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gamedesign1
08-27-2016, 07:27 PM
Hi all

Anyone had any success with importing scenes into Unreal 4.13 Beta using Alembic animations.
I am very new to Unreal and I cannot seem to get my head around it.
I am basically wanting to export my existing scenes as complete animations so I can import them into the Unreal engine.
I am basically in two minds at the moment whether to render using Octane or Unreal. Obviously Octane is the easiest method, but the speed of outputting renders from Unreal is very appealing.

gamedesign1
08-28-2016, 01:39 PM
Hi all. Is it that no one has tried it yet?

jwiede
08-28-2016, 02:07 PM
Which version of LW are you using?

gamedesign1
08-28-2016, 02:47 PM
Which version of LW are you using?

Hi jwiede, I'm using 2015.3

jwiede
08-28-2016, 04:07 PM
Hi jwiede, I'm using 2015.3

Okay, same as here then. What platform (win/mac) and what kind(s) of animation (object motion, deformation, morph-over-time, instance motion/flocking...?) are you using Alembic to export? Also, if suitable, have you tried loading the .abc into Chronosculpt?

gamedesign1
08-28-2016, 09:07 PM
Okay, same as here then. What platform (win/mac) and what kind(s) of animation (object motion, deformation, morph-over-time, instance motion/flocking...?) are you using Alembic to export? Also, if suitable, have you tried loading the .abc into Chronosculpt?


I am on a Windows. My animations are a mixture of bones with weight maps and morph targets.
No i havent opened it into Chronosculpt. Is there something Chronosculpt can do with exporting to Unreal that Lightwave can't?

Surrealist.
08-28-2016, 11:05 PM
I think he was just trying to verify if the Alembic export is working by itself.

I would need to know what steps you are taking and what does not seem to be working. I don't have the beta installed. Do you have a link to it and any instructions about using Alembic? I can probably sort it as I have been using Unreal for a while.

Surrealist.
08-29-2016, 01:37 AM
By the way I found the beta version. I did not realize they released them in the Launcher. I'll install and play around.

Surrealist.
08-29-2016, 05:48 AM
I found this:

https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?120948-Blender-2-78-Alembic-Unreal-4-13

I am getting a crash if my file has more than one mesh. And I am import OK. But I don't see any animation yet.

What specifically is happening in your case?

gamedesign1
08-29-2016, 08:55 AM
I think he was just trying to verify if the Alembic export is working by itself.

I would need to know what steps you are taking and what does not seem to be working. I don't have the beta installed. Do you have a link to it and any instructions about using Alembic? I can probably sort it as I have been using Unreal for a while.

Ah ok that makes sense. Well I just tried to export a simple animation of an object with no bones or morphs moving through a scene and it just doesnt open up in Chronosculpt. So I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

gamedesign1
08-29-2016, 09:00 AM
I would love to be able to just import a whole scene as FBX and then just add MDD files to each object. Simple :)

gamedesign1
08-29-2016, 11:05 AM
OK it looks like everything is working as long as I import each animated object separately (maybe that is how it is supposed to work).
I am just trying to get the orientation right now, as it doesn't matter whether I choose Y-Up or Z-Up, its always wrong. Hmmm. Any thoughts?

Surrealist.
08-29-2016, 12:37 PM
Is it animating?

I don't have a solution for the orientation. I just rotate it up.

Alembic should support multiple meshes. It must be currently bugged in Unreal.

gamedesign1
08-29-2016, 01:40 PM
Is it animating?

I don't have a solution for the orientation. I just rotate it up.

Alembic should support multiple meshes. It must be currently bugged in Unreal.

Yeah I've got it animating thanks :)
One thing I thought of today that might be a deal breaker with using Unreal is I can't output separate layers (masks, reflections, etc).
Might have to go back to Octane and just be a bit more patient with the renders :p

Surrealist.
08-29-2016, 08:36 PM
Right. They are just starting to realize they need to offer open exr and that cinematographers do compositing. But these are game guys. They don't quite get it yet but they will. They at least acknowledged that it is something that is needed.

But that said, there are some pretty cool renders coming off without comp. So it depends on your specific needs I guess.

By the way how did you get it to animate? I press play, nothing happens.

gamedesign1
08-30-2016, 09:40 AM
Right. They are just starting to realize they need to offer open exr and that cinematographers do compositing. But these are game guys. They don't quite get it yet but they will. They at least acknowledged that it is something that is needed.

