[Blender] [Blender Tools] Exporting objects with same skeleton but in different blender files

Hey guys!

For my project I am using the wonderful Blender Tools Plugin.

Basically I have a human armature. This is the global skeleton for, you guessed it, humans.
Humans have a body mesh, head mesh, and clothing meshes.

However I do not want to keep all these meshes in the same file, that’d be crazy. So instead I decided to put different meshes in different blender files.
But now, I’ve run into a problem. I want to have a armature blend file by itself… and then link the armature in each mesh blend. (this would be so whatever changes I would make in the armature it would change for all the meshes.

But now… idk what to do. I can’t export the mesh using the normal “export” button, cause that doesn’t export bone stuff. And I don’t really wanna export each piece of clothing as a “character” either, since it’s not a character. Any ideas?

I’m guessing I have to edit the Blender Tools plugin to get what I want. However I do not know what I should aim for. Any help or questions would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading!

I’m not really sure what you are asking here. First, Blender has the ability to use other blend files as a “library,” their terminology. So, you would create a file with a reference to the Head mesh and the armature.

Now the next part depends on how you intend to handle characters in game. Here are your basic options:

  1. Each character consists of a Head Mesh and the Body Mesh and one set of Clothing meshes. In this case, you add the clothing meshes to the character in Blender, and assuming no dynamics invovled, you export the whole thing. So you will end up with a Head x Body x Clothes = Number of Characters you would end up with.

  2. You Export the armature, Head, Body and Clothes as separate Character objects, and in the Engine define them as one character with many parts.

  3. Some combination of the two.

So which one do you want to do? All three are valid ways of doing it, with strengths and weaknesses depending on your game and your target platform.

Then, once you tell us which one you are going for, what specifically isn’t working for you. Do you not know how to set up the Character parts in the Engine? Are the Blender Tools unable to do one portion of this? Admittedly, I haven’t used them for more than trying them out once, so you have more experience than I. Or is it something else?

#2 is what I’m looking for.

Basically, how do I export a mesh without having to export a skeleton with it every time? This would be kinda annoying cause that means I would have to have a skeleton in every file for every mesh, and there would be a problem if I changed something with the skeleton.

btw the blender tools is now named ue4 tools, just so you know.

Basically I can export a mesh head, for example… but when I do so the skeleton weighting does not get exported. How can I achieve this?

Many thanks for the reply!

If you want separate mesh parts on one skeleton, you just have to separate the parts into their own objects within blender and then export the entire thing as one file. To separate, select verts/faces in edit mode and then ‘P’ (or is it ctrl-P?) and choose ‘selected’. If you already rigged the mesh then that newly separated mesh should hold it’s link to the armature and its weights.

I have a character with seperate head, torso, L_Arm, R_Arm, L_Leg, and R_Leg rigged to one skeleton. I then just exported all objects.

Ye, but what if the head is in it’s own file?

Basically Ima have many different heads, clothing, bodies, hair, etc. I can’t just have everything in one file, I am too organized-minded to do that.
Once possibility is to simply copy the armature and place it into the new file: but what if I want to make a change in the “master” armature? I’d have to go through every blend and replace the old with the new.

I’m currently working on a blender plugin to try to achieve this.

Thanks for the help guys!