Export animation without baking animation?

Is there a way to export blender animation data without baking that data (every frame is keyed)?

I wanted to test with simple armature with just 2 bones and rotate them at frame 1 and 50. When I export to fbx it exports keyframes for every frame and also location and scale. I also tried with smd and m3.
Is there any format that just exports the keyframes that were made, because baking is very redundant if you have just few keys.

Thanks in advance.

Exporting keys isn’t useful unless your target armature conforms exactly to the original source in terms of influences like constraints and drivers, as well as how data is interpolated between keys. For the most part it’s only reliable to export the 3 major transforms (Location, Rotation and Scale) for each frame, as the export’s target isn’t a known factor.

For exporting from one Blender Armature to another, Appending Actions is a good solution that preserves only keys, but even then constraints & drivers are a consideration.

You’re not answering my question. I don’t care if it’s useful in your eyes, I’m asking if it’s possible.
And by the way it is VERY useful to not have every frame keyed if you want to edit animation data.

I tried in 3ds max and maya and there it is possible.

For example I exported a simple bone structure with some simple rotation animation from 3ds max to fbx, imported in blender and it worked fine, no extra keys and same animation. The other way around this doesn’t work.

Sorry, guess I misunderstood your question somewhat. In 2.76, looking at the Export option for fbx, under the Animation tab, are a lot of checkboxes, one of which seems to turn off baking, have you tried that yet?

Yes i’ve tried that, when you uncheck it doesn’t export animation at all.

I’d have to do some trials myself, but I’m in the middle of rendering atm. It sounds odd that an option under Animation would completely cancel animation export, perhaps it’s a bug.

Sorry for the delay, had a few other things to wrap up.

I created your simple 2-bone armature and rotated one bone through 180 deg in a single axis using 3 keyframes @ 0f, 51f and 101f. I then exported to .fbx using the binary option (Blender cannot read back the ASCII format option).

You are correct, unchecking Baked Animation disables all animation export – that’s not an option it’s an off switch! Seems like a poor design choice to me but there may be a good reason I don’t know of.

In any case, when the Baked Animation is enabled, keys for every frame are exported but ONLY if you leave the Sampling Rate at 1. This parameter determines the frame-count “step” between exported keyframes. This is not ideal because keyframes in Blender are rarely set in specific frame intervals, except perhaps in test files like mine. However, this setting can be used to limit the number of keys exported, making subsequent editing a bit less cumbersome. Not ideal but it’s what can be done. In my test a Sampling Rate of 50 reproduced my original keyframes when I imported the .fbx export back into Blender.

Hope this is useful.