Does Blender do ANY useful exports properly?

I am about to give up on Blender (2.67) unless there is a fix in the works. It is virtually impossible to switch skeletal meshes between Blender and ANY other application. I try to export a model as an FBX file and import it into UDK and I get a warning that the FBX is out of date. Worse still, the skeleton and the mesh are completely broken upon export: the mesh is 90 degrees out of alignment with its skeleton and all weights are gone. If I try to export even as Milkshape, it fails: Milkshape opens the skeleton and mesh and all the normals are wrecked and bone weights are messed up. I tried psk. The skeleton is twisted out of alignment and most of the time the mesh doesn’t export with the skeleton (I haven’t figured out why this happens) or when it does export the mesh, the skeleton is about 45 degrees out of aligment with the skeleton and ALL the weights are wrong…this after I spent a good couple hours painting the weights!

UDK doesn’t do collada so I cannot test that one. I tried exporting as .ase file but that destroys the ability to animate the mesh. Exporting as wavefront OBJ works but doing so destroys the ability to animate because the skeleton is tossed in the trash heap upon export.

Are there any fixes to fbx export? Is there ANY export script that actually works as intended and needed to move skeletal meshes between applications? I’ve spent weeks doing a bunch of skeletal mesh models and now I cannot do anything with them…totally lost effort.

I remember reading someone here or maybe on Reddit would take the FBX file’s and run them through the Autodesk FBX exporter to fix the out of date thing. I don’t do much exporting so can’t confirm. I’m not sure on the other problems. This guy has a playlist of Blender -> UDK videos that may have a solution on the other weird issues.

Beyond that, I don’t know. If Blender isn’t getting the job done, you may need to start looking into other options.

Thank you…Unfortunately, if you mean the person saves fbx from blender and passes that fbx through the converter, that doesn’t work. It straightens out the mismatch between the mesh and the skeleton OK but it borks the mesh:

If “properly” means FBX, (for me it doesn’t mean this at all) then, better find another app for the job.
Do not expect a decent FBX support in blender.
Many reasons, discussed on other similar threads.
And… period. GNU isn’t always the best choice. Sorry.
But, this ANY you added, is killing me. Hey.

Actually you can use .fbx files to export skeletal meshes for UDK. .psk/.psa is a valid alternative but limited to unreal engine and gildors actorx importer for 3dsmax.
That out of date warning is something you can just ignore, it’s not causing any issues. The wrong axis alignment is something you can fix by using these export/import settings or by manually rotating your mesh+skeleton in blender right before export. If your weights are gone there is probably some other issue not related to the .fbx exporter itself.

I would rate FBX import/export in Blender as “not completely broken”. This addon: works fairly well considering the hoops you have to jump through to use FBX with Blender at all. I haven’t tried Collada since it’s been updated, but as you said it’s not natively supported where you need it.

You just cant use the exporter correctly, i use blenders fbx to UDK in my game proyect without the slightest problem

Is COLLADA any good yet?

There’s no “properly” about it. You select fbx and it exports. The “options” have no effect. EVERY single skeletal mesh I’ve exported as fbx and then opened up in any other app (Milkshape, 3ds Max) produces the above artifacts. A few dozens of vertices are shot to hell and it is more painful to try to fix it than give up on fbx.

I’ve also tried the various “options” available for fbx export. No effect.

As for psk: no it doesn’t work. I spent over an hour painting weights on a model, getting it perfect. I export it as psk and take a look at it again and…all the weights are WRONG and totally redone by Blender on export.

As for the reasons for not supporting this or that format - they are bogus reasons. You heard of Linux? Of course you have. It’s GPL. Virtually EVERY linux distro provides you with loads of GPL software and apps but also provide you with propriatory/closed software too! The horror! How can they do that and not Blender? I install ANY major linux distro and I get asked if I want to install a propriatory (closed source) driver for my video card (Nvidia). Why yes! Yes I DO want to install it, thank you for asking AND PROVIDING IT. Then there’s boatloads of other closed or ambiguiously licensed software provided as well…by a GPL distro. Must be magic.

No. It isn’t. I tried it an at first glance it SEEMED OK (after a HUGE number of errors on import to 3ds Max) but try and export the model as something else (like a psk) and it wont do it because the bones are totally screwed up.

I realize I may incur your wraith by asking, but…

Are you 100% sure the rig/mesh relationship isn’t ‘borked’ in Blender?

Have you tried the settings suggested by @mAlkAv_An?

There are no “bogus” reasons. GPL specifically prohibits direct links and integration with software without a compatible license. This is the reason you can’t directly support FBX in Blender without an eternal executable, and the reason why almost all renderers require a separate export step to work with Blender’s scene files. Instead of going all tinfoil hat conspiracy nut, maybe you should check out and of the dozens of forum posts, or the offical page on Blender’s website and educate yourself. FBX isn’t a particularly difficult format to conform to on export/import. The lack of a good link within Blender isn’t because coders are lazy, it’s because licensing prohibits them from going there without complicated workarounds.

For the record, I’m not a fan of viral open licenses like GPL, but you can’t change what Blender is, and if it doesn’t suit your needs, buy one of the dozens of alternatives and learn that. Threatening to leave Blender because it doesn’t offer something you need isn’t a threat to anyone since it’s free in the first place.

I should also point out that there are plenty of people working between Blender and UDK without any issues at all, which begs the question: Are you sure you’re not doing something wrong?

Ah…I had that plugin but it would only export bos, not fbx…then I caught your link that it needs Umconv. I’ll try it. On another note, the “native” fbx export twists the axes all up. I have tried changing it with export switches (z up, -x forward, same as blender) but the switches are ineffective. It always comes out face-planted on the plane.

The reason it asks if you want to install the proprietary driver rather than just having it by default is because legally they can’t redistribute the proprietary drivers. Likewise with Blender, it could use the Autodesk FBX exporter, but Blender cannot redistribute it.

I’ve had zero issues exporting skeletons, skinned meshes and animations to Unity using blender’s FBX. I know Unity isn’t UDK, but there is at least one scenario where blender’s FBX exporter seems to work as advertised.

They can redistribute it, just as Mandriva, Mageia, Red Hat, SuSE, etc, etc, etc, “redistributes” Nvidia’s driver and a host of other non-GPL software. You have the option of selecting “non-free” repositories for updates. All non-GPL provided by each distro. They are all provided in appropriate package format by the distro.

All Blender has to do is provide the export/import tools that are not GPL separate from the Blender package, with a notice or whatever indicating “the following tools are not GPL, blah blah. Have at it.”

OK, then are you able to export it with proper orientation (for UDK and other tools) that use “Z-up. X-front” instead of face-planted on the ground? I have tried using the export option where you can set x, y, or z up, etc, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Bring it into UDK and the character is face-planted on the ground.

What are you talking about, really? NVIDIA provides a driver that may be closed but is redistributable. In contrast, as far as I know, this is not exactly the case with FBX.

Last but not least, try applying the transforms on your model just in case this is to blame
There is also a quite important thing called the bug tracker.

The Nvidia drivers don’t come preinstalled, but if that is all Blender needs to do; get on it.

See post #5
If your model is face planted rotate it by 90° in the opposite direction so that it’s lying on its back in blender, afterwards apply rotation for mesh+armature and export.
Alternatively try these settings for Blender/UDK:

Such artifacts are not related to the exporter but your model. Reasons might be vertices with no weight / floating vertices.