Published: August 31, 2014 at 8:48 pm
During the project I’m working to create architectural visualization in Unreal Engine 4, I came up with some ideas to improve workflow when creating objects in blender for export to Unreal Engine 4.
So I started to create this addon
Now it is time to release it to the public (Free!), So I hope the addon will help more people like it helps me now!
Please, if you download it, please note that I’m 3d artist. You could send reports of problems suggestions etc … but I can not promise anything. Remember I am not a professional coder
The following videos are made with the previous version, but maybe some things can help you:
Installation & Scene Tools:
(The installation now is more easy, just install the zip file as an addon)
In this video I will show how to export An asset with bunch of collision meshes:
Someone ask me if he can create the animation with the addon and use the animation on the default character on the templates, so I made a short video for show How I do it :
To install the addon, in blender go to File > User Preferences and then you can use the Install Add-On button in the header of the Add-Ons window. Simply click the button and locate the zip file UE4Tools1_2.zip on you computer. Once installed, the script will show up in the panel. If you have a previous version , uninstall and remove the previous version before install the new version
This is the main panel , you will find the tools under the newly created tab called “UE4 Tools”
|If you Want to change the panel and put the tools in the tools tab, yo must edit a couple lines on the script “ue_tools_v1-2.py”.This is how looks by default:
class Mainpanel(bpy.types.Panel): """A Custom Panel in the Viewport Toolbar""" bl_label = "UE Tools" bl_space_type = 'VIEW_3D' bl_region_type = 'TOOLS' #bl_category = 'Tools' bl_category = 'UE Tools'
Firt remove the “#” symbol at line 1257 on “#bl_category = ‘Tools'” , and then put the symbol on line 1258 on “bl_category = ‘UE Tools'”.You shoul see it like that:
class Mainpanel(bpy.types.Panel): """A Custom Panel in the Viewport Toolbar""" bl_label = "UE Tools" bl_space_type = 'VIEW_3D' bl_region_type = 'TOOLS' bl_category = 'Tools' #bl_category = 'UE Tools'
|With Scene Tools, you can easily set the scale of the scene and objects and the pivot points for the collision meshes.
What are collision meshes and how work the “Set collisions Pivot” Button?I recommend take a quick look on the Unreal Engine documentation. As you can see, collision meshes must have a specific name
So we can see that, by rename the collision meshes with the corresponding Prefix (UCX) and suffix (in case of multiple meshes), you will assign the collisions to a particular object.
If in your scene you have some collision meshes assigned to some objects, just by selecting the objects and pressing the “Set Collision Pivots” the addon will set up all pivot points on the collision meshes, according to the object to which they are assigned
|The Rename tools, were included especially, for rename multiple collision meshes in a batch operation. These operations are based in an old blender addon called “Batch Rename Datablocks” which still works. I adapted the tools for use it on the tools shelf and I included some options to rename objects collision easily.This Panel consists of 3 different sections:
|Object mode:||The tools of animation were created basically with 2 purposes. First, export only the bones that deform some vertex of geometry (this provides the ability to add extra bone to create a RIG for the animation) and secondly, rapidly have a “standard” skeleton compatible with animations provided by Epic in some of their templates
|Pose Mode (Hero RIG):||In pose mode , only if you have selected an Hero Rig you will see the RIG options panel. From this panel you can animate all the options for the rig , like the use of Ik/FK. Any changes to these settings remain stored in the blender file for the next time you open the file
|Object Mode (not ready):||The addon use a bone group called “DeformBones” for know what bones to exportIf your armature not have a bone group called “DeformBones” the tools in object mode not appear , instead you will see a message, inform you to that fact.The addon have 2 options for create this group, manually and automatically:
|This is the most important part of addon (in my opinion) and greatly simplifies the process of exporting to FBX objects therefore, substantially improves workflow.This panel is basically for export static meshes with collision meshes along and you may configure some additional parameters basically the same options that appear when you manually export to FBX, but I deleted some functions that will be applied by default to export. such as applying modifiers.In “FBX Name:” you can set the name for the exported file. if you select “Object” on the panel, the export file will have the name of the active object in the scene, if you select “Custom” must specify a custom name for the export of FBX fileIn the “Export directory” section you may specify the directory where to export the FBX files. By default the “Relative EU Assets” box appear checked, meaning that a folder will be created in the directory where the blende file is stored, called “UE Assets” and the FBX files will be exported to that folderWhen You choose “Static” , you will see some extra options “Pivot to Center” and “Export Collision”
Pressing the button “FBX Export”, at the end of the panel, the selected objects will be exported
Blender 2.75 is out and have some changes for the fbx export so i update the addon to meet the new API. Also I made a couple changes
- Removed all options related with ASCII 6100, now all exports wikll be in BIN format
- New Export Panel ( only for static meshes)
- Updated the mannequin
- Added a button for export camera Animation
- Fix for re-init the addon itself, every time open a new fiel in the same session
Blender 2.74 is out and have some changes for the fbx export so i update the addon to meet the new API. Also I made a couple changes
- In this update I remove the check box for export with or without smoothing shading,The new blender version export take into the account the normals of the faces by default , so is fine , if you have flat shading in some faces and smooth in others , will export correctly.
- The new Blender version also have an option for bake the animation in all bones, this is good because avoid a big problem with the locations of the bones, I show this problem on the animation tools video some days ago and how I deal with that but we don’t need to do anymore.
- Also I made a change on the workflow for export animations and characters. I remove the pop ups asking for rotate 180º because I found I don’t need anymore. I append the Hero (so facing -y) and I just press export character and the same for the animations. I do some test with the hero and with MakeHuman rigs and work fine. If you find you need rotate 180º the character for some reason let me know , the code is on the addon , just commented, so ignored.
During the viewing of some TeslaDev streams, I needed to create an animation for the blue guy and complete the prototype as I wanted. That led to some new features for the addon .
Basically At first it was for quickly have a friendly skeleton for animation and compatible with animations that comes standard with the Unreal engine (the hero/blue guy), but in the end I thought it would be useful that these tools serve me for another kind of Rigs, especially those who I could create in the future, if I need something specific.
These features do not add any new functionality to blender… But simplify some things , at least for me. I hope that help you
BTW: I changed the name of the addon, now UE4 tools, a clearer name
04/20/2015 UE4 Tools v.1.2.4 (blender 2.75)
04/20/2015 UE4 Tools v.1.2.2 (blender 2.74)
04/01/2015 UE4 Tools v1.2.1 (blender 2.74)
11/03/2015: UE4 Tools v.1.2 (blender 2.73)
4/10/2014: Ue Tools v1.1 (Blender 2.72)
08/31/2014: Ue Tools v1.0 (Blender 2.71)
You can Download the addon by pressing this download button. And if you wish, you can also make a donation so can help me to continue releasing more free content, or improve the addon