Exporting animations to .fbx with "only deform bones" option enabled

I’m having a hard time getting my animations to export (at all) to the .fbx format when I have the “only deform bones” option checked in the fbx export options. If I uncheck the box, they export just fine. Unfortunately my game requirements in Unity are somewhat dependent on this option working.

I’ve tried a ton of scaling, applying scale and rotations to the armature and to the rig before exporting…and to the mesh itself, but nothing seems to work.

Oddly enough, I have a previous model I made, and it exports animations just fine with the “only deform bones” options checked. What could cause animations to not be exported when this option is enabled?

So after much digging around. I noticed in the system console this message:

FBX export starting… ‘file path here’
action: “Idle” has no
armature using it, skipping export finished in 0.0967 sec.

apparently, it’s just been deliberately skipping exporting my actions for some

I do have an armature. I have no idea why it’s not associating
my armature with the action. After doing some googling I found this mentioned:

This is from another website:

[TABLE=“width: 90%, align: center”]


Even after assigning the action to the armature it doesn’t
export. The reason is that in the FBX script, the early check to see if the
action should be used is based on action groups (i.e. grouping
location/scale/rotation channels per bone), while the actual export does not use
them and would work ok.

Anyway, I can see how this is perhaps more of a
mismatch between BVH import and FBX export than a bug http://blenderartists.org/forum/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Date: 2011-10-13 02:39

Sender: Campbell Barton
Hrm. I got thrown by the animation not working
in the source file,
you’re right that the group names are incorrectly being

will fix.

Date: 2011-10-13 04:17
Campbell Barton
fixed r2426, now evaluate the fcurves to find the bones
rather then assume the action groups are correct.


But I have no idea
what that means, or how to fix the “action groups”. Perhaps this isn’t even my
problem, but it seems I’m getting close now.