Character Animation with multiple parts

Hey guys,

I made a character model in Blender in what I would call the usual way: it consists of three different objects - the body, the left eye and the right eye. Besides that there is my armature (= skeleton in UE4 terms) which drives the animation of the body. The animation of the eyes is done with so called track-to constraints - the rotation of the eyes follows one specific bone. That´s is, very normal and traditional. I do not want to swap any objects - all I want is my body animation and the eye´s animation to show up correctly in UE4.

  1. Export all three mesh objects + armature into one FBX file
    When I export to FBX and import in UE4 all is ok besides that fact that the animation for my eyes (they should look around) is lost. I tried for the last 24 hours, there is not way to get that animation. But of course, maybe I did something wrong here (what???). When I import the FBX back into blender I see that the eye´s animation is there.

  2. Export body and armature into one FBX file - the same goes for the eyes which leads in the end to three different FBX files.
    The animation of the body works perfect. Again, the animation of the eyes does not work.

My questions: for the given model, how should a usual setup look like in UE4? One object or more objects? I know probably hard to guess but why is my eye animation not working?

I answer my own questions, as it is working now.

What UE4 did not like was my eye rig. They eyeballs were parented to the armature and had track to constraints - this specific setup did not work as described above. I changed the eye rig in that I parented my eyeballs to newly added eyeball-bons and then again used a track-to constraint. The setup that worked for me is here:

You need to bake the animation for the track-to constraints to make sure the animation is saved in the .fbx file. You can do that using Bake Action and select visual keying.

For the single object vs. multiple objects it depends on what you want to do. Personally I use multiple objects so I can swap them out for other meshes later if I feel like it. But both methods should work.


I have a plane that consists of around 300 separate objects. I want to UV them separately and I am also building this in this way so I can swap out parts later or modify.
So looks like I can just parent all those parts to one armature and that should work?
So if I export I just select the single armature and all the objects and export that as a single Skel mesh?
Is that correct?
And what will happen to the UVies if I import that Skel mesh into Unreal?
Will they overlap?
Or might I need to create more UV channels?
My plane is here:

Thank you !! :slight_smile:

You would need to import each object seperately (assigning the same skeleton) and piece them together in the BP. It doesn’t sound fun when you’ve got 300 objects. Are you sure you need every part to be separate? The same goes for the UVs, having 300 different UV maps doesn’t sound that useful. It’s better to join a bunch of objects that are related and split them by material instead, then you can have different UV maps even if they’re the same object.