Importing multiple models in position for ArchViz

Hi Guys,

I’ve just started playing with UE4 coming from an ArchViz field. Apologies if there’s an obvious answer I’ve overlooked through the search function but given my experience is only in 3ds Max and V-Ray, many of the terms used and the export pipeline are new to me :slight_smile:

Basically what I want is to seperate my meshes and unwrap them uniquely in the aim of having a good quality light map. An example would be for a house visualization, I would like to seperate the walls from the Kitchen cabinets to give them their own light maps.

I know that when exporting meshes they need to be set at 0,0,0 and their pivot points adjusted (can someone please tell me why that is so important?). Then I would have a bunch of static meshes clumped together and I’d have to move them to their proper place in UE4 which seems like more work than I’d like to do, and hopefully there’s a better way :slight_smile:

Take the attached image for example, and for arguments sake, ignore everything but the purple walls and yellow kitchen. I want to be able to import the purple walls, and yellow kitchen without having to modify their position and keep it as it was in 3ds max. Is there any way I can do this easily?

Any help would be gratefully received, and again, sorry if the answer is right infront of me.


Hi Selos,

There are a couple of reasons to understand why Pivots are set to the World Origin: Modular design and working on the grid. You’ve got the idea of thinking modularly down and you have a understanding of Lightmaps which is fantastic!

When you export from your modeling software, in this case 3Ds max which I use as well, you understand that the world position there will be the pivot of your mesh when you import into UE4. It will not retain the pivot that you set up for your mesh in Max. There has been a feature request to have the FBX import keep the original pivots that were set by the user in their modeling software but there is no timeline of when/if this will be implemented.

Since the point here is modularity you want to have your meshes pivot placed at the world origin of 0,0,0. It’s recommended that if you’re doing a wall, for example, the pivot would be in one of the bottom corners. When you export you would then set all the meshes pivots to move to the world origin for import into UE4.

You end up with this result which allows you to build your level with your modular pieces you can use over and over:


The other option is to leave all your meshes where they are in Max and export. Make sure to not check “combine meshes” option when importing though. This will still give you all your individual pieces but you will have one pivot point location that works for all your meshes. When you place them they will be offset by this but they will be properly placed. This may work if you’re not intending on using them for any other purpose than that.

Three Meshes with the same pivot location but different offsets:



The idea here is that when using modularity you’ll build your mesh assets in your modeling software and assemble and build your level in UE4.

I hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions if I’ve been confusing or what not.

Thank you!


Just to add to what Tim said. Here is a small script that saves a ton on of time and work exporting stuff from max: Batch Export/Import | ScriptSpot You can set it to move the object to 0.0.0 point on export, adjust its scale and export files based on objects name in max.

Ah ok. So realistically, given each project will be unique, there is no need for me to have it as an asset which can be used over and over. Unless it’s say, a couch or bookcase.

I had read somewhere that having not having the pivot point set correctly can lead to undesireable GI calculations. Any truth to this?

Excellent - I’ve played with a similar script. Very useful and thanks!


Honestly, I’m not sure on this one as I’ve never heard that or tested that situation. If you run into issues with it please let me know and I’ll look into that further with possible feedback from a developer (if they don’t see this and respond anyway).

If you check out the Community Content And Tools section there’s some tools for 3ds Max that can help you position your objects in 3ds Max and then transfer that information to UE4 so that you can more easily create your levels without having to place everything in UE4.

For me I’ve got some airplanes and it’s not as easy to place things in UE4 like the chairs, it’s much easier to position them in 3ds Max, so I’ve got a script that as long as the chair is already in the content browser in UE4 then I can run the script in 3ds Max and it’ll copy the positions and then I can just paste to UE4 and it will grab the object from the content browser and place it correctly. There’s also a tool someone else made that I haven’t checked out yet but might make it even easier.

Excellent. Thanks for the help guys.

Thread moved to ‘Architectural Visualization’ sub forum

Personally I haven’t had problems exporting stuff with the pivot a bit off to not having to place the objects in unreal, no issues with lighting or such so far at least. :slight_smile:

Just go for it, try making some tests and see if there is some noticeable difference.

Definitively we need a script or an official Unreal plugin for Max that exports our geometries in UE4 respecting world and local pivots, materials, animations, cameras, lights, proper names, hierarchies, groups, etc.
Also the plugin automatically should assign the second UV map.
I tried for some time the Cryengine plugin for Max. It was not perfect but worked. We need this type of exporter.



I second that - and I would also be willing to pay for such a plugin.


It’s not quite what you are asking for but I guess it could help in a way or another…

A plugin to help the process of exporting fbx to Ue4.

I use 3ds Max to lay out my environments and import structure objects relative to one another in world space into UE4 and it works just fine.

The upside you can just build stuff in world space and when imported into UE4 will snap together like Lego blocks. The down side is you do loss the pivot point local to the object as to it’s position to 0 0 0 but so what.

All that means is you will have to adjust your work flow from being modular in UE4 to being modular in 3ds Max and work the design top down instead of bottom up.

For example you could use a simple box object to represent the volume of space the building will take up and as you make improvements as to form and shape of a building you can update on the fly. Best way of describing such a work flow is it’s progressive and as the level begins to materialize what you need to do comes to the surface as to best practice.

Another example lets say you have a boat load of modular components,doors, windows or even pre made parts that don’t fit you could import your facade and place you modular components relative to the proxy and export out of UE4 and into 3ds Max to edit the facade to fit the modular parts.

Proof of concept wip.
100% made in 3ds Max using this technique as each time a building started to take shape I would harvested common components, making them modular, where all that’s left relative to world space is the facade.

Better still this approach gives you access to all of the architecture tools in 3ds Max where a lot of talented artists can become involved to build high detailed environments where it all starts with me giving you a box and tell you to build something inside it.

Last bit of advice go with what you know, it’s not a wrong way of doing it, and all UE4 is just another 3d environment with a real time sub system that does not excluded 3ds Max as the preferred editing application . :wink:

P.S. There is a work around for the pivot problem by creating a primitive object aligned to 000, align it to your offset object, select your offset first and the aligned object second and your transforms will now be based on the aligned object. Once happy delete the aligned object.

P.S.P.S sorry about the long answer. Short answer if you “Export by selection” to FBX then the object will import into UE4 relative to world space as it is in 3ds Max.