Achieving 'Instances' in Unreal from 3ds Max

Hi folks,

I just started playing with Unreal the other day to see if it’s worth making the move over from Unity. One thing I was taken aback by was that it seems like Unreal is unable to recognize instances from 3ds Max fbx files (Unity does).

I’m trying to take a theater that is filled with 1000 people in 1000 seats in 3ds Max and cleanly get it into Unreal. Each of these seats is about 1000 verts, so I it would be nice if Unreal doesn’t treat each one like a separate unique object.

I understand that Unreal uses ‘Blueprints’ and copies of Blueprints essentially behave the way instances do in 3ds Max or prefabs do in Unity. So I imagine the best thing for me to do is replace all 1000 of my seats in 3ds Max with, say, 1000 simple boxes, then in Unreal, somehow convert each of those boxes into a Blueprint object of my 1000-vert seated person. Is this the best approach? Can anyone advise me on the best way to do this?

And if anyone feels like being super generous, I’m also trying to make it so clicking on any of the seats will take the player to that seat. I’ve been trying to see if there’s a way to do this with Blueprint Visual scripting, but so far, no luck.

Any help is much appreciated!