UE4/Maya - How to import a rigged mesh with soften edges into Unreal?

HI, exporting a mesh with soften edge into Substance is failry easy, just select the mesh, press 3, while exporting uncheck smooth in the FBX options and that’s it… But pressing 3 in maya, apply soften edge (Mesh Display/Soften Edge), bind the model to joints, exporting it to UE4 and preserve soften edges doesn’t work; I have only being able to do it without binding; some people have said, that before binding it, you should not delete history but I haven’t, playing with exporting variables doesn’t work either, I already tried with smoothing groups and smooth mesh ON, only one or the other, none of them, also in UE with “import normals and tangets” ON, but Unreal is still importing a low poly binded character without soften edges;

For now my only choise is to ignore the applied soften edges, and convert the smooth mesh to polygons, wich means, raising from 2,500 polys to 30,000 polys; this is not only an issue with polys and optimization in UE4, it it also a problem with animation in Maya, because the more polys the harder is to correct weights and animate.

How to export a rigged mesh from Maya to Unreal Engin 4, with soften edges ON?

It doesn’t work like that unfortunately, tessellation ‘modifiers’ that export with fbx just fine don’t import to UE4. To get it to tessellate in UE4 you have to either do it in the material or export a model that already has a high poly count.

If you create subdivisions on your mesh, create a duplicate of that mesh and remove all history. Then use the copy that has the subdivisions ‘baked’ in. Bind to joints and export again.

It’s best to create the highest resolution model you think you may need and bring it into UE4 then create automatic LODs in the engine. You can set a lower LOD as the default max LOD for performance and still keep the higher res mesh for future releases of your game or for cutscenes.

Yes you can, I did that in UE4.18 (both with Maya and Cinema 4D); I didn’t mean exporting to UE just by pressing 3 to smooth mesh… there is an option in Maya’s menu, you select the mesh, then: Mesh Display/Soften Edge; after this operation you can export a regular mesh into UE4 with smoothed edges without increasing the polycount…BUT, if you bind that mesh to joints, then you can’t export this rigged mesh as FBX into UE4 and keep the original soften edge effect.

If you try to export it into substance, no problem, wich means there has to be a method to export binded meshes to UE4 after you apply “soften edges”… now, the only way I have found is to: Modify/Convert/Smooth mesh preview to polygons… wich increases polycount.

LOD’s wont work… If you export an squary low poly LOD base mesh, and then a high poly smoothed mesh, after looking from far away, you will see weird shadows and loose all your morphs, and if you apply an in-game morph like making your main player overweight, after you move the camera to a far distance, this character becomes slim, since the low poly version either can’t handle morphs or you lost all of them after you created the LOD.

You and I may be talking about separate things, yeah. My apologies, I was talking about increasing poly count by increasing mesh resolution. You’re talking about normals manipulation and I have no experience with that on Unreal import :smiley:

For the record though if you create LODs in-engine (not from Maya) there is an option to transfer morphs to the lower-res mesh when it’s created, at least in 4.24 last I checked! Might be an option for you if you can figure out the shadow issues you were talking about. Light rendering is outside my area of expertise.