Serious lack of parity between editor and exported sequence

Hey Guys,

I posted this over in the animation forum, but this might be a better place for it. I have been struggling with getting an animation together and exported as an image sequence.

My first issue was that animating a Group Actor doesn’t actually do anything to the meshes which are attached to it. So, I had to abort that plan and nest all of my model’s components and emitters to an Empty Actor so I could animate the model (an airplane) flying. Below is the content of my post in the other forum. I really hope someone can help shed some light on what’s going on here.

After manually resetting everything in my scene, and reattaching to the empty actor, I was able to successfully make an animation of my plane… or so I thought. It plays great via the sequencer in my edit view through the camera preview window, but when I go to actually export it as an image sequence, all hell breaks loose.

The only things that move in the export are the emitters I am using for the afterburners and the contrails coming off the wings, and the point lights used to illuminate the plane. The plane itself just sits there… still, and then toward the end, the camera switches to what appears to be somewhere in the middle of my geometry for no apparent reason (there are no keyframes on the camera, and only the one camera active in the sequence).

I do get a message log after export which states (once for every piece of geometry in my model) "! AttachTo:’/Game/LEVELS/UEDPIE_0_F22_1.F22_1:PersistentLevel.PlaneCtrl.DefaultSceneRoot’is not static, cannot attach’/Game/LEVELS/UEDPIE_0_F22_1.F22_1:PersistentLevel.Fuselage.StaticMeshComponent0’which is static to it. Aborting.

My take away from this is that the empty actor object (Plane Ctrl) cannot have the static mesh geometry attached to it for whatever reason. It seems to me that if I can play it back in the editor without issue, then taking those frames I see and simply exporting them out to an image sequence should be a fairly straightforward process, but apparently it is not.

Now, why in the hell the developers at Epic saw fit to allow something which will NOT work appear to work perfectly is beyond me. It seems that if this program is incapable of exporting an image as seen in the editor, then it shouldn’t work in the editor either. TBH, to have this serious of a lack in parity is inexcusable, but I can’t change the system, so I have to figure out how to work within it.

This leads me back to my original problem… I just need to animate the plane and export a sequence. Group Actors can’t do it, Empty Actors can’t do it (making both things effectively pointless to even have in the first place), so, what the hell am I to do? The only thing I can think of at this point is possibly attaching everything to a piece of the plane geo itself (though this is a horrible way to work from an organizational standpoint). I only hope that all this animation I made for the empty actor can be copied over easily, which at this point I cannot assume that it can be considering how counter intuitive this whole process has been to this point.

And of course even if that works, I have to figure out why the camera view switches without any apparent reason.


Sorry again for how I know my rant must sound… I am just extremely frustrated with things that in my experience have always been straight forward suddenly being anything but. When I am in a new program, I expect to struggle with high-level stuff early on, but not the low-hanging fruit (simple animations, sequence exports, etc).

Update - as I needed to get something to my client today, I ended up setting the main viewer in UE to Cinematic Mode, went Immersive and recorded a screen capture. Hacky as hell workaround, and definitely NOT the long term solution, but it’s adequate for the moment. I would still appreciate if someone could clue me in as to what I actually need to do to get parity between preview and output.


if you can watch your sequencer in “play” mode (simulation) and it looks the same as when you’re just in editor mode (not in play/simulate) then what you render should look like that

you have a lot of text and no pictures, so I’m only guessing what issues could be, probably with parenting in sequencer, “attach” or objects not set to moveable
or spawned or possed tracks in your sequencer

That would be my expectation, but it was not my reality…

Sure, but the words paint a pretty clear picture of what happened, and the error message I referenced up there would back your hypothesis up. However, there is no option in the Empty Actor to which I attached the mesh and geometry of my fighter jet to change its status to moveable or static.

So, my question really boils down to 2 things… if an empty actor is not suitable for attaching elements to for animation, what is the proper workflow? OR, if the Empty Actor CAN be used for this, what do I need to do to make it work as expected.


  • Willie

I just used a cube that i just turned the visibility to off as a pivot to attach things to as makeshift rigs in sequencer
as for parenting in sequencer
I just had to make sure spawned items and parented items are in the same level
and the objects were set to moveable
and parented with ‘attach’ in sequence