Using bones for simple animations


I was playing around a bit with some simple keyframe animations in Max like moving around a sphere ( no bones ).
I found that I can export the sphere mesh and also the animation in one .fbx and import them in Unreal (4.9) successfully as a skeletal mesh (although I did get a warning about a missing bind pose). Unreal seems to automatically create a root bone for the sphere and I can just drag the mesh into the scene, attach the animation to it, and it would play.

My question is: is this a valid way of working with simple animations? (ex. for creating a sliding door)
Or do I always have to use bones and create animations using rigged meshes?

Thanks for the help,


You could use Matinee to animate a door and attach it to a trigger volume.

Yes of course, I know that I can use Matinee but that’s besides the point.

What I want to know is if I can reuse existing animations created in Max without rigging the meshes or redoing the animations in Matinee.