Mixing static and skeletal meshes?

Hi. I’m working on a horizontal cabinet with an opening door on the front. It’s curved so it follows the lines of the the cabinet frame.

How do I go about lighting this properly. The door itself is a skeletal mesh and the rest of the frame is static. Must I make the whole cabinet a movable skeletal mesh so I dont get lighting differences or do I somehow lightmass a movable skeletal mesh door?

What’s the process for this?


Volumetric lightmaps can help to some degree with that, but doors in general are an issue with lighting since the lighting on one side is so different from the other, you’re going to get a difference unless both the cabinet and the door are static or dynamic.

I’m confused here.

How does a cabinet door physically bend?

It doesn’t bend, not sure where you got that from.

The top bit lifts up. I was going to lightmass the whole thing but the door thing will look different if it isn’t baked too. won’t it.

You said it was to bend, when you decided to use a skeletal mesh for a cabinet.

You will always have trouble lighting skeletal meshes correctly with baked/static.
They are obviously made to move, and usually do not take lightmaps.

Being that a cabinet is not going to bend, you definitely do not need a skeletal mesh.
Rather, make the cabinet up of separate parts so they can be placed and moved about.

Then, like it was suggested, you may need to set the movement to either static for both or to static and movable to get the door to light correctly.

First, you probably don’t need a skinned mesh for the lid. If the lid moves on hinges, just make it a static mesh, that has a pivot on the axis of the hinges to rotate around.

Second, if the hinge is movable, you need to also mark the body as movable, if you want them to get the same lighting.

OR you can disable precomputed lighting in your World settings, and make your entire scene be dynamic. FWIW, I prefer that option on modern graphics cards. YMMV.

I didn’t say it was to bend at all. Didn’t even mention the word bend. I’m not sure I follow you. No part of the mesh bends in any way. The top lid moves up and down on a hinge.

It is actually a skeletal mesh though. The lid has been rigged in Maya. It doesn’t just swing open, it slides forward on a rail then tilts open with some added bounce for realism.

I’ve already got it rigged and working perfectly fine, I was just wondering about the lighting for meshes with moving skeletal parts. Thanks though.

I do actually need a skeletal mesh. The lid has been rigged in Maya. It doesn’t just swing open, it slides forward on a rail then tilts open with some added bounce for realism. Not just a simple rotation.

And making my whole scene dynamic would be out of the question for the game I’m working on. Thanks though. Looks like I’ll have to experiment a bit further.

It’s mechanical you have no need for a skeletal mesh.
OR you can disregard everyone’s advice and deal with attempting to bake light on a skeletal mesh.

Repectfully, Why on earth does that the fact that its a mechanical object determine if I need to use a skeleton? It has complex animation, animated in Maya, as I’ve said. It’s doesnt just open and close on a pivot. Even if it did, I’d still use a skeletal mesh, as it’s been rigged.

I’m not disregarding information, I’ve been given information on here which contradicts itself. I’m getting told to make it dynamic and movable but also getting direction to bake it.

I’ve explained the nature of the object, an object who’s composition is fairly common in games but it doesn’t seem to have sunk in.

It’s simply a cabinet with a skeletal lid. I can’t bake the lid as the interior will bake black so the lighting will be incorrect when opening it. I wasn’t even intending on baking it, not sure where you’ve got that. Not even sure where you’ve got the information about bending from either, never said bend once in my original post.

It’s a simple question I have, which has been complicated beyond its intention.

‘Is there a way to light skeletal mesh components so they don’t stick out too much next to baked static components or is my only option to make the entire mesh dynamic?’

If not then that’s fine, I’ll have to do something else.

I’m not asking about the way it’s been rigged. I’m not asking about some strange opinions on mechanical meshes.

Not sure what it is with the hostility today but thanks for your time. I’ll figure this out later.

Because it is wholly unnecessary.
The only reason to ever use a skeletal mesh is when things have to deform.
Dealing with cabinets there’s really only one occurrence - cabinets with a blind. Essentially bread boxes. And that’s if you are lazy at doing it in parts.

