One BlendShape with several Inbetweens.., how?


So in maya i have a single blenshape node (morph target) that was made out of 5 inbetweens. When i export this into UE4 i get the mesh with 5 morph targets instead of a single one like it was in maya. Is there a way to fix this and have a single morph with the inbetweens?.., that`s an essential part of any blendshape (morph) workflow!


What is that blendShape doing? I have never dealt with inbetween blendShapes in UE4, but Im sure we can find a solution to this. Either by changing the rig in a way that whatever effect the blendShape has is outsourced to bone deformation.
Or by solving this in the engine. It might be that the engine doesnt support inbetween shapes on morph targets, thats something that you can work around in different ways.

As far as I know a blendshape is linear only. So there could be no inbetweens.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.

I once baked an soft body simulation into blendshapes using blender. There were 250 keyframes, so 250 blendshapes had been created.
In Unreal I’ve created a Blueprint which iterates over the Blendshapes and ‘plays’ them with a delay between them (and some trickery to make it framerate independent).
Maybe there’s a better solution but it worked.

The thing is that in this occasion i was looking for a way to import a mesh animation into UE4 since UE4 does not have alembic support. So a single blendshape can have a thousand inbetweens, so a workaround has to be efficient and practical.

I try with baking the deformation to joints but the tools that i have test does not work well with hi res geometry. I don`t mind the low frame rate since is not for a real time game but for render a sequence to a final movie.

In maya you have the option to choose several objects (inbetweens) and choose in the “target shape options” the “inbetween” box to have a single blendshape node with all those inbetweens.

That sounds great. I`m new to UE4, can you please provide an step by step workflow for that or point out a tutorial.


I strongly suggest you to take a look at a plugin developed by Hans Godard, a Naughty Dog TD which created a very handy tool for Maya.

Skinning Converter

It allows you to convert blend shape animation to joint based animation with a couple of clicks, which is very usefull.

I didn’t buy it because I don’t need it anymore, but for you it might be a workaround :wink:

Since you’re already using maya I would suggest you to use the plugin Enter Reality posted.
A joint based animation sounds better to me.

Thanks guys, yes, i have been trying the option to convert the mesh animation/simulation to joints. But sadly the tool that i have tried has not work good for me for hi res meshes. The skin Converter by Hans Godard looks great but is not available anymore in the autodesk store.

The other one that i have try is the Deformation Learning Solver by Webber Huang and it works great giving almost one to one result in the conversion, but for me is not working on hi res meshes. Anything over 5 thousand faces freeze maya…

I have also try SOup plugin and while it works with hi res meshes with a lot of joints with out crashing, the end mesh deformation is way to off in relation to the original. It could pass in situations like cloth simulations and such but for character animation i do need one to one conversion. (or at least almost one to one)

And as i said, i want to take hi-res animated/simulated meshes into UE4 for rendering to movie sequence and as such i don`t care for low frame rate.:cool:

If you guys know any other way or any other tool for bake the animation/simulation to joints let me know.


Can you show a playblast of the input animation and the output result using soup?
I might have an other idea, but I need to see what you are aiming to achieve in order to formulate it to your problem.

With soup the baked shape does conform well to the original shape, but the vertices and edges do not match very good. So for some specific deformation will not work.

Anyways, i try by baking out the deformations to a series of blendshapes keyed for every single frame witch can be done with this nice script. I try with a cloth simulation and it works nice. Then i try with a larger file with 150 baked frames. And the 280 mb FBX file never got loaded even after i wait like two hours. It got stock at 75 percent in the first import window (it never got in the stage of choosing options, etc).

Then i try with a lighter version, (less polys) of the file and with around 85mb, i got the same result stock at 75 percent.

The lighter version of this file is around 120k polys. And it`s a combination of 7 objects that i merged in maya.

I search around and it seems that UE4 has problems importing big files…?