FBX Export UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte 0xff invalid start byt

Hello friends,
I am trying to export a rigged and animated character to fbx. When it gets to this point:
FBX export prepare: Wrapping Animations…
It fails with this output:

Traceback (most recent call last):  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Blender\2.79\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\__init__.py", line 620, in execute
    return export_fbx_bin.save(self, context, **keywords)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Blender\2.79\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\export_fbx_bin.py", line 3113, in save
    ret = save_single(operator, context.scene, filepath, **kwargs_mod)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Blender\2.79\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\export_fbx_bin.py", line 3005, in save_single
    scene_data = fbx_data_from_scene(scene, settings)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Blender\2.79\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\export_fbx_bin.py", line 2381, in fbx_data_from_scene
    animations, animated, frame_start, frame_end = fbx_animations(tmp_scdata)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Blender\2.79\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\export_fbx_bin.py", line 2112, in fbx_animations
    if act != org_act and not validate_actions(act, path_resolve):
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\Blender\2.79\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\export_fbx_bin.py", line 2058, in validate_actions
    data_path = fc.data_path
UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte 0xff in position 8: invalid start byte

I believe the issue has something to do with the animations, specifically the Amb_JumpAir animations. If I remove those animations it will export correctly. Some combinations of those animations can be included, but I’m not sure exactly what the problem is. I think Amb_JumpAirL is most likely the source of the problem but not sure. I made a new blend, generated a new rigify rig, appended the animations and it still failed.
I’m using Blender v2.79.4 and I’m exporting to fbx 7.4 with Selected Objects and Only Deform Bones.


character_Ambassador.blend (14.7 MB)

I’ve had the same problem, and was desperately searching for a solution. In the end I some what stumbled upon the solution.

In my case: In some of my animations there where keys of non existing bones (it was called ‘pos bone’) with red underlining. I removed them from all my animations that had these and then I could FBX export again without any problem.

It can also happen if a mesh (with or without any bones) has bin given one of your character animations.

I hope that this might help anyone who might have had the same problem.

(PS. I don’t use rigify, so I don’t know if it might be different)

[Tip for those that are new in Blender:
You can find these in the Graph editor (-> F-Curve) and use the ‘search text’ option for finding them quickly (that is if you know the naming tho it was ‘pos bone’ in my case but it it might be different for others).]

Thanks for the reply.
There aren’t keys for nonexistent bones, but there are keys for custom properties from a different object and they have red lines under them when that object isn’t the active object. I don’t think these are the problem though, because the animations that I thought were the problem (Amb_JumpAir) don’t contain these keys and the file can be exported when those animations are removed while animations that have these property keys are still in the file.
Also, my character mesh did have an animation active but I removed that and it still wouldn’t export.

Bump. Sorry :confused:

I guess no one knows what’s going on here? Should I file a bug report?