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APEX causes Morph Targets to not work.

Greetings all,

When I apply APEX cloth to a material that has morph targets the morph targets no longer work. In the material I have checked both Used with Cloth and Used with Morph Targets. Am I missing something? Was there another box somewhere that I was supposed to check? I don't think I'm forgetting anything. Pretty sure this is a bug.

(This is on a skeletal mesh btw.)

Product Version: UE 4.12
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asked Nov 02 '16 at 02:42 PM in Bug Reports

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avatar image Ed Burgess ♦♦ STAFF Nov 03 '16 at 01:53 PM

Hi Nightasy,

It is expected that assigning a clothing asset to the element of something utilizing morph targets will override the morph targets. That is why it is suggested to use separate Material IDs for the areas of the mesh that you want to simulate cloth.

Try adjusting your mesh so that the parts that are cloth have their own material element separate from the parts that need to morph and let me know if that helps!

EDIT Just to be clear you can use APEX cloth with morph targets you just have to be careful because where your APEX cloth material is applied will override the morph target information.


avatar image Nightasy Nov 03 '16 at 05:39 PM


That's not the case in earlier versions:


IN that video he uses morph targets and the morph targets change the base shape and the APEX still works. It doesn't do that anymore. The morph target doesn't do anything with APEX applied.

I suppose I can figure out a way to work around it if I'm clever with Material assignments. We're doing hair now and it's quite inconvenient that the morph targets don't do anything. What would be convenient is if that when applying a morph target the object would morph and then reactivate the APEX.

Is there a way through blueprint to disable APEX when morphing and then enable it once the morph is set?

avatar image Ed Burgess ♦♦ STAFF Nov 03 '16 at 08:18 PM

Ah, you are correct sir. This actually seems to be an issue that has been around for a while and has slipped through the cracks. I'm going to investigate what version this started breaking in. I also plan to follow up with a bug report. It may take till tomorrow for me to check this though.

UPDATE: Okay I got lucky and found the version relatively quickly. This functionality broke in 4.11 and was working in 4.10 I'll update you when the JIRA is made.

avatar image cloganart Jul 27 '18 at 04:45 AM

Any news on this matter?

avatar image Wallenstein Jul 27 '18 at 05:42 AM

I wouldn't hold my breath with all the problems of 4.20. Besides the clothing simulation doesn't really work for anything but the simplest and smallest clothing. I tried a character with a cape and the cape went through the body, got stuck on the wrong side of the physics body, no real reproduction possible, depending on wind direction, movement and so on. I eventually dropped the whole idea of physical clothing for my characters.

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5 answers: sort voted first

Yea, well at least I found this thread here. After 2 days. Now I know that further research in the matter is useless. At the very least this must be mentioned in the documentation of the clothing tool. Just like the fact that you cant use more than 16 collision objects on a mesh with clothing!

I mean people expect certain functionality and if Unreal does not provide it the least you can do is write about this clearly in the place where people get their first information from to save us frustration.

I would settle for a way to edit a clothing information nd then be able to transfer it over to another skeletal mesh that has the morphs baked into it, since I have a small number of fixed body morphs and would be willing to export them baked from my 3D application but it looks like not even that is possible.

Instead, the only possible solution now is to export each bodymorph baked and then do the clothing painting again and again and again on each mesh.

That really sux!

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answered Feb 05 '18 at 10:06 PM

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avatar image akaisol Sep 05 '18 at 11:02 PM

Agreed. I think this is one of the worst decisions Epic has made and I'm not sure why it's not high up on the list of things needing to be added back (if it is at all).

And yes, I also wish they added this kind of information in a "notes" section at the least, save people a lot of trouble.

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Hi Nightasy,

Just getting back to you! I have reproduced this issue and logged a report for it here: https://issues.unrealengine.com/issue/UE-38256

You can track the report's status as the issue is reviewed by our development staff.


Ed Burgess

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answered Nov 04 '16 at 01:53 PM

avatar image Nightasy Nov 04 '16 at 01:59 PM

Excellent news!

I know you're quite busy but if you happen to hear of what area of code they change to fix this please let me know. Our team is developing a large scale MMoRPG using UE4.12.5 and I fear we may be a bit dug into that specific version of the engine at this point where an upgrade would be too problematic. We may have to implement the fix ourselves as it's probably unlikely that the fix will be integrated in a revision of 4.12, being that you guys are already working on UE4.14.

avatar image Ed Burgess ♦♦ STAFF Nov 04 '16 at 03:29 PM

So, I got some more information regarding this subject.

This is marked as by design and the developers had informed me that Morph targets on clothing are no longer supported. This was due to the many optimizations made. However, we are looking at supporting it again in a better way in future.

You can go over the 4.11 release notes as they mention optimizations made to APEX cloth.

avatar image Nightasy Nov 04 '16 at 03:39 PM

Well, that was a bad "by design" decision. Optimizing is only a good idea when it doesn't negatively impact the functionality. I mean really, what a terrible decision. What you're telling me is that APEX was better in previous versions of the engine because it supported morph targets. That's what you essentially just told me. Doesn't matter what they optimized, I don't even have to look. It was better when it worked with morph targets.

What files would I have to revert in the source to get it back the way it was?

This remains a BUG in my eyes. I know it's not your fault and sorry if I sound bullish but what a terrible idea it was to remove that functionality. I would personally say, REVERT all of the optimizations to back when it worked with morph targets and then redo the optimization so that it STILL works with morph targets. They broke one the coolest aspects of working with APEX in UE4.

