Importing Manhunt 2's models and animations into UE4 through 3ds Max (Research and findings)

by TheElysianGrandevalGaleriach in January 30, 2020 18:41

So hello world, i'm new to both the forum and modelling software in general, help or suggestions from more advanced users are extremely appreciated. I'll list the way i managed to import animations, models and textures into UE4 so far, but bear in mind i've only got a total of about 10 hours of experience in 3ds. But yeah, this is how far i managed to get:


Let's choose danny's asylum model as the test model. In "/Manhunt 2/global" there is a file called "danny_ingame-dasy_pc.mdl", and using Allen's 3ds scripts we want to import the model as usual. Now, here i ran into a major problem. This model can then be exported to ue4 along with an animation using the IFP importer/exporter tool (applying the animation to the model and then extracting the model along with the animation). This is all well and good, but the animations have root motion, so now we have to enable root motion in the imported animation in ue4. To do this, we have to modify the model (or maybe the animation? The distinction between the two is kind of blurry because of the way animations are treated by the animation importer) in 3ds and make the root bone follow the pelvis, basically. The issue here is that the model imported by Allen's MDL script is imported as a series of dummy helpers (as opposed to bones) and while UE4 is smart enough to automatically consider imported dummy helpers as bones, they are still dummies to 3ds. This seems to mean that in the curve editor, you cannot edit the X, Y and Z of dummies. So a solution could be to create a new bone at 0, 0, 0 and then tie it's motion to the motion of a pelvis dummy for example, but i don't know how to do that because the X, Y and Z of the dummies doesn't seem to be copyable to the X, Y and Z of the bone in the curve editor.

Alternatively, (and more elegantly) you could convert the dummies of the model directly into bones using the "Dummies/Bone Helper" tab in the MDL script, and clicking on the option "Bone" and selecting the root of the model. This is all well and good, but these newly created bones aren't actually tied to the skin, and i don't know how to transfer the rigging of the dummies to the skin into bone rigging to the skin (Although the bones do move in the animation just as the dummies do, the skin stays in place)

And Allen, if you're reading this, it would be a tremendous help if you could make the animations in the IFP files exportable en masse into some tangible format that can be saved and loaded into 3ds max instead of loading the frames directly into the curve editor. Another nice feature would be exporting actually rigged .mdl files as bones instead of having to convert them into dummies and fucking about with skeletal rigging.

EDIT: Another small thing is that when you import the model, it needs to be rotated along the X axis by exactly 90 and along the Z axis by exactly 180 in order to face the correct point in the model editor (This also helps save you some time with UE4). Additionally, it can be scaled by exactly *100 (So just add two zeroes at the end of it's scale in the scale tool) if you want it to be almost the exact same height as the UE4 mannequins. It would be really helpful if somebody could point out a way in which i could permanently alter the direction of the model (although this probably isn't a good idea as long as the animations are in the format they are in right now, but i don't know)


I have received your feedback and fixed it.

In the earliest version, I separated dummy and bone. Later, in a certain version, I changed them to dummy. Now it seems that I still need to deal with them separately.

Regarding IFP animation, you can export to FBX format.