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Mesh import

Hi,

I purchased a mesh from turbosquid and have imported it into unreal. My issue is that this mesh is coming in as one object (a static mesh) and there are many buttons and levers on the model that I would like the player to be able to interact with. When I look in the details tab, there is only one component. What do I do?

Is it a skeletal mesh? You could rig it in Blender. Otherwise, I’m afraid you have to break it up into parts and import them separately.

I guess that is where i’m having trouble. Lets assume i’m using an airplane cockpit with many dials and levers on it. The model is made in maya, exported as an fbx, and imported into unreal. Would I import this as a skeletal mesh and then build in blueprint functionality to each dial/lever? Sorry for basic question…

I’m not an expert in this area, but as far as I understand, that is correct, yes.

After import the skeleton should be intact, along with the animations.

But you can’t import it and magically have blueprint functionality.

Depends on usage.

If the cockpit is seen from further than 2m there’s near 0 difference between baking the consol down to a texture and having physical geometry.
If the console is used in VR, then physical geometry is probably better.

As far as best practice goes, breaking up the model into parts is better/preferred to using a skeletal mesh.

This is almost always the case because skeletal meshes come with their own downsides and compromises.

You would need to look at what those issues are and make an educated decision on the usage of skeletal vs mesh with regards to the necessity on something that’s almost purely mechanical.

Anything organic is pretty much restricted to skeletal if you want decent animations and rag-dolling physics. Anything mechanical or “non living” can actually be a mesh without skeletal components, with just a bit more work.

TL:DR
Break up your model into parts and use separate meshes.

awesome, thanks for the details. The model will be in VR so baking won’t help as I need close up functionality.

Once I separate the meshes, how would I go about assembling them so the cockpit looks as it was intended in the original model creation?
thx

Depends on how you split things up and what you need things to do.

Best practice is to place every object at 0,0,0 and export so that the pivot is local to each object.

You then place the objects where they have to be since some are indubitably going to be blueprints while others just meshes.

The not so optimal way is to just split things up but keep them in place.
Once you import, and drag all the assets at once onto the scene, everything will be individual but placed as the original file.

You may think that’s a good thing - until you try and add functionality to rotate a lever…