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How to import shape key animation data from Blender

Hello friends

How can I import animation data of shape keys from Blender to Unreal? I used lip sync plugin called Papagayo in Blender to make a small dialog with my character. When I import him in Unreal shape keys are detected inside persona but I cant find anywhere the actual dialog animation I created. Is there a way for the engine to detect this data? Otherwise lipsync is useless and the only option is to pay a fortune to companies that make FaceFx or similar products

Alexander Moschopoulos

Product Version: UE 4.10
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asked Jan 14 '16 at 02:54 PM in Using UE4

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Xander Moss
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avatar image NoahBeggs Jan 14 '16 at 03:10 PM

Just to clarify, are you having trouble importing shape keys or a skeletal animation, or both? Also, make sure you have import morph targets checked when importing the fbx file into ue4 (in ue4 shape keys are called morph targets).

avatar image twalk1776 Feb 16 '17 at 01:08 AM

You saved me SO MUCH trouble!!!! Thank you!!!

avatar image NoahBeggs Jan 14 '16 at 03:13 PM

(Sorry for double comment, just thought of this)- Or, are you having trouble importing the actual animation data for the shape key strengths? I.e. how much each shape key affects the mesh on each frame of your dialogue animation?

avatar image AialexanderPsoih May 06 '16 at 02:46 AM

I would also like to know if there is a way to do this. I'm pretty sure he means the strength animaton data of the shape keys themselves. Not the skeletal animation. I know there is a way to do this with Maya, but I have not found a way to do this from Blender, but it would improve my workflow drastically to have that capability from Blender going into Ue4.

avatar image AialexanderPsoih Sep 24 '16 at 09:43 PM

Hey guys, maybe you can help me with this. I'm trying to bring in some facial animation that I made using the MakeHuman Face Panel option that comes with the MHX2 plugin, but no matter what settings I export or import with, I can't seem to get the bones to drive the morph targets in Ue4? The bones are animating in persona, and the morph targets work when I change the values in the sliders, but they don't react aside from that. Any idea what I might be doing wrong? I know I've gotten this to work before, so I'm completely baffled as to why it wouldn't work now. Aside from working in 4 13, but I have the same problem in 4 12.

avatar image Abeysaurus Sep 24 '16 at 11:34 PM

Just trying to understand your export process. When you export the animation from blender, are you exporting just the Skeletal rig alone? From my experience, when I needed to bring in any animated blendshapes on the face, I had to export the Head mesh along with the skeletal mesh. The keyshape animation data is baked into the actual head mesh during export and not the bones that drive it. So try selecting the rig and the head mesh and export selected.

avatar image AialexanderPsoih Sep 25 '16 at 02:15 AM

Yeah I figured that out not too long after I posted the question. I exported the mesh with the rig and manually switched it to the skeleton in the import settings since it automatically defaults to skeletal mesh import settings. Thank you for confirming. I appreciate the insight.

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4 answers: sort voted first

I took a while to sort out the pipeline from Blender to UE4. So how i have it is, when exporting the animation, i select the rig and the head mesh and under the FBX export settings, i check Selected Objects and also make sure you uncheck Apply modifiers.

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answered Sep 20 '16 at 06:41 PM

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Abeysaurus
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I believe that's true, yes. I've also learned that if you want to have your shapekeys animated from Blender to Ue4, you need to have bones driving the Shapekeys. I got it to work from MakeHuman once and it was awesome!

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answered Sep 20 '16 at 09:46 PM

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AialexanderPsoih
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hello guys, yes you need to have bones to drive the animation shapekeys.

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answered Sep 21 '16 at 07:25 AM

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Xander Moss
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You will need to link the shapekeys to bones or a control rig if you want to animate the faces manually. But if you want to use the Papagayo workflow, the import plugin they have is capable of only baking keys directly to the mesh or using the Pose library.

In the project I worked on, I simply exported the head mesh along with the skeleton animation when getting it through to Unreal since all the morph keys are stored in the head mesh. But if you have the shapekeys driven by your skeleton, then you don't have to include the Head mesh.

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answered Sep 21 '16 at 05:02 PM

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Abeysaurus
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