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Can you import an FBX of multiple objects as a prefab?


Is there a way in UE 4 to import FBX file (exported from 3ds max) in a such way that a whole scene set up in this file is placed into editor and each object is separate instead of being merged into one on import. I mean that each mesh that is set up in FBX will be separate object and their position, orientation, pivot, animations will be kept intact.

Currently I found only two options: 1. Each object is separate but must be placed into scene (level) manually and positioned here. 2. All objects in FBX are merged into one when "Combine meshes" is set to true on import but this merge really sticks all meshes together into one big static mesh. Not very useful.

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asked Mar 25 '14 at 08:34 PM in Using UE4

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avatar image Squarecoin Apr 29 '14 at 10:38 PM

Hope I can revive this....has this pipeline actually been ironed out? Or any word on whether this is in the pipeline for a feature request?

Retaining the individual pivot points, as well as every being handled under the umbrella of the overall 'parent' fbx file in a content browser, always proved really useful for me in the past. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Unity where this is possible but it seems to be a great workflow that I'd be sorry to have to leave behind.

avatar image Kajisan Nov 08 '15 at 03:55 AM

One year later, any update? Sorry if i am disturbing the peace, posting in certain answer hub necro threads with quite similar questions - regarding proper import flows, but i think its important to reanimate this topic a little.

avatar image Antonz Nov 08 '15 at 09:43 AM

I think we need a helper FBX plugin that matches objects in scene and in FBX by something like names and then sets their position/rotation in scene to the same as in FBX. Advanced features will be selection of objects to match, manual matching and applying of additional transform (scale at least) from settings.

Unfortunately, I'm not working on UE today and not much interested in this now, but probably return to this topic soon.

avatar image Kajisan Nov 08 '15 at 03:47 PM

I found two plugins doing this job pretty well. One is called FBX builder but needs Maya to export the fbx with freeze transformations properly..author said 3dsmax plugin is probably on the way (news is about a week old) https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?88531-FbxBuilder-Rebuilds-FBX-static-mesh-imports-to-retain-original-pivots!

This plugin needs to have the objects nested inside an actor blueprint - not best method but it works good.

Other plugin is a 3dsmax script called TS_Tools which can do the job in a similar way but is creating boxes that need to be replaced with the imported meshes. Works good..but when you got over 200 meshes to replace..its time consuming.

Both plugin-solutions work - the only downside is that there is no proper way of telling UE4 that imported materials from 3dsmax/Maya and co should be replaced with materials sharing the same namespace or at least giving the option to replace materials in the content browser in a more simple way than the "replace references" action (right click on material in content browser > actions)

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2 answers: sort voted first

if the question's still valid, this is how I do it with 3ds max:

set pivot points for every object to be at 0, 0, 0. when importing to UE4 import it as separate objects (do not merge). in object browser (where it shows imported models) select everything and drag - drop into editor. on the right hand tool bar there's supposed to be object coordinates. set them to 0, 0, 0, and everything should be placed as in 3ds and aligned together.

this way I never had to manually align anything. only downside is that your pivot points aren't aligned with objects, and later manipulation in UE4 (if needed) can be awkward. but if you set everything up in max (or maya, or blender, or...) and there's no need for later rearrangement, that's the easiest way IMHO... ;-)

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answered Nov 10 '14 at 05:49 PM

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Another dev can correct me if I'm wrong but I am pretty sure there is no way to do this currently. When you bring in an FBX with multiple meshes you will have to place them individually in your level. As you've already noticed the combine meshes flag will create a single mesh from your export selection was when you made the FBX.

There is also no way to retain the pivot points that you had set inside MAX. The pivot points of your staticmeshes will be where 0,0,0 in MAX was relative to the models at the time of export.

If you need to retain the pivot points of the models that you had set in MAX you can bulk select all your models and move them to 0,0,0 in world space, then bulk export, then reassemble them all inside your UE4 level.

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answered Mar 25 '14 at 10:27 PM

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PeteEllis STAFF
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avatar image Antonz Mar 26 '14 at 09:33 AM

Thanks for reply.

The issue with pivot points is even worse! Looks that I need to work on my own import plugin, or maybe a plugin that allows applying pivots and positions by FBX file for objects that are already placed to level (using names matching, for example).

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