How do I correctly import FBX animations from 3DS Max?


I’m trying to import animations for a World of Warcraft Machinima project I’m working on, using 3DS Max and WoW Model Viewer.

I can export the models fine from the game, resulting in a ~37 MB FBX file containing the mesh and all associated animations. I’m following this tutorial ().

It has sort of worked for me in the past, resulting in a very small mesh without a physics asset and animations rotated 90 degrees on the Y axis, but those things have been easy to fix. However, when I attempted to do it again this morning, the mesh was scaled properly, generated a physics asset and no animations would be imported correctly.

I can see and play the animations (imported one by one) just fine in 3DS Max, but once I export the individual animations and import the resulting files as described in , the animations refuse to play. The frame count is correct and I can see that it is playing through them, but the mesh does not move.

I’m not sure if it has any importance (I’m a noob when it comes to 3DS Max, learning as I go along), but the working model which I saved as a .max project displays the bones below the mesh itself like this:
However, the mesh which refuses to import animations displays it like this (the rest of the bones are all there):
If I try to move the bones (link?) Max complains about a dependency loop.

I’m stumped, so if anyone has any idea what I’m doing wrong, I’d be really happy ^.=.^

Nevermind, I solved it :stuck_out_tongue: I was breaking the models in the process of exporting.

Hello, I have been stuck with the same problem for over 2 days now. I am able to export *.FBX from WoW Model Viewer and then export skeletal model / animations through 3ds Max, but I can’t get the animations to work inside UE4 Editor (they work just fine in 3ds Max).

Could you, please, post how you made it to work (if you could explain it step-by-step it would be really awesome :slight_smile: ) ?

Thank you, your answer would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Jasa,

The solution was pretty simple, albeit a bit hacky.

The team behind Model Viewer changed some stuff about the FBX exporter in revision 332, resulting in 3DS Max not recognizing the bones as bound to the mesh. The last working version is, as far as I know, revision 286 for 3.3.5a.

Use that version and follow the tutorial I linked. Export the mesh with “No Animation” and import it as your base Skeletal Mesh, and then export any animations to individual files which you then import as animations in UE4 using the skeleton created by the NoAnim mesh.

If you want to know more, add me on Skype (rumptrollet), and I’ll share some of my stuff with you ^.=.^