Flipped character animation after import

Hey guys!
I am very new to unreal and don’t know how everything works yet.
Here is a problem:

  1. I have created a character in , rigged it and animated a few takes such as idle, run and walk.

  2. I selected mesh-group and main joint in outliner and exported as FBX with animation option checked.

  3. I imported it in UE4 as it was recognized - skeletal mesh

  4. My animation plays, but the axis are wrong. My character is laying on the ground. It looks like the Y and Z are changed…

  5. I tried to change the axis in the FBX but the result is the same.

Here I include the screenshots.

I can see the problem part after I push play in the animation tab.
Please help! :slight_smile:
And thank you!

Couple questions: are you using Y-up or Z-up in ? When you open your skeleton or skeletal mesh, is it standing upright in the t-pose? It only flips down when an animation is playing?


  1. I’ve never changed anything with the axes in , so I use Y-up

  2. I am not sure what u mean here… Though I’ll try to guess… When I double click on my mesh in the content browser - opens the window with all its’ information, there I see my model NOT in T-pose. I see exactly what is shown on the first screenshot. If that’s what u meant.

  3. Yes, it flips down only if I play the animation. And the animation is playing but while the model is laying as u see on the second screenshot. It is standing unless I click on the animation-name in the asset browser sub-window.

You mean I have to just simply rotate everything in my scene in …?
But I’ve got everything animated there. Won’t it mess up everything I have? Could u please give me more info…? :slight_smile:

Okay, thanks for the info. I think your problem is being caused by the Up-axis difference between your files and UE4. I would try changing your scene to be Z-Up, rotating the character to be upright again, and then re-exporting.

Hope that fixes it!

Sure. First, in , go to Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences. In the window that pops click the Settings Category and change Up Axis to Z.

When you do that, your scene will probably look like what you’re seeing in UE4 now: your character will be lying on the ground. So, you will need to rotate your character back up to counter this. I’m not sure what your particular animation rig is like, but most have a ‘master’ control that allows you to move or rotate the entire character as a unit. You should be able to just rotate this node (or one like it) to correct the change without having to adjust each body part.

Ok! I do have the master control with the functionality you mentioned above! I will try now and tell u what will I have gotten as the result. Thank you!

No man, it doesn’t work. I flipped the axis to Z in the settings. I rotated the model by manipulating the main control. Imported the model to the engine and its all the same with it. I noticed one thing though, the only reason the model is not laying from the beginning, I mean in the mesh options after double click on it in the content browser, is that the option “Use t0A pose” is checked. If I uncheck it, the model is laying even in the previewer. And I also played with “Axis Y or Z” within the FBX exporter. Didn’t affect… What to do with it… sad

Sure, with great pleasure! How would we do that? Post it here?

it constantly says that the maximum amount of comment size is exceeded, but my fbx is just 3kb… wait… ill give here a dropbox link

nope, actually it is 90mb… :sunglasses:
i go away from here for today, if u have some time then maybe you can take a look! And thank you in advance! See u tomorrow!

Hmmm. Mind sending me your .fbx file? I’d like to try a couple things. Sorry this has been such a pain, but we’ll get it figured out.

Yep, if you don’t mind, that would be great.

Took a look at your .fbx. There are a couple things that you should probably step back and change before going any further with this character.

  1. The .fbx that you import for you Skeletal Mesh should have the character in its default state (T-Pose) with no animation on it. Also, that fbx should just contain the character’s mesh and joints; not any of the nodes, groups, controls, etc. associated with the animation rig. More info on that: LINK.

  2. An .fbx file for an animation only needs the animated joints. Again, you don’t want any of the extra stuff associated with your animation rig, just the joints. So, whenever you’re ready to export, select all of your joints and do an Export Selection. More info on that here: LINK

  3. Currently the root bone of your skeletal hierarchy is the child of an animation control (animGlobal01). You will want to remove that parent/child relationship and just use a parent constraint instead. The root bone needs to be the top of the hierarchy for your animations to import correctly. I was able to get your Idle imported with the correct rotation just by making that change.

I know that it stinks to have to re-do your work, but depending on your familiarity with setting up a character for use in a game, I would honestly recommend just starting over and using the Animation Rigging Tool for included with UE4. You can use your same mesh with it, and things like joint hierarchy, up-axis, etc will be correct out of the box. Documentation on that, here: LINK.

Good luck!

Hello buddy, thanks for your time here!
I am currently trying to go the same way as u advice here. Till now no success. What I did is: removed all the nodes that interfere. Before I export, I select only mesh pieces, and root bone. I dont bake any animation, i deleted all the keyframes and my character is in the T pose. When I want to import it, first it didn’t want to import, with a message: Try rigged option enabled… I did and then it imported the fbx but mesh is broken into pieces now, like legs and hands apart :smiley:
Crazy stuff… Well, im trying further…

It got very irritating, I just can’t make it happen. As further I try as farther it gets from desirable result. I am already super angry. Now I imported it and I can’t see any bones in any previewer. Screw it.
Can you please tell me how can i setup the Animation tools from UE4 for ? Is that an external thing or…

Hey man,
Sorry to hear that you’re having so much trouble/frustration with this. Hang in there! The Animation and Rigging Tool that I mentioned above is a plug-in that Epic’s Lead Technical Animator made and the animators (including myself) use everyday It’s included with UE4 and you should already have the necessary files on your machine. Here’s the link to the documentation that goes over installing the tool, setting up a rig, and animating with it: ART Documentation.

Follow all of the instructions carefully, and you should be up and running with a new rig/skeletal mesh very quickly. One last note, when you finish going through all of the rigging steps, the tool will save out a rig file and an export file (in the AnimRigs and ExportFiles folders, respectively). In order to get a .fbx for your Skeletal Mesh, you would open the export file, select the joint hierarchy and whatever mesh you have skinned to it, and do an export selection. To export animations, the tool has a button in the UI you can just hit (that process should be covered in the documentation).

Good luck!

Thank you buddy!

Anytime! Hope that works out for you.