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Blender to UDK rigging guide/ tutorial

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    Blender to UDK rigging guide/ tutorial

    so iv been looking online for a Blender to udk custom character rigging guide/ tutorial for a few days now and i haven't been able to find any that are dedicated for custom playable characters. only standard skeletal meshes which don't have much detail.

    im looking for a few guides for blender that cover:
    - rigging characters for the unreal engine.
    - setting up Anim sets in blender for the unreal engine.

    some guides on setting up for bots/ AI characters will also be nice as i plan on doing some later on.

    #2
    if you want to use the udk anims you need to use the udk rig, you can use a custom rig though i think you must have a root bone for the pawn code to work, using a custom rig will also require a full animset which you could do (i advise in sections) by doing actionsets which was covered in my weapon tutorials

    the rest is all on udn http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CharacterArtistHome.html

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by geodav View Post
      if you want to use the udk anims you need to use the udk rig, you can use a custom rig though i think you must have a root bone for the pawn code to work, using a custom rig will also require a full animset which you could do (i advise in sections) by doing actionsets which was covered in my weapon tutorials

      the rest is all on udn http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/CharacterArtistHome.html
      thanks il have a look in to that

      Comment


        #4
        I'm am using a slightly modified FBX exporter that was included in Blender 2.63 and importing straight into UDK May 2012.
        Odd model orientation issue (always rotates model), but the animations come out fine.


        Blender Rigify rig as the base, modified to suit UDK/project:
        • Root
          • hips
            • thigh_L, thing_R, spine etc.

          • Camera
          • IK_item_root
            • IK_item_R
              • IK_item_support_R

            • IK_item_L
              • IK_item_support_L


          • aim_root
            • aim_L
            • aim_R

          • IK_foot_root
            • IK_foot_L
            • IK_foot_R




        As geodav said, if you're creating all your own animations, there is no need to use the UDK/UT3 skeleton as a base.

        @geodav : I only recently came across your tutorials/info.
        You prefer to use the .psk/.psa exporter.
        Am I missing some major issue with the FBX exporter (aside from the model orientation issue)? :|

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by slowJusko View Post
          Odd model orientation issue (always rotates model), but the animations come out fine.
          To fix that, select bUseT0AsRefPose in the advanced section of Skeletal Mesh when importing to UDK. It'll then take the pose in the first frame of animation instead of laying it down flat on its face

          Before exporting from Blender, I ensure the first frame on the main timeline is the reference pose, then export with "include default take" selected. After export I delete the default take from the anim set.


          I also use two rigs in Blender. The first rig is the actual skeletal mesh, with each bone constrained (CopyTransforms) to the bones in the second rig (I have a python script to generate a constrained duplicate).

          This second rig is the actual animation rig, containing all manner of IK control bones and widgets for animation. Animating with this is really easy and expressive, using a small number of control bones to pose the character, and can be as complex as you like.

          When exporting, both rigs appear in the FBX file, but UDK only chooses bones with names that match the mesh vertex groups, so the anim rig is ignored (I'm still experimenting with this, but it appears to be correct - I checked the AnimSequence track count in unreal script and it matches the skeletal mesh bone count, so it's only storing the needed bones).

          Comment


            #6
            @Spoof: Thank you, I'll give that a shot.

            I was using 2 rigs for exactly the same reasons, albeit, no so complex ones. I've since moved to a single rig after finding that the deform bones only option in the FBX exporter does the trick. All the extra control bones, IK targets etc are left behind. The only small thing to remember is to make sure 'deform' is on for special bones that don't actually deform the mesh but are still required for the game (ie. attachment, gun IK).

            Comment


              #7
              @Spoof: Worked like a charm.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by slowJusko View Post
                I've since moved to a single rig after finding that the deform bones only option in the FBX exporter does the trick. All the extra control bones, IK targets etc are left behind. The only small thing to remember is to make sure 'deform' is on for special bones that don't actually deform the mesh but are still required for the game (ie. attachment, gun IK).
                Ahh, I didn't know 2.63 added that feature. It's the same technique I used in the refactor of the PSK/PSA export script. Typical, why did I bother?

                Time to move up to 2.63, FBX support is maturing nicely.

                Comment


                  #9
                  @slowJusko

                  How are you managing the root bone? When I export to FBX, the armature object itself becomes the root. If I add a dedicated root bone it becomes the child of the rig on import to UDK.

                  Code:
                  + Rig
                    + Root
                      + Hips
                  Edit:
                  Just noticed you mention this on your blog, but in your screenshots it looks correct.

                  Edit2:
                  Ok... so if I'd bothered to actually read the blog entry I'd have found the trick. Sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain.

                  Edit3:
                  Excellent

                  Comment


                    #10
                    lol

                    I'm in the process of updating the MakeHuman to Blender tutorial with screenshots (you heard me, actual screenshots!) as well creating a dedicated Blender to UDK one, based on what I alone just figured out... by I alone, I mean you told me. Either way, it'll hopefully be a fairly good start for anyone interested in Blender to UDK, via FBX.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Morph targets appear to be working fine too. I only did a quick test, but they imported without a problem.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Tutorial is up, for what its currently worth : Tutorial: Blender to UDK Player Model.

                        Probably make a dedicate thread for it.

                        @spoof: I'm not sure if you know this, but being an Aussie, your nick name can have a completely different meaning :P
                        Barring that, have you got a website or email I can link to?
                        I've recently began using your `trace idea (better then my setup) and I like to have who deserves credit/should be contacted in the actual file.
                        Habit.
                        Also, if my computer blows up because of it, I can send you vague threats...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Lol... I am aware of it. I've known a few Aussies in my time, even an amorous encounter with a Kiwi. But enough of that!

                          Don't worry about credit, I won't have a website up until later this year. I prefer to stay one step ahead of unsatisfied customers

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Regarding the forward/up axis settings for export, I'm of the opinion they are useless unless you intend to import the FBX into Max/Maya.

                            I did some tests and, while they affect the FBX file itself (viewable with the FBX conversion toolset), UDK just re-transforms them anyway. I may be missing something, but I haven't noticed any difference between the settings. I leave it on the default now.

                            One other thing, it's important to select "Import Tangents" (or bOverrideTangents), especially if the mesh isn't triangulated. Without it UDK will calculate it's own normals for each triangle which can produce smoothing artifacts. Import Tangents will use the face normals directly from Blender (it's the skeletal mesh equivalent of bExplicitNormals for static mesh import).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I had the same experience regarding forward/up and UDK, hence only mentioning "Use TOAs Ref Pose".
                              I should also mention the "Include Default Take" options relation to "Use TOAs Ref Pose".
                              Not experienced enough with model or animating properly to know what "Import Tangents" etc means.
                              Two things to update already.
                              Yay.. or something.

                              @pixxie_payne: Is this the kind of information you need or were you looking for how to actually rig and create animations (which I am yet to write about)?

                              Comment

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