Re the rest, you are the one asking about mixing baked and non baked.

You cannot bake a skeletal mesh - at least with the base engine.

As such, you cannot “mix” the lighting. As literally everyone told you, in different sauces.

If your cabinet is static and your door is movable they get lit differently when baking.

If your cabinet is movable and your door is movable the lighting is similar but still different from the rest of the scene.

If you enable the force no precomputed light option, everything will look more or less similar since everything will be lit as dynamically as if it were “movable”.

regardless of any of that.
A skeletal mesh will always lite differently than a static mesh. Even in fully dynamic light.

I’m not trying to be combative in any shape or form but are you a troll? I’ve worked in the visual effects industry for almost a decade and that may be one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard.
There are a multitude of game objects which need to be rigged which don’t actually deform including guns and vehicles. Skeletal meshes aren’t only used for deforming objects. The mech from Halo 4 doesn’t deform at all but it’s built with a skeletal mesh. :S

And yes, I am talking about mixing baked with non-baked. My goodness.

I KNOW you can’t mix baked with non-baked thats my point, as I’ve stated four times. I know there are differences when mixing the lighting. Are you even reading my posts?

Literally everything you have just said there, I already know, as I’ve stated a few times on here. You’re just reiterating what I’ve already said.

I was wondering if anyone had any process to mitigate the lighting differences but it looks like the answer is no. Not sure why I’m having a ridiculous diatribe about skeletal meshes.

“The only reason to ever use a skeletal mesh is when things have to deform.”

So if I was to ask you to make a mech? You wouldn’t rig it if it has no deforming parts? :S

I mean, what a ridiculous thing to say, of course you can use skeletal meshes for mechanical and non-deforming objects with complex animation. That’s the normal way of doing things.

For skeletal meshes you can use rigid body animation with no bone rig. For example if you link a bunch of objects (in this case a door to the cabinet) and then animate them, as long as they have a single root object that they are linked to; in UE4 you can import it as a skeletal mesh and it will act like each object is rigged to a “bone” (from itself) and it will contain the animation you made.
For this, you might do the cabinet with the door together as a skeletal mesh for convenience so that you have a single file, otherwise you’d have to place both separately and animate the door within UE4 somehow.

@GlacierFox One thing you might consider depending on what you’re doing, instead of actually animating the cabinet opening, you could have it just toggle between static meshes, one closed and one open, many RPG type games do that kind of thing where the door would just immediately show as open.

I’ve actually already animated it in Maya. The lid is a separate skeletal mesh and the rest of the structure is a static mesh.

And thanks for that idea, that’s actually something I’ve thought about, saves me from animating the rest of them.

Appreciate the reply!

That would depend.
If it has to be a moving player character then you are forced to use a skeletal mesh by the character blueprint.

If instead it didn’t have to move and it had to sit still and receive baked lighting - like most household objects - then no, you would pose it, bake the pose out, dump the rig, and export ad a static mesh, for there wouldn’t be any reason to add add extra complexity to any scene - nor a way to bake lights into it.

Just because you have a skeletal mesh in Maya doesn’t mean you have to have a skeletal mesh in engine.

It depends on your needs.

That doesn’t change much in terms of having to change and customize the lighting settings on a per mesh basis in order to get somewhat decent shadows on an object that isn’t really moving but is made with a skeletal mesh.
And it’s the same with morphs too.

I don’t know what you mean, I was suggesting switching between static meshes rather than using something animated.

I’m not sure he understands the situation @darthviper107 . I understood what you meant.

Was referring to what you suggested about skeletal meshes. Not to the switch. The switch of static ones is an OK idea.
You still need 2 meshes just like you would need two (or more) meshes to move the lid around separately.

You don’t need two meshes, if you read what I wrote, you can export the cabinet with the door as a single skeletal mesh, if you’re going to make them both dynamic so that they have the same lighting you might as well export them together so you only have one file to deal with.

Doing this doesn’t change the fact that you are lighting a skeletal mesh.