Anyhow, thanks for looking into it. This is just terrible... whoever made that decision... yea, that guy... I'm pointing at him and shaking my head... Who throws a shoe? Honestly...

avatar image Ed Burgess ♦♦ STAFF Nov 04 '16 at 05:32 PM

There were many files that were changed as the engine framework was updated drastically in that time period. I would have to contact the specific engineers that worked on these optimizations and comb through the changes to find out what files to revert.

Even still that would be a risky venture since reverting these files may impact the engine in a negative way. A suggestion one of my coworkers had is to create a 4.10 build and only pull in functionality that you need from later versions. Then migrate your project to this highly-customized 4.10 build.

Otherwise you may have to wait until we are able to put that functionality back in or use clever workarounds.

avatar image Nightasy Nov 05 '16 at 02:33 PM

Well, apart from waiting for it to be "FIXED" because it is a "BUG", we'll most likely have to hire someone to fix it in the source. Given that it worked in previous versions of the engine when it wasn't bugged it's likely that the right person for the job can get it working again. Just have to compare the code and find out how it got broken.

Anyhow, thanks for your time.

avatar image johnbingham Jan 10 '17 at 06:06 AM

This is a feature we could really use on our game too. we have ship sails that currently use apex cloth and Im looking for solutions to fold them up when you cycle through different sail states. morph targets/ blenshapes was going to be our best solution. I hope the "we are looking at supporting it again in a better way in future" is not and empty statement. its getting really frustrating when features get removed because of various optimizations.

avatar image Nightasy Jan 10 '17 at 06:11 AM

No doubt. This is a top concern for our team in the future. If it's not added in then we plan to code the feature in ourselves. Very big issue here. Currently we've managed to work around it for the time being but the workaround is very limited.

Personally I feel that removing a "priority" feature of a system does not equate to optimizing a system. They've made it worse. You can't shoot a gift horse and call it lucky number thirteen. Epic done shot the horse and buried it behind the track on this one.

avatar image johnbingham Jan 10 '17 at 06:27 AM

yeah our programmer support on issues like this is super limited. not to mention expensive. We are getting close to tech alpha and Im afraid we are going to ship with out it. would have a much better result and aesthetic if the 2 features worked together like they used to.

avatar image Ed Burgess ♦♦ STAFF Jan 10 '17 at 03:46 PM

As far as I know, integration of Apex with Morph Targets isn't on our immediate roadmap. Don't rely on this feature being implemented soon if it is important for your project. I would recommend reverting to a previous version or implementing a fix yourself.

Even if there are plans to work on this there is no telling when they will be put in motion.

avatar image gustavorios2 Mar 11 '17 at 05:06 AM

I won't be able to make my character skinny or fat with apex. there's an apex alternative in the works? I mean... Like, every game on this generation has some kind of character customization, I don't understand how this isn't an important issue. ='(

avatar image Spectral Ink Mar 23 '18 at 11:14 PM

just pinging this again so Epic does't forget people are still wanting this feature back

avatar image Spectral Ink Sep 01 '17 at 01:12 AM

is this feature going to re-implemented with the new cloth tool? being able to mix morph targets with cloth sim is very helpful.

avatar image gustavorios2 Sep 29 '17 at 09:26 PM

morph target + cloth not working for me... And I really need to make my character to get fat =(

avatar image w_jones Oct 30 '17 at 10:42 AM

This is still broken in 18.00

Can we get a view from EPIC as to if this will be "fixed" or is this no longer desired.

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Not to add to the broken record... but I am using the built in clothing (apex) tool. And it does not seem to be related to material groups, but the second you apply a clothing asset even before adding any weights, it disables the morph targets.Could anyone elaborate on what they meant up there when they were talking about separate material groups? or was that before the built in tool when importing, and now that its a built in tool it disables morph targets for the entire mesh?

I would have to agree that even if there were some sub optimal results that would have to be finagled, or if sometimes the results were just down right undesirable, it would still be more effective not to have it auto disable morph targets.

Edit: Using 4.17.2

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answered Nov 30 '17 at 07:00 PM

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6gg Studios
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avatar image w_jones Dec 01 '17 at 09:14 AM

Mock Up Games

Morph targets with cloth has been disabled by design for the foreseeable future, don't expect this to get addressed within the next year (or maybe even ever).

As a result of the new cloth pipeline you can collide with many more collision capsules (which are now the capsules in your physics asset, rather being separate) so now we can have many more shapes to collide with - so there is a possibility of having a more detailed shape, it might be possible to implement different sizes of physics asset to represent different body sizes.

I feel (but I am not sure) that the cloth has now been implemented at an earlier stage in the pipeline (for efficiency) so the engine now does morph OR cloth. It simply can't do both.

Regarding material groups. Not 100% sure but I think whats being talked about here is the fact you can have 1 asset with multiple materials, some materials can have morphs, others can have clothing applied. So morphs and cloth on the same asset - but not on the same material.

I hope that helps.


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Oh I'm not expecting this to be changed. Thanks for the quick response. But what I am seeing is that the clothing asset is applied to the mesh, not to the material.. and that once a clothing asset is applied to a mesh, morph targets are disabled for the whole mesh. But its not a huge deal, I can find work arounds. I will just be attaching separate meshes for the moving parts, and stuff like robes that are one piece, I will disclude morphs to grow with the character size and just make the all enveloping.


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answered Dec 01 '17 at 04:49 PM

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6gg Studios
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from what I heard Unreal 3 can do that? anyone can confirm this? UDK is still usable?

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answered Dec 01 '17 at 05:36 PM

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