A few months ago I uninstalled ue4 when I encountered a problem running the program. Eventually I fixed this problem however with that uninstall I unintentionally deleted the character files used in several animations had done using the ART plugin(btw i recommend suggesting to people when they install the ART plugin that they move that folder out of their UE4 install). I know I should be able to replace the character file with a character file that has the same name, same joints, and generally the same skeleton. My problem is that I don’t know remember the name of one of the leaf bones placed in his hand. Is their any way of reading the maya animation files and figuring out the name of this joint, or for instance how many spine joints I had in my character? Even knowing just the exact file name of the character would be helpful.
Not sure that I understand your question correctly. What do you mean by “reading the maya animation files”? You surely can open a file in Maya and check what are the bones names. But it seems to me that you mean something different.
The problem is that all the maya files reference the skeleton and mesh for the character i was animating. These were located in the UE4 install and where lost when i uninstalled UE4. Every time i open them i get a prompt to find that those missing files. I was told that I could simply create a character with identical(or as close as possible) to the original and select it when prompted. The problem is that I don’t remember the specifics of the character(joint names, etc). I am wondering if there is a way to open up the maya animation files I have and see the names of these joints, etc that they are referencing.
If you are saving your files in binary (.mb) then I don’t think it is possible. You need to convert them to .ma (ASCII format) or an .fbx then you can just try openning it in any text editor and searching through it. It is really easy to do so though, just open up your animation scene and when prompted to provide a link to your reference, click “Abort read” and then just Save As to a new file with .ma extension. All the data will still be there. You see, a reference file is represented by just an ordinary link to it.
This is an example from a random file I’ve just created to test things out:
//Maya ASCII 2011 scene
//Last modified: Wed, Feb 25, 2015 09:48:07 AM
file -rdi 1 -rpr "aaa" -rfn "aaaRN" "aaa.mb";
file -r -rpr "aaa" -dr 1 -rfn "aaaRN" "aaa.mb";
Your animation scene does not actualy contain any data from it except for that link. But all the animation data is being saved in
bbb.ma file which means there will be bone names inside of it:
createNode animCurveTL -n "aaa_joint1_translateX";
setAttr ".tan" 10;
setAttr ".wgt" no;
setAttr -s 2 ".ktv[0:1]" 1.25 -20.627603948352586 11 -17.457324021119263;
This way you can search through your file and find the bones you need. It may take some time but it’s doable nevertheless.
Hope this helps