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Importing Animated Furniture Creates 50 Files ..?

Hey guys,

I'm a rookie at this whole thing but I've made this in Blender.

alt text

When I import the fbx file into UE4 50 files are created, where most of them are "ANIM," and 2-3 types of skeleton. I obviously have no idea what I'm doing which leads me to this question:

Is it even possible to import animated furniture, which animation I can call when the player enters a Volume?

Or would I be forced to use either a BP Timeline or a matinee to animate the drawers?

Product Version: UE 4.8
drawer.gif (484.0 kB)
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asked Aug 26 '15 at 07:30 PM in Using UE4

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Hi Busymonkey,

Alrighty, looking at your drawer I'm guessing you animated it using keyframes. Nothing wrong with that, this thread should be helpful if you wish to animate that way: Keyframe import. You'll have to double check that the method works with Blender, if you need some export settings check out this question as well: Blender import question.

Another option would be to just create the animation using a timeline in UE4, as you suggested. If exporting/ importing keyframe animations from Blender gives you grief then this method should be a pretty easy alternative.

As for calling the animation when the player enters a Volume, there's a Volume for that! Try using a Trigger Volume. Other options are available as well, but that is a quick and easy way to get started testing.

Best of luck, and that furniture looks pretty decent for a "rookie"!

Cheers, -Noah

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answered Aug 30 '15 at 06:20 PM

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avatar image Busymonkey Sep 01 '15 at 12:13 PM

I took a look at the forum posts you linked and they didn't help me out. I can't find the option for "Import Rigid Mesh" as the solution suggests. It also says to "Be sure you have Skeletal Mesh selected on the FBX import screen," but my cabinet does not have a skeletal mesh or any armature at that. Do I need so set that up somehow?

Right now I'm just moving an object with the use of Keyframe animations, as you guessed.

Thanks for responding, I really appreciate it :)

avatar image Busymonkey Sep 01 '15 at 12:22 PM

I managed to find a similar post: https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/185974/how-to-import-blender-non-skeletal-animation.html

It seems there is no support for vertex animations yet, but according to this Trello Note it might be available fairly soon.

avatar image Busymonkey Sep 01 '15 at 12:37 PM

Hey Noah - thanks for getting back to me I really appreciate it.

I took a look at the forum posts you linked and they look really, really useful and I'll test them out first thing tomorrow!

In regards to the TimeLine-thing, wouldn't it be a pain setting this up for multiple drawers? As far as I know I would need 2 seperate models; the cabinet and the drawers, then I'd place them together in the map, setup initial locations and the entire timeline-shazam, for each and everyone of these objects. The same with doors and other cabinets, setting this up would ("hopefully") give me more grief than importing keyframe animations from Blender ;)

Thanks again, I'll test out the posts tomorrow and I'll post my findings.

avatar image NoahBeggs Sep 02 '15 at 10:22 PM

Hey Busymonkey,

You actually can do vertex animations, using something called morph targets (which are called shape keys in Blender). Which, come to think of it, can actually can be animated using a timeline! (For a super cool example of their use, see this video: A cool video). Here's a good quick tutorial on creating shape keys in Blender and importing them into UE4 as morph targets: Blender to UE4 morph targets.

And you could, of course, just use separate meshes as you suggested, that may be better if you want to do any physics simulations with this furniture.

As for the difficulty/ time needed for timelines, they are pretty easy and you should be able to animate one object and copy that over to others... but take all this with a grain of salt because I don't know what grand scheme you have in mind for these suckers.

Cheers! -Noah

avatar image Busymonkey Sep 09 '15 at 11:36 PM

Hey Noah, sorry for the late response. I took a look at your links and they are awesome :) I guess Morph Targets were exactly what I was looking for :)

As for the "grand scheme" of drawers ;) I was just thinking that in a house for example, with doors, drawers, cabinets, closets and kitchen drawers that it would be easier to be able to just say "Play Animation" rather than setting up timelines for each individual furniture :)

Thanks for helping out Noah :)

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