But that said, there are some pretty cool renders coming off without comp. So it depends on your specific needs I guess.

By the way how did you get it to animate? I press play, nothing happens.

First make sure you import it as a skeletal mesh (I'm sure you know that anyway). Then when you have dragged it into your scene go to the Animation section in your Details tab on the right. You need to change the Animation mode to "Use Animation from Asset". Then choose your animation from the dropdown below where it says "Anim to Play".

Surrealist.
08-30-2016, 11:42 AM
I thought we were talking about Alembic? I know how to play skeletal animation. But I see it now. In the details tab. Gemoetry Cache. Check "Running".

gamedesign1
08-30-2016, 02:48 PM
So what do you import it as? A Static Mesh?

gamedesign1
08-30-2016, 02:52 PM
So what do you import it as? A Static Mesh?

EDIT: Ah you have imported it as Geometry Cache. I swear it didn't work when I did it before, but its fine now :) Thanks

gamedesign1
08-30-2016, 03:00 PM
Hmm I can't seem to get the animation to play in the Cinematic Sequence when importing it as Geometry Cache. It worked when I imported it as Skeletal Mesh. Must be something I am not doing. Any ideas? :)

Surrealist.
08-30-2016, 10:41 PM
That is pure insanity. It should not work as a Skelletal Mesh. I think Alembic has support for bones. But your character would need the bones and animation for that to work. Yes, I loaded as Geo Cache. But you are right. It won't play in the sequencer. When loading as Skelletal Mesh it appears to make a series of Morph Targets. Interesting because this is how Blender handles .mdd. So I guess they are still working out the kinks and have not finished it off yet. I imagine what they did until they have the geo cache thing worked out was to convert it to a morph sequence somehow. So when I loaded it into the sequencer and added the animation, it played, but got a warning I should remove the track because it does not have any animation... lol But it still payed. It is after all in beta. There are lots of bugs yet to be worked out.

gamedesign1
08-31-2016, 07:50 AM
That is pure insanity. It should not work as a Skelletal Mesh. I think Alembic has support for bones. But your character would need the bones and animation for that to work. Yes, I loaded as Geo Cache. But you are right. It won't play in the sequencer. When loading as Skelletal Mesh it appears to make a series of Morph Targets. Interesting because this is how Blender handles .mdd. So I guess they are still working out the kinks and have not finished it off yet. I imagine what they did until they have the geo cache thing worked out was to convert it to a morph sequence somehow. So when I loaded it into the sequencer and added the animation, it played, but got a warning I should remove the track because it does not have any animation... lol But it still payed. It is after all in beta. There are lots of bugs yet to be worked out.

Yeah that makes total sense. By the way I checked out some of your work and it looks great, good work.

Surrealist.
08-31-2016, 07:58 AM
Thanks. Well at least they finally got Alembic in Unreal. We should hop over there and report these bugs.

gamedesign1
08-31-2016, 11:06 AM
Thanks. Well at least they finally got Alembic in Unreal. We should hop over there and report these bugs.

Yeah its definitely a good addition :) Yeah I will do that this evening.

Surrealist.
09-01-2016, 09:27 AM
Cool. Here is this one:

https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/479656/alembic-import-multiple-mesh-crash.html

Tim said he logged it as a bug. So hopefully that will get sorted before release.

gamedesign1
09-01-2016, 09:47 AM
thats great, thanks for letting me know. Official Release of 4.13 is out now :)

Surrealist.
09-01-2016, 11:25 PM
Ouch. Meaning they did not tackle these bugs I expect... So how does that work? lol?

Anyway, they'll get to it by the next patch or update. Good news is, it actually works all but in its quirky way. Finally finally can bring cloth in from other apps and not have top use Apex. Very cool.

gamedesign1
09-02-2016, 06:12 AM
Ouch. Meaning they did not tackle these bugs I expect... So how does that work? lol?

Anyway, they'll get to it by the next patch or update. Good news is, it actually works all but in its quirky way. Finally finally can bring cloth in from other apps and not have top use Apex. Very cool.

Yeah its great news and yeah I'm sure they will sort it out in no time. Plus I found that even though the Alembic Cache doesn't scrub in the Sequence timeline, it does play when you export to frames/video. So it's still usable :)

gamedesign1
09-02-2016, 06:46 AM
https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/478190/alembic-cache-does-not-render-in-sequencer.html
"Support for sequencer will be, sadly, added after 4.13 is released......" So that's good news :)