Exporting skeleton and mesh from Maya

Hej! :slight_smile:

I have a Maya scene with an animation rig (it’s w.i.p.!). I want to export as little as possible from the scene, when exporting a skeletal mesh or animations. I’ve tried only selecting the “base skeleton” joints and the character mesh and then going “Export Selection…” and exporting as FBX, but when I import that file to Unreal I find that lots of extra joints (that I use for IK and FK controls) have been imported as well. Just opening the exported FBX file also shows me that more than what I had selected was exported.

I’m obviously doing something wrong. Will FBX export always include assets from the Maya scene that are referenced by the selected assets? I tried unchecking “Input Connections” in the export options and that might kind of work… but then - unless I’m mistaken - the character mesh seems to lose its skinning information…!

I’ve tried googling for a solution to this but thus far I haven’t found anything relevant.

I’m using Unreal 4.18.1 and Maya 2014.

If you can help point me in the right direction (maybe there’s a guide for exactly what I’m attempting somewhere) or if you can say where I’m going wrong, that’d be much appreciated! :slight_smile:


I think it needs to export the entire hierarchy in order to preserve parent/child information.

I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, it just sounds like your rig might not be setup correctly.

Typically your controls would not be mixed into the same hierarchy as your deformation skeleton. You have one complete skeleton that deforms the character mesh, and the control hierarchy is an entirely separate hierarchy that drives the skeleton’s transforms via constraints. The deform joints shouldn’t be direct children of the controls, they should be decoupled from the controls because they do different things. Mixing them together makes it difficult to modify or add/remove controls without breaking your deformations. Plus, it screws up exports to other software :wink: Take a look at Advanced Skeleton or UE4 ART or RapidRig Modular for examples of what that looks like, if you’re not already familiar.

So I had the same problem, the solution is that you need to have the constraints unchecked in the FBX export settings.