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Easily Export/Import Animations and Meshes! - Blender to UE4 - Free Addon - Mr Mannequins Tools v1.2

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    #76
    Originally posted by Jim Kroovy View Post
    Dealman Sounds like you are using the finger IK rig option? The control bone shouldn't be rotated to make the finger chain bend but scaled instead, and the fingers IK stiffness and limits are pretty tight so you could also try messing around with those

    Edit: So for the finger IK the process is - Scale control bone to get desired bend on finger, Rotate bent finger as close to position as possible using the control bone, Tweak finger bones themselves individually if required.

    I'd also suggest mostly rotating the control bone on it's local Z axis to avoid jumping around within the IK chain.
    Knew it was a case of me not knowing what on earth I'm doing... Thanks! Getting used to Blender's way of doing things is gonna take a while

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      #77
      Was wondering if anyone could point me to a guide on rigging a mesh with this tool. The 2 minutes spent on showing whatever you tried with Boris was no help, as Unreal couldn't import the mesh correctly due to bone name errors.

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        #78
        Detoxxe yeah the bones having to be named correctly thing was my own biggest issue with the re-targeting system i came up with, it was just a work in progress i've come leaps and bounds with it for the next update!

        In in update 1.3 the re-targeting will no longer need bones to be named like the mannequins, any bone can be mapped to any other bone to transfer animation/mesh data and rigging afterwards will be modular

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          #79
          I've been using Mr Mannequins rig and it's been great, but I got a really weird problem with the shoulder rig when exporting to Unreal. It used to work when I moved the shoulder rig up and down, but in this new project that I created, the shoulders stay put and the arms start moving as if the movement came from the hand. The two mannequins are identical, since it's a default project and I don't recall changing any settings from it. What can I do here?

          Click image for larger version

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ID:	1714128 this is the project that runs how it should be
          Click image for larger version

Name:	project-with-bug.png
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ID:	1714127 this is the new project that moves the arm for some reason

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            #80
            gabotsdm I'm really not too sure what could be causing that have you used any constraints on the shoulders in Blender? You could try checking the skeleton options in UE4 as well. If you can send me the .blend files i could have a look for you

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              #81
              Originally posted by Jim Kroovy View Post
              gabotsdm I'm really not too sure what could be causing that have you used any constraints on the shoulders in Blender? You could try checking the skeleton options in UE4 as well. If you can send me the .blend files i could have a look for you
              I don't think I used constraints, I'm fairly new at this. Thanks for helping, I'm attaching the files here https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...5U?usp=sharing

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                #82
                gabotsdm I'm pretty sure it's an animation setting in UE4 open the animation asset, in the upper left of the "Skeleton Tree" tab select options and set "Show Retargeting Options" then set the re-targeting to "Animation" for any bones you want to use location keyframes in the skeleton tree that should do the trick!

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                  #83
                  Thank you so much!! I had to put all the bones with retargeting to Animation and it worked thankss

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                    #84
                    Hello Jim !
                    This is extremely interesting stuff, I can't wait to dive fully into this.

                    I have been working on male+female bundles myself (in Blender no less) for a little while now so I thought I might as well share some of my findings here. I hope this helps !

                    - - - - -

                    - First off (and that's a bit of an obvious since this plugin/toolset exists !), I think it's good to dispel the myth that "Blender can't be used for UE character stuff" . As said this add-on proves it, but to those interested : in order to natively export character content (meshes and animations) to UE from Blender, the only thing one needs to do is to pay close attention to the joint hierarchy on both sides. There is just one bone to renamed/edited and then everything exports perfectly, without the need for any retargeting once in UE (just right click > assign to skeleton, or selecting the desired skeleton on import prompt, of course). I hope this clarifies things a little. Now that said ... this hierarchy editing, while not super hard to figure out, is certainly neither obvious or trivial - so this addon is awesome just for that

                    - On animation : I can't thank you enough for the rig setup, this is so great !! That's something I've been meaning to attempt for a while myself but this looks fantastic already. Can't wait to play with that.

                    - On creating animations in general : there is an issue in Blender 2.8+ when it comes to the handling of normalmaps in the viewport when playing animations. Basically Blender recalculates the shading on each frame, slowing down playback/scrubbing a lot. The workaround is to disable all normalmap nodes and there is an addon for that. You might want to integrate it into your tool somehow ? Or simply having the option to load the mannequins without normalmaps altogether.

                    The current one seems to be this :
                    https://github.com/theoldben/ToggleNormalMaps

                    The one I have been using myself is from a different author ("Crute") but I can't find the source for it anymore, so maybe it's been replaced by this one.

