Unity: object animation FBX export and 'empty' animations

Is there a fast/easy way to export only animations into an FBX file coming from an object animation?

For the sake of this thread let’s keep the setup premise here simple:
Say, I have a scene with a prefab object consisting of two doors and a lock as subobjects in Unity.
I want to bring them over to Blender to create an animation to import back into Unity.

Now, when I am animating an object it sems that I can only export the animation attached to the object, right?
What I want to save out, though, is the animation alone so that I have a separate animation file without geometry. Is there a way to do this directly from the animated object hierarchy itself?

Unity seems to work with empty objects for this purpose. So: saving empty locators instead of the whole animation with meshes and materials etc.

So far I seem to need to create separate empties to follow the animated objects and then export those.
Depending on the complexity of the scene and how easy it is to manage this is not really a good solution. Also it seems that constraints sometimes don’t work for me as intended all the time (but I might have to try a little more here).

Is there a better way to do this?
Or maybe do you have a completely different solution to do this that I am not seeing?

(edit - I’m using the Blender 2.8 beta for this BTW)

If you open up the dope sheet and go to Action Editor you can tell each object what action to use… so you can create a load of empties and tell Blender which action which action each of them should use.

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You’re awesome!!! Thank you very much! :smiley:

In case anyone else is looking for it:
Parenting space needs to be set to “make parent without inverse” if editing models imported back FROM Unity (with the current FBX plugin for example).
And also Unity starts looking for the animations below the root node.
So if the setup in Unity is:

Then Prefab is expected to be the world center.
So it would be enough to export Item1 and Item2 for the animator to find the transforms!

Small followup question:
" For non-inverse-mode, press Shift-Ctrl-P instead. This creates an alternative parent-child-relationship where child objects exist entirely in the parent’s coordinate system. This is the better choice for CAD purposes, for example."

Is there a way for an object to be “made parent without inverse” while still retaining the position from where it’s parented?
Or at least an easy way to convert a regular parented object?

Hmmmmm… you could up-parent with alt-p and select “keep transform”

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I’m not sure I understand that corectly.
You mean parenting in place and then Alt-P then ‘clear parent inverse’?
Does this have the same result, technically?

(edit) nevermind. That’s really it. :smiley:
Thank you very much. You helped me a lot.