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Inventor Constraint Animation to UE4

Hi All,

Searched high and low for answers and I am struggling to get it to work.

I have a complex assembly which is constrained and animated in Inventor using a single constraint to drive it. Easy enough to export and get into 3DS max as an animation, it came across nicely and moves as intended when I click play.

Now the problem I have is getting that animation into UE4, it crashes when using the “Import into Level” and seems to not like being dragged into the Content browser. I am obviously trying to get it to come in as one animation unit, but from reading some forums, a multi item animation may not be possible ? This object consists of many moving parts, it would be way to difficult to reanimate it in 3ds, as I am not familiar with its constraint abilities.

As a test I did a simple key frame animation using the rotation of a box, and dumped that into Ue4 and it works fine, but again, thats just one simple part.

Is it possible to do ? The end game for me is to attach it to a button and view it in VR, I’d like to be able to stand next to it and evaluate its movement in the environment it will be installed.

Its driving me insane… ( No pun intended)

If the object is animated and has no skeletal rig but it’s just a mesh, UE4 will import each part as a single mesh with itw own animation, while if you try to import as a single mesh ( combine parts during import ) I think it will probably import the mesh as a skeletal mesh, but without the animation ( unless meshes are children of each other, but I’m not 100% sure )
So in case you’re importing each single part with their own animation, you need to create a blueprint, gather all the moving parts there, and trigger each single animation ( on begin play or on key pressed ), which will do the job, but this is heavly unoptimized.

I suggest you to try Alembic import, since it keeps most the stuff intact from the software you’re exporting from, or worst case scenario rig the entire animation you did by creating many joints for each moving part and skin it…painfull, but most of the time works.

Alternatively send an email to UE4 Enterprise to joint their Datasmith beta testing, since the importer works pretty nicely, but in general, if you have complicated moving parts, the best solution is to rig everything, since it also allows you to have an optimized skeletal mesh to work with.

Thank you very much for your reply, Alembic actually worked first go. Now I just need to to work out how to make it play in reverse as well as forwards, and on button input. I did manage to get it in as a combined blueprint, and could play on command, but had to dumb the model down to just a few parts. Tried the full version and could not get it to move unfortunately, but I might dump that now and keep with this alembic. Seems to be the way to go !

Yep, when nothing works try Alembic :smiley:
For the key input and reverse animation do a simple google search, since there are a lot of tutorials about it, but if you’re ok with Alembic results, you’re basically one step away from completing what you have in mind, since the Blueprint setup is quite easy.

Certainly correct ! I managed to sort it all out in the same day, mapped to a button, now has a sound effect, plays forwards and in reverse from the same button ! Biggest Hurdle was getting the animation in, now to figure out how to do the automated machine animation you’ve got a video on your website :open_mouth: That is seriously cool!

@Artemis92 I have a similar challenge. Just wondering about your solution. Did you export from Inventor to 3ds Max first, and then from 3ds Max to alembic? What format did you use when exporting from Inventor to 3ds Max? …Or is it possible to somehow export directly from Inventor to alembic?