Why is the player character in 3rd person template rotated by 270°

We had some troubles figuring out why our skeletal mesh always rotates by 90° in UE4 when being added to an actor. Eventually we saw that in the 3rd person template the same issue occurs: when running the game the main character mesh is rotated by 90° degrees. Apparently in the template this is addressed by rotating the mesh component in the player actor by 270° (which is the default when you create a new project based on this template).

This leads us to two questions:

  1. Why is it necessary to rotate the mesh component in the first place, even in the template?
  2. If that is a necessity, why isn’t that mentioned somewhere? We spent a long time in searching for a solution.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

PS: I prefixed this thread with “Learning Resources”, because apparently others have had the same issue (as seen on the answer hub). I am sure it would help some people (like us) if this issue is explained somewhere in the official UE4 documentation.

Hello haimat,

The reason that the mesh is rotated 270 degrees is so that the skeletal mesh’s “forward” matches up to the blueprint’s “forward”. It has to do with the way that the mesh was imported. I hope that this information helps.

Make it a great day

Thanks for your reply, Rudy.

Unfortunately I am not sure whether I fully understand you. I mean, we can reproduce the same behavior with different meshes and different (Blender) export settings. So do I assume correctly that this is some kind of default?

In that case, as mentioned in my OP, I think it should be mentioned somewhere in the official UE docs. IMHO that is a very important thing to know!

This is already explained in the documentation for content standards. When making your assets if you want them to face forward you need to make sure your mesh is facing in the positive X-axis.

This should cover any of your content creation questions. If not, feel free to post in the Content Creation section of the forums or on the AnswerHub.


Hey Tim. Sorry for necroing this ancient thread, but I feel like the main question still stands…

In the documentation you linked, it says both Static and Skeletal Meshes should be oriented along +X. So… Why doesn’t Epic’s Mannequin follow this rule?

UE4 Mannequin orientation.jpg

The Skeletal Mesh is facing +Y, and then it’s rotated 90° in the Pawn BP to adhere to the +X standard. Same with Paragon characters, Content Examples etc. What is the actual good practice here, and the reason for this apparent inconsistency? Thanks!

PS. OP pointed out that this is not explained anywhere, and I think this observation is still relevant today, e.g. this is what pops up in Google: link 1, link 2, link 3.