**UPDATE - **Made a fix to the plugin that should work (see below): Dropbox - io_scene_fbx_277fixed.zip - Simplify your life
finally decided to post a thread about this after many days of frustration.
I’ll try to keep this thread updated with fixes and use it as a hub to gather all the main issues I can find about UE4 and Blender.
I’ve been using Blender and Unreal Engine and it got us through our previous game without much trouble (a mobile fighting game made with UDK). The only real issue it had back then was with an additional bone (the armature) been added upon import. Luckily a fix to the FBX plugin solved the problem.
I’ve been using UE4 since its release and been using Blender all the way.
The only main issue I found (up to Blender 2.74) was the incorrect bone scaling.
No matter the settings or scene setup, upon importing the Skeletal Mesh to UE4, the bones would be 100 times smaller than in reality, as if they weren’t scaling with everything else which was being imported correctly. While the character looks ok at a glance, this is easily recognizable by the fact that the PhAT Asset cannot be created automatically due to the bones being too small and by the fact that if you try to rotate the bones in the character editor, they would rotate by only a few degrees even if in the gizmo you’re doing whole revolutions.
This isn’t an issue until you start importing animations and your skeletal mesh gets re-scaled to 0.01. The fix I was able to find is to import the animations at 100 the scale in the import settings. This works mostly fine, with the only issue being the huge sockets (100 times their size). I’ve researched this a lot and couldn’t find two export/import settings that agree with each other.
Apparently their way of fixing this was this, which with the addition brought to the FBX i/o addon by 2.75 and 2.76, re-introduced the problem of the armature added as an additional bone.
This is where I got pretty mad.
I saw a couple of topics about the armature as a bone issue here on the forum as well on the Answer Hub but apparently most people shrugged it off, re-imported everything and went with it.
Also, the problem with the scaling wasn’t fixed, at least for me. I experience the same bone scaling issue with 2.75 and 2.76 - no matter the import/export or scene settings. I actually found a workaround that fixes the bone scaling issue but the problem of the armature as a bone remains.
The fix was rejected by the Blender dev team as it broke other stuff but it worked for me so I dusted off my limited programming skill and FileMerge and starting diff-ing the exporters from 2.74 and 2.76 to come up with a solution.
I managed to remove all the code that added the armature as a bone issue but now the workaround aforementioned wasn’t working anymore and this is where I got stuck.
To the Blender guys, this is all fine as to them, adding the armature as a bone is “not a bug” and a “more like a matter of adjusting your process”. To me, this is unacceptable.
So to sum it the two issues are:
Blender 2.74 - Bones get exported at .01 their original size, no matter the export settings. Works fine until animations are added to the mix. Workaround is importing animations scaled by 100.
Blender 2.75 & 2.76 - The armature is added to the skeleton as a bone above the root. Bones get exported at .01 their original size, no matter the export settings.
If anybody has any suggestion or possible fix I’d love to hear it.
It’s pretty frustrating to see the fbx pipeline so broken after the contribution by Epic to the Blender development and to be clear, I blame these issues on Blender and not Unreal.