Before all sorry for my poor engligh, not my mother tongue but I will try to do my best to be understandable.
I’m a SFM user which have decided some month ago to slowly start to move on the UE4 when I saw this video.
[video]UE4 Animation and Physics Technical Showcase | GDC 2017 | Unreal Engine - YouTube
Since then I started to learn the basic related to cinematic making, map making and asset import of the UE4, so only the thing I need for what I want to do in short, and needless to say I was very happy with the arrival of the “control rig” feature introduced in the 4.16, even if this still an early beta feature (and sadly unasable in my case with the custom bones of my models), it is already very encouraging for the future.
I’m also aware that Epic want to streamline the workflow of animators by letting us able to build directly our animation into the UE4 without the need to use a 3rd party software.
I’ve also heard that Epic plan to add python scripting possible in the UE4 and it’s on this that I need some clarification.
In SFM, IK rig are build directly in engine with python scrip, I’m absolutely not a expert about python scripting, but an IK rig build with python then controlled by the “control rig” system from the 4.16 could be technically possible once python script become possible in a next version of the UE4?
And if yes, I am willing to hire someone to create this kind of python script once python will be possible on the UE4.
This and/or an “control rig” wich avoid to blow up a models which using custom bones, that basically all I need to leave SFM definitively.
I think the python scripting is for more import/export type stuff. But the control rig feature will eventually handle any rig (with other bone orientations) from what I know, however it’s not really clear when that will come. Meanwhile you can experiment with animating in Blender (or some other software) and adding IK functionality to the anim blueprint if needed. It’s not really realtime animation in the engine but by reimporting animations you should be able to iterate pretty quickly anyway.
There’s also the Allright Rig although I haven’t tested that myself.
It was suposed to be updated for the 4.17, but delayed to the 4.18 if I remember.
If I can keep this solution as my last resort…
I have a bad tendency to need to modify and experiment new thing right in the middle of my animation sequence workflow, it could be a fast edit of the scene, new camera angle, etc… and so the need to fast edit the animation as well in order to fit the change of the scene / camera, the kind of thing which was making SFM so great for animation and filmmaking and that I hope to find again in the future on the UE4
From what I saw, Allright Rig still need to rely on the default EPIC skeleton to work properly (and so to have at least a custom model where the bone retargeting work properly at the first place), which brings a big question for me, or a continue to port and adapt my asset from SFM to the UE4 (making them PBR) without touching their rig and waiting the update of the control rig, or I also re-rig to the default Epic skeleton my asset, in both case I have a lot of porting / retexturing to do anyway.
Is it possible to import .mdl files to Unreal Engine 4?
i am not sure that it is possible to import .mdl files.
There’s tool named Crowbar to compile sfm related 3d models,Half-Life model viewer to view sfm related models,vtfedit to export vtf files…etc.