Max "dummy bones" animation to UE

Sorry for the “awesome” topic title, I couldn’t come up with something better and short to title this.

I’ve made a video so I don’t have to write a wall of text and everything is more clear. But basically I’m having issues trying to export an animation from a Max skinned mesh that doesn’t use the actual bones in Max animation system, you know I’m using some “control rig” circle shapes.

I guess I could try using actual bones, but meh I practically never touched that, and I saw this I’m trying to do being done in Max/UDK, in an Eat3D tutorial, they used this dummies as the bones to skin the mesh but they didn’t show the export/import process… so I’m wondering if there’s workflow to get this working.

Anyway, here is the video.

You don’t actually need to use bones–for something that you don’t need to deform you can simply animate it, when you export make sure you are using the Bake Animation settings in the FBX export. When you import to UDK, check the Import Rigid Animations box

I tried that and it worked but in order to animate things easily I had to break the mesh in sections. I still wanted to have this single mesh with the skinned rig… and it turned out the problem is that I was using circle shapes as the bones… changed them for actual Max dummies and now it works like a charm… I can export it and I have the bones hierarchy and everything in unreal, so I can import separate animations for that “skeleton”.

That more or less answers the question I asked earlier today :wink:


Also, for that type of animation you can’t combine that with regular skinned bones in the same skeletal mesh, you have to do either one or the other. And if you have multiple objects then you need to have them attached to a common root object, the root object can be a mesh or a dummy.