How to Import Skinned Mesh Animations that use Armatures

Hey Devs! In this Small Tutorial, I’m going to show you how to import Blender Animations from Blender to Roblox

If you don’t care about this tutorial scroll to the very bottom where I list common mistakes / issues

NOTE THIS TUTORIAL IS NOT RELATED TO THE BLENDER RIG EXPORTER/ANIMATION IMPORTER POST

THIS TUTORIAL ONLY COVERS CUSTOM RIGS THAT HAVE MESHDEFORM OR HAVE BEEN MADE IN BLENDER AND NOT IN ROBLOX

You have one super nice player model made in Blender and don’t know how to export and import it?
And you also have some epic animations on it and also don’t know how to export and import your animations?

tutorialblenderanimation

howtoanimate meshes

Don’t worry here is the tutorial you have been seeking for ages

The Export Process Custom Player Model

So you have your Awesome Player Model made in Blender and want to export it to Roblox WITH the Armature?
Well say no more here are the steps you need to do

First
Make sure your Model is in its Default Pose State. If it isnt in the Default Pose reset its Location, Rotation and Scale (Scale might not be needed unless you do scale stuff on the Model)

To reset the Pose press and hold down the ALT Key then press the following Keys below.
Press R this will clear the Rotation
Press G this will clear the Location
Press S this will remove the Scale
(If you have different Keys assigned for Scale Rotation and Location then use the Keys you have setup)

Exit the Pose mode or whatever mode you are in at the moment and enter Object mode

Is your Model in the Default Pose Yes? Ok, now we can Proceed.

Select the Player Model Mesh and the Armature of the Rig

If you did it correctly it should have an Orange Outline (Your outline might be different so don’t get confused but the default color is orange on Blender)

Be careful now. Make sure that you don’t deselect the Objects you have currently Selected.
Find the File Button on your Blender instance
Click the File button a dropdown menu should appear
Hover to the Export Button and then move your mouse to the file options you wish to export
I only recommend FBX here because other options won’t work or will I’m not sure because I didn’t test it.

If you are unsure what I meant look at the Screenshot

Now if you click on the FBX Export option one Window should appear which is the Export Window

Give your file one name for example ExampleName.fbx
You removed the .fbx part by accident don’t worry Blender remembers what file you export

Second, find a location where you want to save your file. You can choose a Folder as your save location or the Desktop if you are too lazy to look for it later on

The Include window
This Window might look overwhelming at first

First click Limit to Selected Objects
then the Object types you only need the mesh and Armature so select these 2 and don’t enable anything else

On Transform keep everything as it is

On Geometry same this as in Transform

In Armature Disable Add Leaf Bones

In Bake Animation Disable that whole catagory

Set your Options like they are in the Screenshot

To select more than one Object type Hold down Shift or Ctrl and click on the Object type


Check if everything is exactly the same as in the Screenshots
If everything looks the same hit export

Now onto the next Step

Importing the Mesh Rig into Roblox [OLD BUT STILL WORKS]

Now that we have the Mesh Exported from Blender and packaged into the fbx File format.
I will now explain how to import it into Blender

Importing Custom Player Models takes some time I recommend doing it in a Studio instance where the Team Create option is not active. However, you can still use the Team Create option but it will take a bit longer and will cause the Mesh to be invisible for you sometimes.

Now that Roblox Studio is open look for the Plugin Catagory.

catagory

This plugin is a built-in Roblox Plugin so no need to look for one Plugin that Imports the player Model

selectoption2

Click it and 4 Options will appear

Ignore the first 3 and select the 4th Option

You will be now required to upload your Custom Rig
Secondly, find the file you exported from Blender and import it

Now, this is the part where I said this will be faster if done on a Single Studio Instance. If you are using a Shared Instance then this process will take a while. So grab some snacks or drink while you wait. And Let Roblox do its Magic.

