Just how well can Blender handle the import and exporting of character animations?

Hello all,

I’m asking about Blenders abilities to import and export animations because I was having trouble. I was following a tutorial on a true first person system and basically a part of it involved create 1 frame animations for a characters additive poses in UE4. And I got this working as intended. But that was with Maya. This was when I had a Maya trial and I can’t afford Maya.

I tried importing the skeletal mesh of a character into Blender, using pose mode to move their head bone and render out 1 frame animations but sadly in UE4 I could not get the additive animations to work as I did when using Maya. This was a bit ago so sadly I can’t relay what exactly was going wrong aside from the blender attempt not working at all.

What I’m asking is can Blender handle this stuff and was it something wrong I was doing? Or is Blender not quite the tool to use for this sort of thing?



It was something wrong you were doing.

As far as animations goes blender actually handles stuff better because it is made by people that actually use the program to work with.

It lacks some basic functionality, like curves. However that’s easy to handle (probably with my plugins) by modifying the export system, if you are capable.

the difference is the rig system.
in Maya you have access to artv1/artv2 which makes it a little easier to rig and animate.
In blender you rely on my plugin or on mr.mannequin. (Probably even after the official epic one is released, seeing the way it still works).
OR you just learn which bones to move to achieve the pose you want.
its not that hard even with FK only if your goal is just to export a single pose.

The settings for export are probably what you were doing wrong, so you can just try this

Install plugin and install Rigify plugin
Import the mannequin - click do it all - pose it.
set the animation frame from 0 to 1.
select all, and ctrl A to apply loc rot
Click the key all frames button or Bake the animation.
Click the export rig button.

After the inital setup you can just modify the pose, click the key all frames, and export.

That sounds great. Thank you. I’m glad blender is viable it’s the program I’m used to working plus maya is too expensive. I will follow your advice and get it working!

I spend multiple times literally days finding out what are the right steps to export something out of Blender to UE. It’s not just clicking the export as FBX menu item and importing it into UE. It’s like MostHost LA said: to export something from Blender to UE you need to follow specific steps, additionally the right export/import settings. Also sometimes you need to set the right project settings in Blender BEFORE you start making the project to be able to export it later to UE. My advice to you is to make a “sketch” of your Blender project, with all functions the finished project will later have and try to export it to UE. If this works, you can actually start your project with all details.

Thanks. What would be an example of the blender settings and functions you mentioned?

use my plugin, import the mannequin. It sets everying you jeed to worry about for you.
you can then delete the mannequin and save your startup file.
the main thing is setting the scales correftly to meters .001

And using the export buttons on my addon prevents you having to learn how to set it up.