Modular Multi-Mesh Characters


Wondering if anyone knew any other methods for making modular multi-mesh characters. As far as I can work out, there are 2 ways to do it:

  1. Import a rigged multi-mesh character from the 3D modelling tool into UE4 with “Combine Meshes” import option enabled. This generates a single skeletal mesh asset with an “Element” for each mesh. In UE4 you can then change the material assigned to each element, but not the meshes used by each element.

  2. Import a rigged multi-mesh character without enabling “Combine Meshes” or importing each mesh separately. In this case, as far as I can work out, you then need to construct the character in the character blueprint by adding a skeletal mesh component for each mesh you want to make up the character. But this method also creates an animation blueprint instance for each skeletal mesh component.

Is there another way to do it?


I use method 2… but I wasnt aware that it creates an animBlueprint instance per component are you completely sure about that?.. I just add them all to the same character as additional mesh components. So they all use the same AnimBP, then I keep them in sync using the setMasterPoseComponent feature. I highly doupt that would make an instance per part… or am I misunderstanding something here?

I also use method 2.

What I do is import the entire character first and let UE4 generate the skeleton and physics assets based on the whole character. It’s also useful to have the whole character mesh to preview animations etc.

I then import each of the body parts separately but in the import options I tell it to use the existing skeleton and physics assets created previously.

I then assemble all the parts inside the character blueprint and create an animation blueprint. I’ve never know UE4 to generate an animation blueprint on import.

Inside the character blueprint I set the master mesh (usually the characters head) to use the animation blueprint and sync the other meshes up using the SetMasterPoseComponent, as Adeptus said.

Not sure if this is the best method but it’s been working well for me so far.


Glad i found this info about SetMasterPoseComponet helped me out a lot,

Thanks :slight_smile:

I have modular characters in my game though the head doesn’t use the same skeleton as the body at the moment (not sure if using the same skeleton would help hide the seam). I don’t import the meshes the same time, though. I use “Export Selection” in Maya. The head is attached into a “HeadPosition” socket. For clothes I use SetMasterPoseComponent.

How do you make sure that when you cut up your mesh, in Maya or Max, that you won’t have seams between all the body parts. I can’t figure out how to remove the body part, and attach it in UE4 with no seams. I’m using Maya.

I found the solution. Have your full mesh, and then delete the parts (using select by UV shell is faster) then save. Load the full mesh and the parts in Maya and then follow this video it will give you the concept: Maya - Copy Vertex Normals, Real Time Character's Head & Hair - YouTube :slight_smile: