Outputting Files that Work in the Unreal Engine

Through the course of my game character project I have kept the following technical specifications in mind so that my assets work efficiently in the Unreal game engine.

Polycount

Throughout my entire game character project I have been mindful of how my assets will import and run in a game engine. For this reason I have kept everything to a relatively low poly. My character is around 3000 polys which I should have reduced more, especially in the eyes and horns.

erikaMy environment (a quickly created labyrinth) was originally over 8000 polys which I managed to reduce to around 300 polys.

maze02While the poly count is not going to be so critical in my mini demo/test it was good practice for the future as larger projects will require stricter poly counts.

The Importance of Resetting X-Forms

I had a couple of issues with importing my labyrinth file into the Unreal engine as I had forgotten to reset my X-forms. Once I had worked this out and fixed it everything went smoothly but it is something I will need to remember for the future.

Exporting and Importing FBX Files

Once my character was finished and had a basic run and idle animation I exported it into the Unreal engine. I did this by exporting the two animations as separate FBX files where the animation was baked in. This worked well when I imported the animations: when importing FBX files Unreal asks you if it is a skeletal mesh and, if so, does share a skeleton with one already in the project.

SkeletalMeshFBXOptionsThis allowed me to use the same skeleton for the run and idle animations which enabled me to create a blend space between the two.

blendExporting and importing the labyrinth was even simpler as I exported as a FBX (with no animation) and imported it as a static mesh.

Iterative Files

The Unreal engine has the ability to update assets currently in the scene with a newly imported asset. All that is required is for it to have the same file name (you can also do it manually if you have differently named files). For this reason I kept a standard naming convention for my files allowing me to quickly and easily update my textures and animations.

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