Instance/Modular Importing?

Hi guys, sorry for this newbie question. I am a 3D artist. I model everything architecture in 3dsMax, which has lots of methods to distribute instances and build assets. But when I import them into UE4 via FBX (which also supports instance), they all become either one mesh (if combine mesh is enabled) or separate building blocks (if combine is disabled).

I really enjoy modeling in 3dsMax or other 3D applications. But I don’t want to waste my time to port modules into UE4 and rearrange everything again. Are there any tools or scripts that can do this?

1, replace all the instances with a module
2, get the position/rotation/scale info of each instance from the FBX
3, re-arrange these modules based on that.

So that we can save so much time and gain so much control and modify individual items without re-import the whole architecture object.

Thank you so much!

Put the same pivot for each mesh, after import select the meshes needed in your content browser and drag them into a scene, they will be correctly placed (like in 3DSMax i mean)…you will still have to group them in UE4 by hand :wink:

You need to reverse the workflow. Dont waste your time arranging everything in max. Just build it tehre and do the arrangement in UE :slight_smile:

Thank you guys. I guess I can follow the protocols like everyone does. In the field, we have built buildings and bridges that have thousands of instances, it will just be impossible to remake them in Unreal.

For example, something more complicated like this one will be very time consuming.


Macoll, do you mean Unreal will take care of the instancing in this case? Thanks again.

If you really want to import that in one go, modify the can pivots in max and set it to the world origin.
If your placement logic demanded for a local object origin of the can, Im sure there is a max script that can set all can pivots to 0/0/0.
When you import that then in UE4, create a loop that spawns themeshes into the world.

-disadvantage: a lot of meshes to render with a lot of surfaces not visible/viewable.

My suggestion for the screenshot above would be to separate some elements like the archs and the square corner pieces as one mesh. You will save a lot of drawcalls this way.

Dont forget: Max is no realtime rendering. You can cope with thousands of meshes in a scene if you dont have to render 60 of them per second. So the models need to be tweaked.
With the models you describe and the way they seem to be set up, there is no simple one-button solution to build that in UE4.

If I’m understanding your problem correctly, it’s the same one I had a while back. Give the following script a go:

Here’s a video of it in action to give an idea of how it works.

Thank you, Chrisjenno, this is a great tool! Now I have to solve the rest of the problems in 3dsMax, which is, the master object holds all the information about how to distribute the objects, in what pattern. With TS Tools, only the transformation info of the master object can be exported to UE4. I have to find a way to break the master object into a bunch of separate instances, then I can use TS tool from there.

Any suggestions? :slight_smile:

Datasmith solve instance problem…

Datasmith is not a solution for Maya users… since Datasmith only supports Deltagon .fbx format not maya .fbx, only way is to time and space consume with 3d software switching and converting file formats from maya to 3ds max to Datasmith to UE4, which is a terrible solution for this simple task of importing a model into engine.

Epic should include local pivot on FBX Import, look at Unity engine, it literally takes 1 second of drag and drop and that’s it, what i seen is majority of 3d artist usually group/parent/arrange their models inside 3d software and export a final game-ready model (.fbx or .obj most often) and then finalize the prop/model with applying texture/particle/code etc.

again, Epic! include Local Pivot, we want Local Pivot !