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Animation/skeletal mesh from UE5 to 3dsMax and back again

grand marshal polycounter
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poopipe grand marshal polycounter


I want to export a skeletal animation from ue5 to max, change it a bit and then export it back to ue5

This is not straightforward and I don't understand why.

It doesn't seem to matter what I do, I will always get this message on import:

Warning: Could not create a valid skeleton from the import data that matches the given Skeletal Mesh. Check the bone names of both the Skeletal Mesh for this AnimSet and the animation data you are trying to import.

Obviously if I compare the bone names they're identical and I'm definitely using the same unreal skeleton.

The topology of the skeleton in max only differs to the one in unreal due to the automatically added parent node in the exported FBX - removing that makes no difference to the result.

What am I missing?

I'm prototyping at the moment - this is not the time to start pissing around and building a new character which I'm sure would sidestep the problem completely

Is this straightforward with Blender?


  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter

    I am not familiar with max, but I think the problem might be with any added groups or transforms and then the import settings in unreal.

    What I found in maya is that when exporting the skeleton, it cannot be within any groups. It seems that unreal expects the root joint to not be child to anything else, or it gets confused.

    I also had to make sure that the geometry is not iwthin the same hierarchy as the skeleton, or else the meshes get parsed as bones by unreal, and then it thinks that there is two different skeletons.

    I know this doesn't answer directly but its just a few quirks I faced when figuring out pipeline between maya and unreal. So TL:DR is that skeleton and geometry are separate, and skeleton must not be child to anything.

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G insane polycounter

    Is this straightforward with Blender?

    In my experience editing the epic skeleton in Blender is a bit tedious: Seems the bones axis are different than in the app the skeleton was created in (Maya?). As a result the bones are not pointing towards the next joint in hierarchy, but are rotated by 90 degrees. Also makes it hard to skin meshes to it.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe grand marshal polycounter

    @Fabi_G - that's pretty standard and shouldn't cause any issues with export in theory. I should point out I'm not trying to edit the skeleton, I just want to use the one I've got (which may or may not be the default as I'm using an asset store framework to build on)

    @Alex_J - yeah, I feel like I've accounted for those issues but still doesn't seem to be working. I'll have to dump the fbx's out and see what's actually in them.

    It's not a big deal in the long run - I intend to replace the whole lot eventually

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