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UE4 Mannequin Compatible Animations and Meshes - Mr Mannequins Tools 1.0

12

Jim Kroovy writes:

I've been working on this for some time now, and i'm proud to finally share this add-on for Blender 2.8 that should enable exporting both animations and weighted meshes directly compatible with the UE4 mannequin without re-targeting anything. It can be as simple as choosing what you want to export and clicking a button!

About Author

James

Jack of all creative trades.

12 Comments

  1. Please take these comments as coming from ignorance and not malice.

    It seems really great if you want to make poses and animations specifically for this guy, but how transferable or useful are those poses and animations in UE?

    If you're making content for UE, does it make more sense or less sense to animate something with the proportions of the final product?

    • In short it's a compatibility thing... It means custom Blender characters rigged to the mannequin can be easily animated/weighted and exported so everything can be used by the mannequin skeleton in UE. It's also great for making test/demo animations for UE4 aaand someone that's new to rigging in Blender could learn most of the basics from the default rig too.

      This add-on is the basis for a whole character creation/animation system i'm working on too, so there will be fully morph-able and scale-able humanoids added in the future as well as walk/run cycle animation generators and loads more :)

      In regards to the "if you're making content for UE" thing... You are quite right! If i was only using a custom Blender character in a UE project then i would never have any need of the mannequin at all!

      But if you have a whole bunch of meshes from the marketplace that are rigged to the mannequin then all the animations you make with my Blender rig will be compatible them. (most of the time)

      In the next update there will be the ability to import mannequin animations on to this rig in Blender, meaning a user can edit heaps of marketplace animations to fit their project! (dozens of people have asked me for this functionality and it's all coded and ready, woop!)

      • That was very well explained, thanks.

        One of the great things about the Daz/Poser realm (not to sidetrack too much), is that one base mesh could be transformed into a large variety of characters, thereby enabling cross-compatibility with a lot of content.

        As a starting UE user, it does sound immensely useful if poses, animations, cycles, etc are as cross compatible as you make it sound.

  2. For some reason, it's not installing with the zip file in plugins? It says it does when I install from the zip, but it's not showing in the list to check mark, nor on the side "n" toolbar.

    • That's strange, nobody else has had that problem... you would have to check the box in the preferences\add-ons window for it to appear in the toolbar... have you tried searching for it by name in add-ons?

      Sometimes when i've been installing it for testing i had to type "Mr Mannequin" in the add-ons search bar to find it and check the box. The only other thing i can think of is that you've somehow extracted the folder from the downloaded .zip... that would cause the add-on to install but none of the scripts.

      I'll check through the preferences to see if there's anything that can stop add-ons being installed and edit this reply if i find anything!

      • Yeah, I made sure I was installing from the zip, I used to always make that mistake when I first started using Blender, but I'm conscious of it now.

        I typed Mr, and even MAN, and it didn't find it. Would it normally be in the import-export section? Either way, it's not finding it. I'll try it again in a fresh scene.

        • It's under the characters category i believe.

          I've had a bit of a search around and haven't found very much on the problem though it seems other people have it sometimes with other add-ons.

          The top suggestions i've found are to install it manually, so extract the folder from the .zip and copy/paste it into your add-ons directory.

          Do you have only 2.8 installed? or maybe there are other versions conflicting somehow, i've had issues before installing add-ons where they somehow get sent to the wrong directory.

          Also if you're using a nightly build or something it could be a bug i guess.

          I might see if i can dig up a Python method of installing add-ons for you to try as well :)

          • Thanks!
            Yeah, I'm always the one "if it can be broken, I'll break it," kind of guy. It's the official 2.80 release, not a build, so check that one off :).
            I've had to do the manual install a few times on some addons that were supposed to be easy zip install. It's all good, but it does happen.

        • If all else fails you could try running something like this in the text editor ;)

          #gotta get that bpy
          import bpy

          #the operator that should check that check box
          bpy.ops.preferences.addons_enable(module="MrMannequinsTools")

          • So for some reason, not all zips are equal when it comes to just installing like most developers instruct to do(click install addon, search for .zip file, then install, don't unzip. Although, I recently was advised to NOT do it from a .zip. Either way, I actually found another manual solution and that the addons are stored in two places, not just the addon under the ProgramFiles>BlenderFoundation>Blender>Blender2.80>scripts>addon>[filename.folder]
            and,
            Users>AppData>Roaming>BlenderFoundation>Blender>2.80>Scripts>addons>[filename.folder]

            Weird that there are two separate locations, but not all addons work in the programfiles folder alone, they have to be in the appdata one. Strange. The UE4-Blender addon HAS to be in the appdata, e.g. and apparently, this one as well.

  3. Hello Jim!

    I just wanted to let you know I'm very very grateful for this. I really needed something like this. Thank you and my best wishes! I'm donating for sure!

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