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Workflow for importing entire 3ds max scenes into unreal

Hi there,

So I’m stuck on a pretty significant issue…

My professor / project manager wants us to organize all our props created in 3ds max into a master scene using Xrefs before importing to UE4.

I spent the better part of the last two days doing so.

Once I imported it into unreal, everything seemed fine until it came time to implement functionality…

The idea behind the Master Scene using Xrefs was that we could have all the assets organized in Max and they would stay organized when imported to unreal. While this worked, if you try to create a blueprint for the mesh, the blueprint won’t be in the world location the static mesh was in, it’ll be in the local 0,0,0 of that static mesh (3DS Max’s 0,0,0). Considering not having to place props in unreal was the reason we were told to use an XRef Master Scene, it completely defeats the purpose.

This was not the only method I had tried either…

Another solution was to try and import the static meshes separately, but it still had the problem of a weird pivot 0,0,0 that breaks when you convert it to blueprint.

I also tried importing all static meshes as blueprints, which works as intended - but would require us to instantiate the blueprint functionality for every single individual instance of the blueprint - (IE we have 70 of the same light mesh. All 70 would be different blueprints that we would then have to place individual point lights on and adjust the luminosity rather than just a single blueprint class). This also effectively defeats the purpose of using Xref scenes.

While I believe this effort to be a waste of time, as I am pretty sure that a XRef master scene is more for non-moving static meshes, my professor is certain that it can work the way we intend.

And before you ask, no, he doesn’t know how it would work either…

If you have any suggestions on how to make this work - or how to get an object to import using its local 3ds max pivot point rather than the 0, 0, 0 - please let me know. I’ve spent so long assembling the XRef scenes and I don’t want it to be for naught.

Thank you

The general expected workflow is to export each object by itself individually, and it places the pivot at 0,0,0

To export a full scene, use the Datasmith plugin: Datasmith Exporter Plugins - Unreal Engine

If you’re just doing props though, they should get exported individually, if there’s concerns about organizing things, that’s what the content browser is for, you can place things into folders and organize however you need.

It wasn’t exactly my choice to do things this way lol. If it was my way, I would just set the scene in unreal like I have previously.

Though Datasmith seems to be exactly what I need! Thank you :slight_smile:

I think my prof wanted us to do it this way so we can use placeholder objects that will snap into the right places once the model is complete. While I personally have concerns about that (we have such a small time constraint and so much to do), his goal is to teach us a workflow that is common enough throughout the industry.

Either way, thank you again!