Importing Skeletal Mesh from 3DS Max results in shrunken down bones.

Our 3D character modeler gave me a rigged model that looks perfectly fine within 3DS Max, with the skeleton matching perfectly with the mesh, and the skin modifier works. (As we have a few animations already that plays perfectly within 3DS Max). When I import the skeletal mesh and the animation, it results in a very deformed animation, and upon inspection I noticed the bones got scaled down about 8 times smaller than they should be, and we have failed to try and find a solution. Skeletal meshes and animations in UE4 is a new thing to us, so this is very confusing D:.

If anyone could have a look at the FBX model or the 3DS scene file and identify any issues, we will be very grateful.
Here they are in his discretion.

FBX Mesh -

3DS Scene -

ok not sure what your issue is

  1. i imported into 4.6 , no problems just long compile times due to 48 materials (not a good start)
  2. skel mesh is ca. 98 uu high making it half height to the UE4 blue guy
  3. no animation came with the file just 101 frame sequence which doesn’t do anything, checked with the “Autodesk FBX Converter/Viewer”

suggest first resolving the ammount of materials you have, then double check everything.
my workflow is to import the mesh/rig , then the anims, make sure that your anims are exported with a different name to the mesh , eg mesh=Chika anim=Chika_WalkF , Chika=RunR …

Just a check, got this from the FBX version, but probably you have the same condition on the max file:


While to “CGFX” it’s ok to have models scaled on Max by the skeleton, usually it’s a good practice “DON’T” do that when working to game assets/art, there is a way to revert this by using ResetXForm, “BUT” I never could get this to work well on game assets.

I should advice your artist (good one, loved the model) to make his models on 3dsMAX with “Generic Units” on the Unit setup (get each unit just imagined as one cm) and after model, proceed the rigging without apply any scales to your skeleton.

If you are on hurry to get this done, open your files (both mesh and animations) revert the scale back to 100%, re-export, import then on Unreal (yep, she could come small), but inside the engine you could scale her up to whatever size you need. :wink:

I think that this could solve your issue.

Best of luck!

So I managed to make everything to 100% scale, but now when I import it into UE4, the bones seem to be pushed back a bit behind the character, causing the animations to be slightly off, and causing heavy distortion on the fingers, if it’s something that’s not obvious, I’ll be glad to give you the new FBX/3ds scene again.

Thanks for the help :slight_smile:

Both “Master” Bone and your mesh has an Offset on their positions at Max Y (front-back) coordinate of -1.94, as a rule the mesh and master/root bone should be placed on absolute scene center (0 all) before all skinning/exports proccess.

Sorry by don’t check this on my last interaction. :wink:

Ahh, I overlooked that :P. The bones now line up with the mesh, and the animation seems to be working fine :slight_smile: Since we’re mostly dealing with mo-cap data it’s going to take a little while to offset the master bone across all the keys in the animations. (Mainly for one of our 6 minute long cutscenes, omg :P)

Thanks for the help, we’d still be scratching our heads working on other aspects for the time being.

I am having a similar problem to Zetaneko. When I try and import this skeletal mesh into UE4 from 3DS Max, the bones are shrunk down, but in 3DS Max it looks perfectly fine.

This image shows where all the bones seem to appear, but when I try to select another one, the rotator moves an inch.

When I try to rotate any of the bones, it causes the mesh to get distorted.

If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

MAX FILE: Dropbox - File Deleted
FBX FILE: Dropbox - File Deleted

There was this one video where unreal explained this error with this character arm popping out;)

Do you have a link?

A common problem in 3ds Max is the scale tool does not account for local scaling and will only scale relative to the object size referenced by world scale.

Once you have every thing in place and if relative scaling was involved, and more so if non-uniform was used, you will need to reset the the scale , in this case bones, to make it 100% as to true world scale.

Before reseting anything linked in a parent/child relationship unlink the objects before resting else the child will adopted the reset as an additive. Once done re-link.

The same goes for objects as a object set to say 10cmX10cmX10cm will maintain that value as to local scale regardless of how big you make the object as to relative space.

- YouTube

Bottom line the local scale will always be 100% relative to it’s view size as to world scale so if UE4 sees that the object is 50% smaller than it’s local scale, =100%, then strange things can happen like unusual shadow maps or the keyframe animation squashing bones.

It has something to do with right clicking the bones which selects all and rescale animation or something like that… It’s in th eunreal tutorials either twin stick shooter or 3rd person game