Cloth banner with animation - How to export the mesh from 3dsMax with bones?

Hey Guys,

I’m trying to produce something like the ‘Hanging Banner’ asset from the Elemental Demo - a cloth banner skeletal mesh that plays a wind animation I’ve created in 3dsmax.

I followed the tutorial here and my general process looks like this:

  1. Create Rectangle
  2. Apply Garment Maker modifier
  3. Apply Cloth modifier
  4. Simulate cloth animation
  5. Export mesh and animation as fbx’s

Do I need to be defining bones for my mesh, somehow, as well? I’m a bit confused on this part and that’s why I started pulling up the Elemental Demo - to see how Epic did it. As you can see in the screenshot, their mesh has some 250 bones all pointing back to the root bone. Will this tutorial method not work or do I just need one more step? Any help is appreciated!




For that type of simple cloth animation you should just use Apex cloth which would have the advantage of running in real time.

Is that actually an advantage, computationally speaking? I assumed a skeletal mesh and looping animation would be cheaper than realtime Apex cloth rendering. Not so?

The reason I’m actually trying to do it with pre-made animations is that I’ve got a decent amount of foliage taking input from my WindDirectionalSource already and haven’t been able to get the look I want in the Apex cloth samples I’ve got - either the wind is too strong on the foliage or too weak on the cloth.

I doubt that having a bone for each vertex with frame by frame animation is going to be all that efficient, I don’t know how it compares to actually simulating it, but games have been doing cloth sim for stuff like flags for a while so it can’t be too much.

I ended up just going with the Apex cloth, after all. It was relatively easy to create and tweak in game and you don’t have to worry about setting up looping animations. It’s a little difficult to get a strong ‘flapping flag’ effect and the wind strength can be a bit tricky to balance with speedtree foliage but it does work! Here’s hoping some future iteration of Unreal will include the ability to change wind speed/strength in realtime via blueprints.

For any interested, I found this tutorial very helpful for learning Apex:

Hey SVR33

I have watched the video you have shared, though it was interesting but I didn’t get much…
So could you please simplify it for me??? And also please explain What skeletal mesh and looping animation are??