Long way of exporting complex rig from Maya to Unreal Engine

Hello all the good people of this community!

For few days by now I have an big problem exporting complex rig to Unreal Engine.

I just want to state few initial things:

  1. I know that the fancy/complex animations have to be backed into FBX in order to work in Unreal Engine.
  2. I am after few different tutorials of exporting Maya -> FBX and importing FBX -> UE4, with no luck.

Overall, I know the idea behind exporting/importing from Maya to Unreal Engine, but the **problem lays somewhere in details **/ options / steps.
When you decide to post an answer, please consider I am not very experienced so elaborate whenever you can :wink:

What I want to do?
So, my aim is to** import Mery rig** which is free for non-commercial study projects:

You can download it from there for free to follow the steps I make and to reproduce everything I describe.

With What?
I use Maya 2017, Unreal Engine version 4.17.2, no external plug-ins.

Why not ARTV1?
It’s not working with Unreal Engine version 4.17.2, and ARTV2 alpha which does, does not support what I need - facial animations etc.
And I want to export already created Mery rig instead of rigging character from start.

First, naive try
I know I made few mistakes by that, but showing it step by step will help you to tell me where I do the wrong move.

What I did: Select all and export to FBX, then import into Unreal Engine.

What I got:

What was wrong:
Character has been spited into several different pieces.

Merge the fragments of the mesh.

Second try - merged mesh
I did so by selecting geometry that are actively used (Mery rig has additional clothes etc. that can be switched with eye icon on the rig, but I did not select them) and pressing “combine”:

So I got:

Ok. Single mesh.

Now the export:

I select with CTRL both the single mesh I have now and the Mery_grp_rig. I go to File -> Export Selection.

I choose FBX with parameters:

  • type: Binary
  • version: FBX 2014/2015
  • Geometry: **only **Smooth Mesh and Referenced Assets Content checked
  • Animation: checked
  • Bake Animation: checked
  • Resample All:** checked**
  • Constraints: **both **Constraints and Skeleton Definitions unchecked
  • Deformed Models: checked


I hit the export. I know I don’t yet have any animation in my Maya but it doesn’t matter. I have problem with importing rig for now.

I get several warnings and errors (most of them seem to be “ok” as e.g. I’m ok with complex animation being baked or):

Now I go to Unreal Engine 4 and in prepared folder I hit Import next to Add New in Content Browser.

I select those options:

And hit “Import All”.

After import is finished I get:

So as you see, there are materials and mesh (don’t mind shoes - I didn’t combined those sub-meshes) imported.
The problem is, the skeleton shows just Mery_geo_cn_body which is the name of mesh and not a skeleton - I don’t have any hierarchy here.

Another try - messing with export parameters
Upon exporting FBX from Maya I’ve this time selected Constraints -> Skeleton Definitions:

  • type: Binary
  • version: FBX 2014/2015
  • Geometry: **only **Smooth Mesh and Referenced Assets Content checked
  • Animation: checked
  • Bake Animation: checked
  • Resample All:** checked**
  • Constraints: Constraints unchecked and Skeleton Definitions checked
  • Deformed Models: checked

I get some warnings again:

And after importing the mesh I got exact same result with no skeleton whatsoever:

I was further experimenting with warnings, export options and so on, got some strange results sometimes but so far I’ve not managed to get the mesh and rig to get exported. Not to mention the animations for now.

Do you see what I do wrong here? What can I try?

Thanks in advance!
And note me if I didn’t provide some information needed.