Reimport Animation Fail

I imported my mesh/armature/animations from Blender 2.74 to the new UE 4.7.6 and noticed that as I was creating a blend space, my run animation didn’t look right. I went back into Blender, fixed the issue, re-exported the FBX (I have several animations saved in the action editor for exporting) then went to the animation in UE4 that I wished to change. Selected right-click reimport and when it reimported the animation, it came back as the incorrect animation; it came back as the animation which first appears in the stack (standing idle.) I figured perhaps I needed to reimport all the animations simultaneously so I selected all of them and reimported. This time, all of the animations came back as the 1 at the top of the stack.

Seeing as I can’t export just the animation from Blender as an individual file (rather than everything being lumped into a single FBX) then this is a problem. If/when down the road I want to update my animations, after having setup several other Character features (blueprints, materials, etc.) I don’t want to have to reimport and reconnect all my work simply because I needed/wanted cleaner more production ready animations.

Anyone else run into this problem? Any possible solutions to help me out? When I select to import a file from UE4 I select the FBX with the animations in it and deselect “Import Mesh” in hopes of just retrieving the animations but the ability to import (not reimport) just the animations disappears.

Thanks everyone!


Well I figured out how to export/import just a single animation from Blender to UE so it will be nice not having to destroy everything just to import a single animation; however, the fact that reimport doesn’t work like it should seems like a bug to me still whether it be Blender’s FBX pipeline or something with UE. That is, of course, unless I’m doing something wrong which is totally possible!

Still valid in 4.10.1, Blender 2.76b

I have been utilizing Blender to UE for years and figuring it out can be a bit tricky. Export works like wonders but and sadly import has never fully worked properly. It has gotten better over the years with Blender’s active and improving support of the FBX format but it’s still only about 70 percent. My workflow is to NEVER import back into blender, it frankly never works right. You can export to UE4 great, that’s easy and it includes exporting entire skeletal meshes with collision bounds, animations, textures, and morph targets. Importing is the tricky beast. The reason seems to be the difference between the industry standard Maya’s skeletal system and Blenders. For Blender the Y axis is the roll axis with Z or X being your bend axis and up direction. In Maya I believe X is the roll axis, also things in Maya are quite different.

But anyway, I am glad you figured out how to import individual animations, that is important and a primary part of my own workflow. I Export only the mesh and morph targets first, then I export individual animations.

Exporting Models

  • Ensure Selection Only is checked
  • Make sure when you export a model to select the armature and the model
    (if the armature is not the parent of the model) in the 3d view
  • make sure Mesh & Armature are the only options set to be exported in
    the export settings.
  • Make sure you have Deform Bones Only checked
  • Make sure you have no animation related elements checked.

Exporting Animations

  • Everything from Exporting Models
  • Uncheck export All Actions
  • Check Export Include Animation

There is a relatively new option for bone alignment that may solve your problem for importing if you can figure out the right combination. I have not devoted my own resources for this as I am building out my own custom animations most of the time and not reusing the built in UE4 animations.

Also note:
The timeline length you have set in blender actually does seem to effect your exported animation length. I personally like to manually set the start and end time for the animations when I import them into UE4. You will need to ensure your animation fps is set to 30 to match UE4 for easy setting. But if you have set your blender timeline to start at 1 and end at 60 and your exported animation runs for 160 then blender will only export 60 frames of animation to the fbx file. I learned this the hard way.

Did someone find a way to reimport animations?