your capabilities, we encourage you to explore further with our comprehensive Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. Our Mini-Degree offers a curriculum tailored to guide you through the essentials of building cross-platform games with this versatile engine.

Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of 2D and 3D game mechanics, get to grips with GDScript, or learn how to create entire game systems from scratch, the Godot Game Development Mini-Degree provides a structured path for beginners and those looking to brush up their skills. You’ll emerge with a robust portfolio of real-world projects that demonstrate your readiness to take on professional game development challenges.

For those eager to broaden their horizons even further, take a look at our full range of Godot courses. These courses are designed to adapt to your pace of learning, allowing you to delve into more advanced topics and niche areas of game development. With Zenva, you gain the flexibility to learn from anywhere, at any time, giving you the power to transition from aspiring developer to seasoned pro.

Take the next step in your game development adventure with Zenva, and build the games you’ve always dreamed of creating!


Congratulations on taking a significant step forward in your understanding of Godot’s AnimationNodeSub2. By exploring this feature, you’re unlocking new creative possibilities and enhancing the visual appeal of your projects. However, remember that this is merely one tool among many in the expansive tapestry of game development. Continue your educational journey with us by engaging with the full suite of courses in our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree to transform your newfound knowledge into a robust set of skills.

As you forge ahead in crafting dynamic experiences and captivating gameplay, know that with each tutorial, each challenge overcome, and each line of code written, you’re shaping the future of your game development career. Dive deeper, push boundaries, and create with confidence, knowing that we at Zenva are here to guide you every step of the way. Your next groundbreaking game is on the horizon—let’s build it together!

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