Can't bring animated characters from Houdini to UE4

   717   4   3
User Avatar
Member
5 posts
Joined: June 2017
Offline
Hello, I think I've spent enough time (two weeks, every evening) trying to research and figure out how to bring an animated character from Houdini to UE4 using FBX (or anything else, but FBX seems to be it).

It's time to ask for help.

I have been a Houdini user since its Prisms days, but I'm just learning UE4 (just so you know how to reply to me).

I've followed Varomix's tutorial on how to bring a character into UE4, but once I bring in the character, it has a mesh, it has a skeleton, it has an animation - but the animation at most (in the million of tests/variations I've tried) is a still frame of the initial pose. In the animation window I see it play the right number of frames but it says there are no curves associated with it.

All I want is a SIMPLE example of a character with say one of two animations applied to bones, and a small tutorial on how to bring that into UE4 - I can take it from there. But when the tutorial doesn't do for me what it says (i.e. Varomix's brought in the default Houdini girl, but again, animations didn't work at all for me).

So far the only animations I've been able to bring in was one applied to a geo object which contained a file sop in it. I had to bake the channels. Nothing I've tried with bones worked, even though I can see the bone hierarchy in UE4.

Any kind soul out there can offer help? There's remarkably little info coming from SESI (I've found a number of threads where people were begging for help, but received none) - which makes me think it should be a super simple process but those asking questions have only cursory understanding of UE4 (that's me) and are not even worth answering…

I'm using Houdini Indie 16.0.557 and UE 4.15 or 4.18 - I have Houdini engine licensed and installed (although it shouldn't be needed as far as I understand when using FBX - and bringing in OTLs works).

Thanks!
dani
User Avatar
Staff
1586 posts
Joined: March 2012
Offline
I'm not an expert in UE4 or FBX, so I'll let people who know more about that stuff answer that part, but it might be worth trying a newer build of Houdini, since 16.0.557 is from over 7 months ago. The latest daily build, available from https://www.sidefx.com/download/daily-builds/ [www.sidefx.com] is Houdini 16.0.780. I have no idea if that'll help, but it's worth a shot, since there have been a lot of bugs fixed since 16.0.557, and I think support for Unreal 4.18 was just added around 9 days ago.
User Avatar
Staff
142 posts
Joined: Sept. 2016
Offline
A few things you can check:

- Use the File->Export menu in Houdini
- Use the 2014 FBX|FBX201400 API for the export
- Try the ‘Force Skin Deform Export’ option on export
- Try force import skeleton in the UE4 FBX import
User Avatar
Member
5 posts
Joined: June 2017
Offline
Thanks for the suggestions! As it ALWAYS happens (I'm thinking of declaring it a science) I figured it out within seconds after I asked for help on the forum - even after two weeks of unsuccessful tries

It quite possibly had to do with embedding everything inside a subnetwork scaled by 100 for export. Haven't quite spent the time to figure that out after things started working - but basically things started falling into place once I moved the UE scale from the top container to the sop level and the bone chain master. It didn't matter what I tried after that, everything always worked.

I still couldn't export successfully the Houdini girl character by doing what varomix suggested (collapsing it into a subnet, give the subnet a scale of 100 and fbx export the subnet). It brings in the girl at the expected scale, but the binding with the skeleton doesn't work.
User Avatar
Member
4 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
I'm also looking to import a character to ue4. How did you solve the issue with the mesh not binding to the skeleton?
  • Quick Links