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Stingray FBX vs Unreal FBX import

Hey, Im trying to put together a business case for my employers to start using unreal but the biggest hurdle ive found is the fbx import times and the strain it puts on my machine. Autodesks stingray engine, whilst alot less capable, produces similar graphics quality straight out of the box (obviously Unreal is much more powerful once you start editing) but i tested the import with a 70MB fbx file straight from revit and stingray used 700mb of ram and it imported in about 2 minutes. unreal got to 26GB!!! and it takes an age. Literally about 20 minutes. Why is it that Unreal handles FBX files so badly yet a brand new fairly standard and a little bit crappy engine from autodesk can in a fairly streamlined way, handle them tremendously fast?

From An Archviz perspective it would be a dream not to have to break down your models into chunks to import into unreal but its probably a problem for more than just myself.

A 70 MB .FBX file is really massive so I am not surprised that it took so long to load into UE4. Would it be possible to export more smaller files with fewer meshes in them?

Autodesk owns the .FBX format so they can make adjustments that Epic can not because .FBX while a widely used format is not open source so no one can adjust the source code to optimize how it works with other 3D packages.

Ive just taken a 700mb fbx file into stingray and whilst it took a bout 10 minutes its launchable and useable even with motion blur enabled. Its disappointing that i cant bring large datasets into unreal quickly. The current in house tool we use will take a model with upwards of 50 million polys and let us do realtime walkarounds but at a cost of visual quality. its flat shading with AO and no reflections which is boring to look at but it exports straight from max into a proprietary format and it works smoothly. With Stingray yeah its quicker to get models in and out but its just not as user friendly and doesnt have the developer community either. I can break the model down into pieces but when a revit building has thousands of components it becomes hugely impractical to do unfortunately.
I would love someone to write a max > unreal exporter that doesnt use FBX and just spits out a project file. It would be heavenly haha.

Have you tried using .obj instead? It doesn’t support as many features, but maybe it’ll be faster in your case. There’s some extra processing that Unreal has to do when importing, so it can take some time. Make sure that it doesn’t have Generate Lightmap UV’s checked for import since that will definitely slow you down.

What features would be missing from the objs? Does it maintain UV’s and will textures be exported alongside the geometry?
I mean for anything i needed specifically im happy to split it out into an FBX. After a few more hours digging in stingray i see that it always keeps the original fbx as an fbx and it doesnt actually convert the geometry into native, manageable assets like UE, this must be the extra processing youre talking about. Because whilst launchable in its default state, the editor is horrendously slow to respond to any mouse clicks.

Ill keep at it :slight_smile:

I’m not sure, OBJ does not support embedded textures but it might still be able to reference where the textures are saved. UV’s should import fine.

obj loses some memory i heard… and is crappy…

OBJ is fine, it’s used for many things but it doesn’t have a lot of features so it’s not quite perfect for game development since it can’t support any type of animation.

If you’re just doing static meshes anyway, .obj is probably going to be fine. FBX is really mostly useful for skinned characters, morphs, complex UV setups etc. I would definitely try just exporting as .obj and import that way to see if it’s faster.