                    - About the female skeleton/model : I was very curious to compare yours to mine - we've ended on something very similar On my end I gave mine a slight platform/heel, that way it allows to make the body just a bit more tiny while still reaching similar eight to the male. Our shoulder treatments are slightly different too but we're in the same ballpark. FWIW here are both :

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	females.jpg Views:	0 Size:	163.6 KB ID:	1718521

                    - One female hands (as mentioned by another user above, when playing back a sword handling animation for instance) : this personally took me a little while to get right by carefully adjusting and counter-adjusting the shoulders, arms and hands. I personally settled on the following : if an animation from the male starter firearm pack plays nice once retargeted (as in : duplicated animation) to the female, then its fine. Tricky to get right but it's doable.

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	Male-and-Female--in-map-31920x1080f66c321a8805cfa0398231b2e33debcf.jpg Views:	0 Size:	321.3 KB ID:	1718522

                    - Lastly, a Blender/UE trick I found after a little while : it is possible to have many skeletons of the (almost) same name in one scene, by simple playing with uppercase/lowercase. Root, root, rOOt, rooT, and so on. On import UE4 sees it all as the same thing. I leverage this in order to work on both Male and Female content at the same time in one scene, previewing animations, and so on. Maybe that might be of some interest to some.

                    - On weighting : this is a tricky one isn't it ... Even though the Epic mannequin has twist bones for shoulder/wrist deformations, I personally decided to not rely on them at all, simply because none of the third-party animation bundles from the marketplace use them since the ball and socket nature of the Epic mannequin doesn't need and twist adjustments, unlike organic limbs. So yeah as far as I am concerned I opted to never rely on them for the sake of compatibility. Not sure if that is relevant to your work but I thought I'd mention it.

                    - - - - -
                    Really can't wait to play with posing/animating using your tool Thanks again for your hard work !!
                    I hope that the above doesn't read as a derail btw - just thought I'd share my experience on the topic.

                    P.O.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by PO_art; 02-07-2020, 01:52 PM.

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                      #85
                      PO_art That's awesome thank you for the detailed reply! I will surely look into the things you have mentioned when i have the time! I have the twist bone constraints all set up in Blender (with some special pivot bones to help avoid clipping) and you can always tweak how they work yourself.

                      Please join the Discord server and post anything you make with Mr Mannequins in the showcase channel i'd love to see it all in action!

                      Big update coming soon, i'll be going live an about an hour so to try and demonstrate what's changing and getting improved!

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                        #86
                        Two things I don't understand about this are: 1) Can I load my custom humanoid mesh (made in Blender) without any rigging/weight painting done, and use this add-on to rig the mesh to the UE4 skeleton?
                        2) Can I also add extra bones and animate those independently to the bones in the UE4 Skeleton? (Basically I'd like to use retarget some standard human animations like walk and run from some animation packs, and but also do some extra animation on top of those)

                        If I can make a suggestion, instead of having an hour long video explaining all of the plug-in's function in bulk, have smaller tutorial-like videos, or at least add timestamps, it's hard to use those videos as reference otherwise :P
                        Last edited by ZLight; 02-13-2020, 05:28 PM.

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                          #87
                          ZLight 1) Yes! if you know what you are doing i'm adding a whole system to help with doing this soon 2) You can add any bones you like but parent them to bones in the deform bone group and make sure their deform setting is enabled or they won't export.

                          I love feedback, thank you! I never get any about video quality or watchability.

                          Timestamps i should definitely add, it's on my to do list. My rule for videos these days is aim for 15 mins never go over 45, when i record the update videos usually they are like 90-120 minutes and i cut them down as much as i can. Their purpose is to document changes with brief explanations not so much provide a guide for how to do things.

                          I will be doing some tutorial series for how to actually do stuff like rigging and using custom characters with the add-on as well as the basics of animation after the next update for sure

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                            #88
                            Originally posted by Jim Kroovy View Post
                            ZLight 1) Yes! if you know what you are doing i'm adding a whole system to help with doing this soon 2) You can add any bones you like but parent them to bones in the deform bone group and make sure their deform setting is enabled or they won't export.

                            I love feedback, thank you! I never get any about video quality or watchability.

                            Timestamps i should definitely add, it's on my to do list. My rule for videos these days is aim for 15 mins never go over 45, when i record the update videos usually they are like 90-120 minutes and i cut them down as much as i can. Their purpose is to document changes with brief explanations not so much provide a guide for how to do things.

                            I will be doing some tutorial series for how to actually do stuff like rigging and using custom characters with the add-on as well as the basics of animation after the next update for sure
                            Thanks for the info, can't wait for the new update then!

                            A few tutorials on how to use the plug-in would be great, especially on the rigging a custom character to the UE4 Skeleton from scratch and also on retargeting animations/bones. Those are probably the most important things for someone who is just starting out with UE4 and Blender. The way it is right now it's really difficult gather any info efficiently.

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