Is it possible to import a mesh with an animation made in a 3dpackage without skel?

Is it possible to import a mesh with an animation made in a 3dpackage without skeleton, just normal keyframing for position in blender, 3ds max, maya or some other 3d package ?

Hi ,

You will need the Skeletal mesh to be able to tell the mesh what it’s animation is.

If you wanted to, say, have a vehicle driving along a path or a plane flying along a path and you keyframed it in Matinee you can export that data to an FBX for your 3D software then re-import it back into UE4 after adjusting it to your liking.

If you did this the animations would confined to that specific matinee though. This is not how you would want to handle character animation if you are using that character as a playable one.

Thank you!


Listen to that guy! I’m not an animator and I didn’t find anything directly saying you could do so. :slight_smile:

Yes, you can–animate like normal, but you need to have a common root object that everything is attached to, it can be an object or it can be a dummy object. Export to UE4 (use the Bake Animations option in FBX) and then when you import to UE4 check the box that says Import Rigid Animations.

Thank you both ! :slight_smile:

so, like, have a dummy box object sitting at the origin in the 3D program you are using, and then export? Or like make the dummy object a part of a blueprint that has the meshes to be animated? A screenshot or two would be a huge help (I really can’t understand things unless I see them T_T) BTW, I use Cinema 4D to animate and model and such, if you were wondering what program, if you had multiple, to take screenshots of. :smiley:

i am new to unreal engine and I have the same question about importing animated meshes (keyframes) from Maya. I can’t manage to do it.
I have serevals objects animated with keys. To follow what you said darthviper I put them in a locator and export with fbx (baked animation).
In UE4 how I import them? When I do Import/static mesh, I don’t see the box “import rigid animations”.

You import as Skeletal Mesh, since it’s animated.

ok thank you i will try that, I didnt knew. It is not very logical for someone like me that comes from maya, why they didnt call it “animated mesh”. skeletal is skeletal

Originally you could only use animated meshes with a skeleton, the ability to import other types of animated objects without skeletons came later.

ok it make more sens.
So if I have only one animated object do I have to parent it or I can import it directly?

You can export it directly, if you have multiple objects then they all need to have the same root object/dummy, otherwise they get separated out when you import.

say in 3ds max, i have a custom physics simulation using many different 3d objects…Are you saying i select all the objects, create a dummy and link all the objects to the dummy at the origin? Because typically when i try to export the simulation it doesn’t even recognize it. I wanted a more in depth on how to do it. Plz help :smiley:

yes–make sure that you use the Bake Animation option in the FBX exporter, it will convert any rigging that’s unsupported to baked keyframes.

But note–in some cases if you attach an animated object to something else it will screw up the animation, so do some tests before you do lots of animation and see if you have to attach it to the dummy first or if you can do it after animating.

Do you import it in from the Engine importer or from importing it directly to matinee? and once its in,

How do you make the animation of the object play?

wats a common root object and how do we make one in something like blender 2.8