UE4 and custom characters (A little Blender help plus suggestion)

I plan on doing a webcomic with UE4 called Sophie Tails. I’ve already discussed this here. (Before you ask I will not use any advanced animation program or Daz studio.) I also plan on making a game of sorts out of it for my fans and maybe a running or adventure game with the characters. Now, I haven’t gotten very far due to real life and working on my book Aden’s Reluctant Wizardry. I must get that done first but in my free time I am working on Sophie Tails. Currently, it’s just the story but I also toy with the models. Speaking of models, I’ve tried to get the manuel bastioni models to play nice with the standard rig but it’s just not going well so I scrapped that idea and am wondering how I can get custom animations in UE4 without too much of a headache. I use Blender and the MB models are really nice, not too high polygon and not too low. They animate extremely well so I must take advantage of their custom rig in UE4. I know I’ll have to do every single animation and export it but that’s fine. I’ll be using a generic male and female model set with all animations with attachments to make them that character.

So, my question is, how do I get Blender and UE4 to play nice? I heard shape keys and UE4 aren’t fully compatible but UE4 should be able to import expressions (as an example) and add it to a model and if it doesn’t then the developers should develop that.
I’ll break it down for you.

  1. Export a base model with a blank expression.
  2. Export each expression, Happy, Sad, talking, ect.
  3. Load blank expression into UE4 as the default.
  4. Add an expression to the base model.
  5. Add the next one.
  6. Repeat until all expressions are in UE4.
  7. Compile the model with the dials.
  8. Insert character into the level.
  9. Trigger the expression as needed.

If UE4 does this then it wouldn’t matter if it was Maya or Blender who does the actual files. Now if we could just get a nice cloth and hair simulator going that doesn’t require Maya or 3D Auto Max then that would be ideal. I love using Marveous Designer and can’t wait until I can get to that point but Sophie Tails must take a back seat for now. But that doenst mean I can’t toy around with the ideas. :smiley:

What datatype would you expect those expressions to be?
As far as im aware it can be done using a facial rig with bones. Or a morph target library (which would be imported with the first skeletal mesh of the character).
Both of those things are working quite nicely in the enigne already, so I dont really think I understand what you are after.

I thought I broke it down well enough, my apologies. I sometimes ramble. Earlier, while I was exploring the possibilities of Sophie Tails on UE4, I heard that blender shape keys and UE4 don’t play nice. That might have changed, I haven’t examined it recently, so I might be outdated. But anyhow, I was simply trying tp figure out how I could get a morph target library into UE4 from Blender Shape keys, which is almost the same thing, morphing the mesh and making a preset. I’ll have to think about adding a face rig, that could make it very easy to adjust things on the fly, but I’m not sure how I would do a realistic eye close via a face rig, unless I don’t understand the face rig system very well.

Anyway, can UE4 handle importing for morph targets or must that all be done before the import?