Cinema 4d to Unreal Engine Workflow

Hey everyone,
I’m currently really struggling with importing a rigged mesh of a car into Unreal Engine 5.1. It’s just a really simple rig consisting of 5 bones, one for the body and 4 for the wheels. I don’t know how long I have been trying but all my attempts to import the mesh correctly have failed so far and either the static mesh or the skeletal mesh have a wrong orientation after the import. I would be more than happy if anybody has an advice to make it work as it should, with X forward and Z up. I have also tried the C4D Datasmith importer, but this doesn’t seem to take the rig into account and just imports the geommetry :crazy_face:

Hey there @DaInzi! I don’t work with Cinema4D (primarily blender and previously Maya) so I don’t have any hands on examples. My recommendation is going to be try and check your workflow in comparison to this video I’ve got below and see if there’s any difference. It could just come down to import/export settings as most blender to unreal issues boil down to the same.

Some other common issues exporting from 3D programs is much of the time transforms and rotations weren’t “Frozen” in Maya terms before export they retain locational data that shouldn’t be there.

Give this a quick watch and if your workflow matches up we might have to look around a bit. He goes over the wrong way first so you can just just skip to when he starts showing off his export settings(this assumes baked anims but you probably wouldn’t)

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Hi, thanks a lot for your reply. I have already watched Winbush’s video, but actually he is using a premade Mixamo rig which seems to work fine. One of my colleges has tried my attempt with Blender, which seems to be a lot less trouble but switching to Blender unfortunatelly is not an option. I have also tried the freezing that you suggested but this didn’t change anything. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing wrong here :crazy_face: Do you know why Datasmith does not take bones into account? This would probably make the process a lot easier.

I’ve only used Datasmith’s importer for CAD pieces so my frame of reference on Datasmith is quite limited. I couldn’t find much information on the limitations of Datasmith for FBX imports, but I’ll keep digging!

It’s a bit harder since I don’t have a C4D license, but it’s pretty close to Maya workflows (minus the cool non destructive thing C4D can do), do you have any animations bundling in with the FBX?

Once I clear some of my more difficult issues on my work list I’m going to download C4D’s trial and see if I can identify the export issue by hand.

Hi, this would be incredibly helpful! Unfortunately there is no documentation online and the support at Maxon didn’t really know what to tell me :laughing:
No there is no animation connected with the fbx it’s just the mesh of the car with 5 bones (for the beginning) that I want to make controllable in Unreal.

Hi there, just wanted to get back to you and see if you had a chance to have look at the C44 to Unreal Engine workflow? I would love to find a solution to make it work correctly as it will be relevant for future projects. Kind regards.

Hey there! Sorry about that! Since I couldn’t find any reference externally, I installed the Maxon launcher and was about to install the trial before I clocked out and never finished the setup. Installing C4D as we speak, I’ve used Maya and Blender so I should be able to set up some tests right away, I’ll give you an update within an hour or so. I’ll rig something up by hand in the meantime to test it out.

Alright so I rigged up the little mannequin they give you with a standard bind. I hand placed the bones, (joint tool, then control clicked them through). Then just selected bind, had no modifiers. I didn’t freeze the transforms at all, just left them as was.

Upon import (in UE5.03) I just left the base import settings alone.

Unfortunately it came in perfect with no issues. However I didn’t have any animation whatsoever, and that could be the pain point.

Hey thanks for your reply. But you don’t show the bone orientation in your examples (z up/ x forward). That’s exactly when I tried it with my car test model. In C4d everything looks good so far but in Unreal Engine it’s not correct as soon as it’s imported.

Oh I see! You’re right the orientations are trashed on base import. What in the world… I’m going to go back to the drawing board here and see if I can remedy that before my trial is up with C4D haha.

Haha yees, that’s exactly what exasperates me :smiley: I guess I have tried every rotation and export setting that’s possible in C4d but couldn’t make it work. I have also tried to export via Datasmith, but then the whole skeleton gets lost on import.

Even not converting the scene the bone orientations are off, freezing transforms didn’t correct it either. I’ve been tracking an issue where some bones and orientations have been being scrambled during import to UE5 from FBX or in this user’s case the asset file directly.

I’m going to test my theory here that it’s something with how 5.1 converts the skeletons.

Edit: Testing shows that is likely not the case, hrm.

Nope, this occurs independently from the UE version. Kind of strange that no other C4D users are complaining about this :smile: