Help with importing super simple mesh animation into UE4

Basically title, I’m trying to import simple Maya file this into UE4 but I keep getting weird error messages and I’m unable play the animation in UE4. Times like this I wish I stuck to Unity -_- (although Unity has some things I don’t like either xD).

I have the animation export settings ticked!


As always, thanks in advance!

looking at your image, there is an easier way :slight_smile: to achieve this if that’s what your trying to do?
If the cubes are only rotating around the ring, then I would suggest, exporting one cube with the pivot in the center of the ring. In cascade, bring in the cube with its offset and duplicate it 5 times with the distance offset you have specified and the apply a mesh rotation to each (shift drag in cascade makes it a copy of the original mesh rotation so they all maintain the same speed.)

Then all you need to do is export the ring as a separate mesh. no need to export the animation from maya to do the same thing. if that’s what you trying to achieve :slight_smile:

You’re right in that it could probably be solved by some kind of simple timed rotation in UE4 - but I wanted to use this opportunity to make more sense of the maya to ue4 exporting procedure.

Offtopic rant, but is it just me or is 3ds max + unity just so much more comfortable to operate x_x.

Thanks for the response though!

so are you trying to bring it in as skeletal mesh? a baked animation fbx? that would be my next question. If you have baked frames from either max or Maya it will import.

A little more background in what your trying to do will help understand if you can go into more detail?

If I’m being honest - I don’t understand the concept of a skeletal mesh. Whenever I’ve used unity, I’ve exported all my animated models as fbx files (with animations included) and you could set individual animation tokens in unity. You could easily determine the start and end of the animation based on the model’s timeline in 3dsmax/maya - it was super intuitive.

Also ue4 seems to export separate meshes in fbx as if they were separate entities if you don’t combine them in whatever program you used to export it. In unity, even though you could see the separate file type by uncollapsing the import - the fbx as a whole is still packaged together so it’s not all over the place.

In ue4, I can’t even get my simple rotated mesh animation to show xD.

I’m not trying to be overly harsh on ue4, I’m just comparing it to unity - because I don’t know how to make sense of some of the workflow in ue4. And in explaining what I know, perhaps somebody could bridge a similar workflow in ue4 in a way that I can understand :).

yeah, unreal is fine for animations but you do have to know the workflow - so firstly there’s an option on import for combining meshes if you want to keep things separate in maya and then have them come in as one object. this can be useful for modular sets and things but personally i just like to keep one file per mesh as it makes it easier to identify things.

secondly with your skeletal mesh problems you need to understand what a skeletal mesh is trying to do. it was first used in the engine for rigged animations - ie a mesh applied to a skeleton of joints. That means you need to do the same set up for the rigid animation that you’re doing now, luckily for you though you dont have to make a joint per box and set up a rig - unreal will do it for you if you set up the scene correctly.

so the important thing to remember is that the whole animation needs to have a common root bone - in maya this can just be a locator i believe, and this is the pivot point of the model. then you can build your animation on top of that, with as many parent/child pieces as you want. when you import the fbx with animation unreal should pick up that it should be skeletal and ask you which skeleton you want to use - if none exists yet it will create one automatically. the advantage of this is that you can have multiple models sharing the same animations etc. but we dont often need that for fx type work.

its also worth remembering that some sorts of animation deformers and tools that work in maya might not export correctly into unreal - you might have to bake the keys on the cubes so that the animation is just on the mesh instead of the deformers.

let me know if you’re still struggling and i’ll put together a quick video for you, hope that helps!

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