Better Fbx Importer & Exporter

by meshonline in Scripts and Addons

What's new in version 4.0?

Version 4.0 supports importing multiple files.

Version 4.0 supports exporting multiple animation actions.

Version 4.0 supports triangulate when importing and exporting.

What's new in version 3.7?

Version 3.7 supports camera and lights.

Version 3.7 supports mesh instances, which mean that if the scene has a lot of mesh instances, you can export them as instances; You can also import mesh instances into Blender from FBX file, supporting mesh instances can save huge memories and reduce the size of exported FBX file.

Version 3.7 supports generic node transform animation, generic nodes includes camera, lights, mesh and empty node, you can make node transform animation and export to FBX file; You can also import node transform animation into Blender from FBX file.

Version 3.7 supports importing FBX, DAE, OBJ, DXF and 3DS files, and exporting FBX, DAE, OBJ and DXF files.

There are additional importing options in version 3.7, you can choose to import all bones or only deform bones; You can choose to import animations or just import the basic objects without animations; You can choose to enable or disable 'Automatic Bone Orientation'; You can choose to custom bone roll when 'Automatic Bone Orientation' is enabled.

From version 3.0, the add-on uses a completely new interchange format, which is more robust and much faster than version 2.0.

Can the add-on export Auto-Rig Pro armature and animation?

Though the add-on can export Auto-Rig Pro armature and animation, the exported armature is not retarget-able.

I recommend that all Auto-Rig Pro users export FBX from its own exporter, the exported armature is very neat and retarget-able for Unity and Unreal Engines.

How to preserve hard/soft edges when importing?

Please set the 'Normal' option to 'Import' if you want to import the original normals.

Why there is only the exporter after installation?

The 'fbx.zip' actually contains two independent add-ons, which are the importer add-on and the exporter add-on.

Be default, Blender only shows the last add-on after installation, to enable both the add-ons, you need to type 'better' in the search bar to show them all, then enable the two add-ons, save configuration and quit.

There is a screenshot in the 'How To Install' section of the document, make sure you have enabled them all after installation.

Why does imported Daz FBX have only T pose?

Daz Studio will export the default pose instead of armature animation if you don't set pose on the timeline.

Please set at least two poses on the timeline, Daz Studio will export armature animation instead of the default pose.

The add-on does not support importing poses.

How to export packed textures?

Before exporting, you need to unpack the packed textures to local path and use the unpacked textures instead of the packed textures.

Click 'File->External Data->Unpack All Into Files->Use files in current directory (create when necessary)', Blender will unpack all the packed textures to a subdirectory named 'textures' besides the Blender file, and replace all the texture filenames with the unpacked texture filenames.

Then you can export the scene to an FBX file.

Can I export only parts of deform bones?

The add-on supports exporting parts of deform bones for Rigify Auto-Rigging System.

Select the 'rig', reveal the deform bones layer, enter 'EDIT' mode, select all the deform bones you want to export, quit 'EDIT' mode, export the rigged character and the armature, when exporting, set 'Fix Rig' option to 'Rigify Auto-Rigging System', enable 'Only Selected Deform Bones' option.

This feature is very useful for game engines, for Rigify armature has up to 160 deform bones, usually we don't need all of them in game engines.

You can select necessary deform bones in 'EDIT' mode, then export, the unused vertex weights will be merged to the used deform bones automatically, so you don't need to re-skin your character.

The add-on will support more rigging systems in future.

How to setup user defined bones?

If you want to export retarget-able armature which has user defined bones from Rigify Auto-Rigging System, you need to re-parent the bone to a proper bone before exporting.

There are two methods:

Method one:

For example, a character has a ponytail, apparently, the ponytail should attach to the head bone, you need to reveal the deform bones layer, and hide other bones layers, enter 'Edit' mode, select the root of the ponytail's deform bone and the head's deform bone, type 'Control + P' key with 'Keep Offset' to attach the ponytail to the head.

Method two:

You can also use the 'Fix Hint' option to describe how to setup user defined bones, so you don't need to change the actual hierarchy of the 'rig' armature.

Why doesn't it support exporting multiple animation actions?

Because all animation actions mess up together in Blender, we can't reliably tell which animation action belongs to which armature.

If the mesh has multiple armature deform animation actions and multiple shape key animation actions simultaneously,  things get worse, we don't know how to combine them.

To export current armature deform animation action and current shape key animation action is always reliable.

Why the normals look strange?

By default, the imported 3d models don't use imported normals, though the normals have already been imported.

The imported normals have issues when you apply 'Auto Smooth' in Blender, and you can't modify the imported normals easily.

Instead, we let Blender generate normals for imported 3d models, and we set the shading mode to 'Smooth' by default.

All imported meshes have enabled 'Auto Smooth' option, and the 'Angle' value is 60 degrees by default.

If the normals look strange, while the 3d model is selected, you may examine the 'Auto Smooth' option from 'Properties->Object' panel, make sure that the 'Auto Smooth' option has been enabled, then try changing the 'Angle' value until the normals look fine.

For some simple 3d models, such as cubes, you may simply set the shading mode to 'Flat' to let the normals look fine.

Should I apply modifiers for the mesh before exporting to FBX file?

Yes, if the mesh has a 'Subdivision Surface' modifier and other modifiers, you need to apply the modifiers manually before exporting to FBX file, otherwise, the add-on will export the raw mesh, not the final mesh.

Should I bake animations before exporting to FBX files?

No, just export when you have finished your job.

How many renderers does it support?

The add-on supports traditional Blender Renderer, mature Cycles Renderer and latest Eevee Renderer.

Please read the contents in the 'Cycles/Eevee Material' section to learn more details.

Does it support automatic bone orientation?

Yes, maybe it is the greatest feature of this add-on!

Because many other 3d softwares use different joint systems from Blender, when you import these FBX files to Blender, the bones orientations often look very ugly, it is really a nightmare.

This is the reason why I made this add-on, I can't bear it any more.

This add-on always automatically corrects the bones orientations, while remain the armature deform animations not changed.

The work is so reliable that I make it a default feature.