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Why are my Blender model's bones incorrectly rendered on "Animation"?

I created very simple model in Blender (2.70). Added several bones and 10 frames of animation.

Blender sources and exported fbx here

In blender it looks like this:

alt text

After exporting to FBX and importing it to U4 I got strange results on render. It seems that my bones are not translated properly. Animation has either rotation and location properly set (at least I hope so):

alt text

It renders properly only when I set "Translation retargeting" to "Skeleton" instead of "Animation":

alt text

Can somebody tell me, why my bones are incorrectly rendered on "Animation"? Should I export the model in a special way? Should I take something important into consideration?

Any hint is much appreciated.

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asked Apr 01 '14 at 10:18 PM in Using UE4

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4 answers: sort voted first

Hi SirMike! I took a look at that .fbx you supplied this morning, and I think the problem you are seeing is caused by your root bone (named Armature) having a scale of 16 on it. On import, you should've seen a warning in the log window about 'non-identity scale'. Basically, you want all of the bones in your skeleton to have a scale of 1, 1, 1. If you want to make your mesh bigger in-game, you can still achieve that by changing the scale of your Mesh component in UE4.

Just to be sure, I imported the .fbx into maya, set the scale to 1 and re-exported. It imported and animated properly without having to adjust any Translation Retargeting settings.

Hope that helps!

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answered Apr 02 '14 at 01:26 PM

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Ray Arnett STAFF
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avatar image SirMike Apr 02 '14 at 02:12 PM

Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.

I am setting the scale to 16 because my model is too small after export. Yes, I can do it in U4, no problem with that. But... when I leave the scale and set it to 1, there is another problem. Coordinate system during export (or import?) is not taken into consideration, no matter how I set axes during export. I still got the import warning from U4 that "FBX bind pose 'BIND_POSES' is invalid. It will be ignored.". This must be related somehow but I don't know how to fix it yet.

This exporter must be broken. I will try to hack it a little bit, but I do not know FBX internals. Think it's time to learn :)

avatar image Ray Arnett STAFF Apr 02 '14 at 10:49 PM

Good luck! Unfortunately, I have zero experience with Blender, but from this site and the forums, it seems like quite a few people are using it. Hope you manage to sort it out.

avatar image SirMike Apr 03 '14 at 08:15 AM

I'll try. To be honest, before buying the subscription, I was expecting that U4 would be compliant with the most popular free modelling software, or rather Free modelling software would be compliant with U4 ;) For Indie dev, buying a several thousand dollars license for Maya / 3DS is veeery tough decision :)

avatar image nikolobin STAFF Apr 03 '14 at 09:01 PM

Ray is correct. This is because your ref pose having scale value in it. I just fixed this and it will be released in the next build. Sorry about trouble. In the next build, this should all work as you see.



avatar image SirMike Apr 04 '14 at 08:14 AM

This is great news. Thank you!

avatar image SirMike Apr 13 '14 at 02:58 PM

Does 4.0.2 contain this fix?

avatar image nikolobin STAFF Apr 15 '14 at 09:12 PM

No, but 4.1. should contain the fix.

avatar image SirMike May 02 '14 at 09:46 AM

I have checked with 4.1 and it seems that everything works perfectly. Animation is correctly imported and played. Thank you.

avatar image Mugluck Apr 03 '14 at 10:21 AM

I use Blender with UE4, I usually assume that exporting issues have to do with the way the thing is setup rather than the programs themselves. In the case of .fbx, the SDK is proprietary and owned by Autodesk, which makes it difficult for Open Source to use as they tend to be shuttered by beaurocracy. Believe me, if they were allowed to properly integrate it, they would. But I guess that's life.

Yeah, it's annoying having to figure out stuff like this, it should just be straightforward, but it's par for the course in dealing with free stuff, even if Blender and Unreal are both most excellent pieces of free software. Unreal being just a bit more expensive than free.

When dealing with something like a Blender export, there's usually a standardisation process that needs to be followed to make sure that Blender's info is compliant with UE4's import info.

Also, if you want to scale the model properly. The export options has a little scale option, it's default to 1 unit, which is 1 unreal unit. So you'll need to set that to something like 50 or 100 to make it more realistic in size. That should solve any size issues without having to manually scale the mesh or bones.

I know it's annoying... but hey, you get to make the first export/import animation video for Blender to Unreal if you succeed. Free hits!

avatar image SirMike Apr 03 '14 at 10:37 AM

It's hard to not to agree with you :)

avatar image Mugluck Apr 03 '14 at 11:20 AM

With luck, we might see the engine get some more exports. Either from Epic, or from people tweaking the source code. Maybe even in a month or two. There's a pretty big demand for it now that the community has some say. Fingers crossed! :P

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The more I use Blender together with U4, more I am convinced that Blender is not suitable for professional game development :( That's a pity, I like its interface and workflow very much.

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answered Apr 02 '14 at 05:44 AM

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I have been dealing with the issue for a while now as well. It seems that the problem stems from the older version of FBX SDK that Blender is using, as I have the same issue with some models that are saved in FBX 2011 format. Tried fixing the issue in Maya and 3DSMax without success so far, I can see that the problem is with incorrect bones export...

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answered Apr 01 '14 at 11:55 PM

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Try not to mind the sound too much, but this video will run you through updating blender's fbx export script to the latest version:


Also. Remember, as Ray Arnett pointed out, set your bone scaling. Ctrl+A, just to make sure everything's fine and dandy before exporting.


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answered Apr 02 '14 at 01:31 PM

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avatar image SirMike Apr 02 '14 at 01:53 PM

Your method works for static meshes but exporter still messes up the bones :( They are not translated properly during an animation.

avatar image nikolobin STAFF Apr 22 '14 at 08:43 PM

This was probably caused by ref pose having scale. I fixed this in the 4.1, so this should work with next build. Thanks for the patience.


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