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How to import animations from commercial models (FBX, X) into Blender

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Hi,

I'm trying really hard to figure out some pipeline for using assets that I can buy in various 3D model stores. The problem I face is that usually the most popular formats these models come in are DirectX's .X and .FBX (sometimes .OBJ too, but here I'm talking about animted and rigged models).

 

So far I decided to use IQM format for my game and it works nice with Blender, as long as I export it directly from Blender itself. So I can import .OBJ files without armatures/animations and export it as IQM without problem (even with animations, if I add them directly in Blender). The problem is when I buy some model from the net, and I get binary .FBX or maybe .X, sometimes separate file for animations - how people deal with this? I have my own engine so I can't really just throw it into it and be happy, I need to load it into Blender, then export as IQM.

 

How you usually deal with things like this? Importer in my Blender 2.76 doesn't work at all on FBX from the model I bought. I used some 3rd party addon that imports the mesh and armature correctly, but doesn't see animations. I have animations in both, FBX and .X, but Blender won't import .X files too. 

 

There must be some way to convert animations from FBX/X into some intermediate format and then load it into Blender, or just do it directly, but I can't find any ready solution for this, and if there is anything it only works for meshes and not animations :(

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I'd suggest looking into Milkshape3D. It has a free version, and support for a huge amount of formats, but maybe you could have some luck with the other formats you can download your assets in.

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Try posting on blenderartists.org. There may be a script that someone has. There may be some other way as well.

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Blender's .fbx importer and exporter is standard. Check that you have the right one for the blender your using, it should be included and should only be turned on.

 

Problems that you can encounter is that .fbx animations only import leaf bones, this happens when the model wasn't exported to keep it's original bones. The deform data is there but will need you to get it yourself, it's easier to just use tracking bones to target the leaf bones.

 

For animations you can attempt .bvh I find it to be better than .fbx when importing animations. For any thing else the .fbx importer and exporter is the best. Don't export materials, build them in your game engine as even the best game engines can import materials wrong from a .fbx

 

 

The .fbx importer changes a lot and the software using it changes constantly, so there will always be a bug or two to work with.

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Thanks for all replies. Turned out that there was some problem with FBX version probably, plus that file I bought was far from well organized. I upgraded Blender to 2.77 and used this tutorial:

 

https://hub.jmonkeyengine.org/t/how-to-convert-fbx-to-blender-with-animations/33705

 

and it finally worked, so I'm posting it, maybe it will help someone. Also had weird problem where everything imported but not the armature of a model, after long research and digging through FBX import addon (crazy code, thousands of lines) I managed to pin it down to a loose root bone that was encountered before the real armature root bone, and it caused only that one wrong armature to be imported to Blender. I skipped the bad one by dirty hack in addon code and suddenly the correct armature appeard. I filled bug and I'm waiting for some reply from addon's maintainer so hopefully this will be resolved for all cases.

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