Animation Controller Organization for Topdown Pixelart RPG

I have an organizational question about the animation controller. Currently, I have spritesheets for the character swinging each of the tools that will come in the game. However, I would like for the game to have different types of each tool, such as stronger tools that have different looks. I understand I will need a separate sprite sheet for the character given the art style, however when it comes to the animation controller the first thing that comes to mind is needing a blend tree for each of those sprite sheets.

Right now, as shown below, I have a blend tree for each of the Crude tools (which are the starting tools) that have animations/sprite sheets for each tool. Say I wanted to create the next set of tools that are stronger than these ones and the animations for it. Would I just need more blend trees and parameters? How do larger projects handle this in the animation controller? Say I have 5 types of each tool; what would I do?


I rarely use sprite sheets, but IMO the tool and character are separate entities and should be treated as such. I would think that the player has a similar swing with ever tool (maybe just a few variations). So wouldn’t it be advantageous to set the transform Pose of the tool parent in the animation and just change out the tool when necessary??

I don’t work in 2D at all, and maybe there is a limitation where parts of the tool need to be occluded by the character body/arms, but that should be easy enough to setup within the animation as well with some masking technique

This way, you can just change out tools to your hearts content without making the same Sprite sheet over and over when all you need to change out is the tool