Blender to Unreal Tools, Part 1 - February 6 - Live from HQ

Blender is getting more powerful by the day, and to improve the Blender to Unreal Engine workflow we’re developing a “Send to Unreal” add-on for Blender. Epic’s Kaye Vassey and James Baber are the developers behind this tool, and they’ll be joining us for this episode of Inside Unreal to demonstrate this new workflow.

This will be the first in a series of Blender-related streams in 2020, so make sure you tune in this Thursday, and keep an eye out on our forums for more in the near future!

Thursday, February 6 @ 2:00PM ET - Countdown


Kaye Vassey - Senior Technical Animator - @kmvassey](
James Baber - Pipeline Developer - @TheJamesBaber](
Victor Brodin - Community Manager - @victor1erp](

Blender To Unreal Addon (you must connect your Epic Games and GitHub accounts and be logged in to GitHub to access)

Blender to Unreal tools, Part 1 | Live from HQ | Inside Unreal - YouTube

I guess the future of Mr Mannequins Tools will be rigging and templates then :rolleyes: i’m looking forward to seeing how Unreal Engine officially handles Blender armatures and animations!

Edit: We really need more stable ways of getting sockets, morph targets and materials in and out of the engine with Blender as well… just saying :wink:

I’m already working on the materials part! :wink:

And something similar to what they’ll be showing on the stream… curious to see what exactly Epic’s add-on can do.

I did some messing around with materials while developing Mr Mannequins, one of the biggest issues i came across was converting math nodes between UE and Blender.

If you pull it off that would be so amazing! :slight_smile: Sockets and shape keys/morph targets have some workarounds but materials have been stuck being totally recreated for way to long!

A Blender/UE4 workflow improvement is great news, thanks!

. And maybe something like the Iclone Live Link plugin for animation someday?

Oh god please yes!!! :eek:

Great news, but aww, does that mean no grant for this guy?

(Then again, guess Datasmith doesn’t support skeletal animation.)

I freaking love you guys!

:deep respect:

will this include Blender’s hair tool for the new UE4 hair import tool? :smiley:

Yes please! I hope it can address the armature bones direction. I would be also very useful to be able to use vertex groups for cloth simulation, vertex keys, etc.

I certainly hope they do something about armatures and animation… Although you might want to note that bone directions/rolls are very different from armature to armature and there is no set direction that they must follow for Unreal Engine, so really providing compatibility for them needs to be per bone on each armature… Then there’s recalculating the f-curves of any animations associated with the armature, which can be quite tricky indeed :wink:

Being unreal developers I would assume they are going the other way around the normal issue - instead of hacking together mods to the FBX export, they can just choose to read any type of file they want from within the engine… potentially, that could completely remove any and all FBX issues and really improve the workflow.

Re the armature bone direction, it’s really unimportant. All that matters is the head of the bone. Yes, its not visually pretty. But in the end it doesn’t really break any functionality.
That’s how my plugin and probably mr mannequin which I have never tried actually manage to function.

I really hope we decouple from the need of the FBX export and thus become able to export more functional meshes. Looking forward to it.

[USER=“3140864”]MostHost LA[/USER] We can certainly hope so!

Exactly, it’s all about those locations, the directions are only a problem for rigging with IK and constraints in Blender which can be worked around… as long as the FBX comes in and goes out of Blender without its rest pose changing everything stays compatible UE4 side :slight_smile:

You did Bonebreaker right? I found it after i made Mr Mannequins otherwise i might not of made it in the first place! You did a great job on it! I really don’t want to be messing around with import/export, i’d rather be working on templates and converting animation between armatures and doing build your own modular rigging anyway lol. You should check out the update i’ll be releasing this week, i’ve been working on a system that will take animation from one armature and put it on another regardless of names, hierarchy and different rest poses :smiley:

Yep, Bonebreaker is my making. And yea, my main focus was simplifying the import/export/rig process, definitely not modular rigs - I like to use re-targeting in engine, mostly.

Sounds like you have a nice update planned. Definitely must have involved a ton of renaming work or parenting work to achieve.
My main focus of late (in blender) was to try and better the automatic weight painting for rigging new stuff. it pretty much sucks no matter what though, it seems to always need fine tuning on hips/elbows/knees no matter what I script into it, or how I re-create the armature to automatically parent. In fact, I got a lot faster at “just doing it” in the end :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh geez i know exactly what you mean i put a little time into mucking around with auto-weighting and its some next level pains in the backside, i was going to come back to it when i’m happy with my re-targeting and modular rigging. I was thinking to maybe make some template joint topology to copy weights from and have the user scale/position them to fit whatever they are working on before hitting an apply button to transfer the weights? Dunno if you tried that kind of thing but i figure it could be worth a try!

I did try that too. It’s not bad, but it will still need adjusting. Its possibly the best solution though.

This has got the be the greatest news since EVER !

Thank You **Epic **for listening to your community & all the great stuff that ya’ll do !!! :smiley:

Fantastic news, thanks from us growing Blender user base!

Very good news. Hopefully that add-on will be able to export everything needed (model, skeleton, animations) directly from blender to unreal (basically converting these into appropriate uassets). Down with FBX!

Wow! this is great news. Looking forward to it