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Ranting a bit about character creation and modeling

I literally started game development two weeks ago. In that time I’ve put about 120 hours total into this… and it’s been an amazing discovery. I am absolutely in love with all aspects of it and have gotten to the point where I am writing my own bluescripts… programming menu systems… and developing assets without the need of constant handholding from tutorials.

With that said… I absolutely cannot get certain aspects of the process to work correctly for how I want them to. Not only that but certain aspects are so much harder than I ever imagined… mostly in the art and asset creation section. Throwing together prototype levels and doing scripting via blueprint is easier than I ever expected however and I must commend epic on the work they have done here.

I am using Blender for model editing and rigging (with rigify) and this pipeline just isn’t working how I want it to. Tonight I downloaded a model off blendswap and spent a few hours rigging it with rigify. After completing this and testing it out with automatic weighting… certain parts weren’t even moving. This is when I learned about weight painting. I studied this for a bit and painted my model to a point I was satisfied with how each bone was rotating the mesh.

I exported it to FBX correctly, used the FBX converter to convert it for UE4 import… imported… and hey! it looked great. Skeleton came over… texture and materials came over… but I was slapped in the face with a “bone too small unable to create physics asset”.

So I googled.

This lead me to manually creating a physics asset with a smaller scale… which totally messes up. I can’t even see my model in the physics asset window and when I try to trigger ragdoll on the character it disappears from the game world.

I tried uping the scale in blender and re exporting and importing… but I get the bone too small error no matter what I do. I tried 500% scale… etc. Part of me wants to give up on this workflow but I’ve spent the better part of a week learning the various aspects. Using “makewalk” from the makehuman guys is a breeze to load and retarget free mocap data even on the custom rigify rig I built tonight for this character.

I am tired of beating my head against a wall. Maybe it’ll be easier tomorrow.

It takes a lot of time to learn this stuff so don’t get frustrated that things don’t work out as quickly. Sometimes you have to spend a while trying different methods before you get something that works well, but after that you’ve learned how to do it so you’ll know for the future.

Like darthviper107 says, it takes a lot of time to learn these things. Character rigging and animation are two areas which people work full time in. In big productions you usually have a small team of technical artists working solely with the character systems. So don’t be discouraged if things are not working for you, rigging characters involve a lot of technical problem solving skills like programming. It takes time to understand and get it to work, even if you use auto-riggers like rigify. I would recommend learning to rig characters without auto-riggers, that way you will learn to understand the components of a rig rather than the behavior of a high level tool. It is likely you will stumble upon less problems that way, as auto-riggers may have behaviors not intended for game development.

I know you’re still just learning so I’ll warn you that rigify is awful for a game engine environment. I has a few hundred bones and most of them are hidden by default in blender. Also most of them are unnecessary for a game engine. I’m no rigger so I do it anyways though.:slight_smile: Try tweaking the import settings in UE4 I somehow managed to get a character imported with animations using rigify.

Hey there ThackerSS. You may want to check out this tutorial on Blender to UE4 Skeletal Mesh workflow:

We are currently talking with The Blender Foundation about smoothing out the Blender to UE4 pipeline, but please keep us informed of any feedback. We want to know about everything that is not working as expected or can be improved.

I’m testing

Thanks for the link. I was able to get my character into the game and all is fine aside from the physics asset. The physics asset created way too many interactions and now when my character ragdolls he turns into the spaghetti monster.

Progress at least.

Hi.

Glad you making progress. The spagethi monster issue is caused by “bones” collision boxes intersecting one another.
When i import my creations i get the same thing. I have to manually readjust all the envelopes to get rid of that issue.
Using simple scale rotate and move you can achieve good results pretty quickly.

Its a bit of a schlep but it works.

Could you post a screenshot of one of your fixed characters assets so I could see what I am shooting for? thanks.

Hi.
Only saw the response now. Basically you open your character physics asset and adjust all the stuff. I call it envelopes but im sure there are other names for it.
There are some tricks like fusing, ignore collision between bones etc.
On the right i adjusted the stuff. On the left i havent yet.

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There is a good series of videos covering the PhAT editor.