FBX Import workflow questions

So I have a question or two… I have an entire city scape in Blender. It’s say 250 meshes and a dozen materials. I originally imported it as one giant static mesh which was nice and simple. Only it refused to render on my iphone after I deployed my prototype. A helpful person on here recommended to uncheck “Combine Meshes” on the FBX import. Now when I import I get 100s of static meshes, and it chugs along for a bit when I drag them all into the map, but eventually it all sorts itself out.

Now my issue is, I want to tweak some of the map and the materials and bring those changes back in. It appears I have to go back to each mesh and click “Reimport” one by one several hundred times to make sure I get them all. On top of that, the reimport doesn’t seem to pick up when I’ve renamed any of the materials. Finally, I don’t want to use the crummy imported materials anyway and instead use some nice material instances I made in UE4. I can’t figure out how to edit the existing imported materials and turn them into material instances after the fact. Or any automated way of saying replace all Material X with Material Y in my project. Each mesh has around 3-6 diff materials out of the dozen or so in the entire map, but I’m still looking at having to manually swap out 250x~4 = ~1000 materials?

And this is just for a single level? And if I ever have to fix anything on a map and reimport, do it all over again? Is there a smarter way to go about this?? Originally when I pulled it in as a single mesh, it was just one thing to import and a dozen materials to manually swap out, so no big deal. Now my head is gonna asplode!

as i dont have much time ill reply fast.

google for a blender batch exporter: Google

  1. I dont have blender myself so I cant tell you which one to choose.
  2. Importing everything as one static mesh would obviously mess up a mobile due to polycount, giant (crappy) collision and other issues.
  3. Yes, you now have 100’s of meshes, which is the way ue4 works. think of it as legoes, you combine parts, props and pieces untill you get the result you want.
  4. when editing the one mesh its material, uv map or whatever, you can use the batch exporter. any decent batch exporter will either move the mesh to 0/0/0 if needed and keeps the name you gave the mesh.
  5. if you dont want to use the imported materials, dont import them :slight_smile:
  6. editing the materials and making masters/instances is something you can easily google it to find tutorials on it.
  7. drawcalls are very critical for mobile (and even pc) and every material applied to a mesh increases its drawcall. so 6 diff materials on one mesh results in it having to be drawn 6 times (and depending other stuff perhaps even more) which would kill your mobile and would even be suggested to not do that for desktop either.
  8. there are some good workflow tutorials online, sadly I need to go now and cant provide them.

hopefully this at least helped a little bit untill someone who has more time can go more in depth :slight_smile:

Thank you for taking the time to respond, but I still don’t see any workarounds.

1 - 4: The issue isn’t exporting from Blender, I can still export it as a single FBX and UE4 splits apart on a singe import.

5: My problem is I like that it imported the material and made the link from the mesh to a material, I just don’t like the material in question. So the link is good, the material is bad. Two separate things, I want to keep the imported links.

6: The making of masters/instances isn’t my issue. It’s that you apparently can’t turn a plain material into an instance after it’s been created.

7: I’m not worried about that. It’s extremely low poly and there are no textures and no physics in my game, so I got plenty of wiggle room.

8: I’ve not found any workflows for when you have to split the FBX apart on import, which is why I’ve posted here.