Now Your Model might look oversized in Studio. This is a common mistake that everyone has done including myself. The reason the Player Model is so large is that Roblox does not scale down Custom Player Models that are from Blender or any other Software. So go back into Blender and Scale the Player Model down and Reexport the Player Model. This will require Trail and Error to get the right size. So Spawn one Dummy into your Workspace so you can compare the size with your Player Model and Dummy.
However, if you don’t care about the size of the Player Model then keep it as it is for now and follow the Tutorial

Importing the Roblox Character to Roblox [NEW]

Follow the process similar like on the old Way

However, you can now use the Mesh Importer Tool

image

Warning: DO NOT CHANGE THE SCALE SIZE THAT THIS TOOL GIVES YOU THE ARMATURE STRUCTURE DOES NOT DOWN SCALE

If you have objects you accidentally imported you can now remove them on the selection window Roblox gives you. However if still issues arise I recommend exporting it again to have no strange artifact objects in the file

Importing the Animation on the Custom Mesh

Now the Player Model is inside Studio

Locate the Plugin Tab and look for the Animator Plugin that is Built-in inside Studio by default. Using other Plugins might not work

catagory
animplugin

Click on the Plugin and now a window has appeared telling you to select a Rig. Select the Custom Player Model. Then Roblox will yell at you to give the first animation one name you can Use A or 1 for its name and hit Create. I will go with Example Name for this Tutorial.

Find the 3 Dots in the Roblox Animator Plugin. It mostly appears next to the Animation Name. And click the 3 Dots

3dot1

Red Arrow will help you more

Now you have another Dropdown Menu (Wow so cool more Menu navigation)

menu1

1 Fancy Button called Import appears to hover over it to gain the other menu
The other menu will show 2 more buttons use the FBX Option not from Roblox because it won’t work anyways
menu2

Probably many noticed I never explained how to export the Animation out of Blender don’t worry the part on how to export will present to you below this

Exporting the Animation from Blender

What you need todo is
Check that the Player Model or Model is in the Default Pose
Then on the Export Part Select Armature Only. Why? So you can import the animation through Robloxs Animator
If you import it with the Mesh you will get a lot of issues so make sure Mesh is turned off

The Process is the same as you did the first time when Exporting the Player Model but minus the Mesh.

First, repeat the same steps as you did when exporting the Player Model out of Blender but still make sure you have only the Armature selected

Now that you are in the Export window again
I will ask you to give the FBX file one name you can name it how you want. I will go with ExampleAnimation.fbx

Now before we ever hit the export button we need to change some stuff up again in the Export Window on the right side

Make sure every option is 1 to 1 with the screenshots if they are not the same then it won’t work or will cause issues.


You have everything Perfectly set then Hit the Export Button.

Finally Importing the Animation

Now if you followed this Tutorial Properly you shouldn’t have any issues. If you don’t understand anything just go back and reread it

If you are at this point of the Tutorial Roblox will yell at you with 2 options.

hitselectednotfbx

The Fbx option or Selected option

From my experience, the FBX Option didn’t want to work for me. So I recommend using the Selected Option. If Selected doesn’t work for you use FBX. If the rig animation glitches out clear the animation keyframe tracks and reimport the animation. If it still breaks reimport the whole model again.

If nothing broke congrats you have finished the Tutorial.

Now one extra note
If you have exported the Animations before the Player Model and imported them to the scaled-down Rig Roblox will load in the old bone data so don’t panic if the Model broke. Scale down the Rig down first and then re-export the animations in the new scale

One animation that didn’t break during import and exporting
howtoanimate meshes

Have fun with this now

If the meshes ever have odd deforms check out my other Tutorial for a fix HERE

Common Issues/Mistakes:
The animation is stretched out!!!
Fix: Scale it down in Blender and reexport the model and the animations.

The Model is not moving!!
Are you sure you exported the Model with the Armature? If you haven’t tried that option

There are more bones than usual!!!
Roblox added them so they are “connected” this is very annoying but easy to fix
The Fix:
Add extra bones in the empty spaces but don’t give them any weight paint affections.

The mesh doesn’t show up!!!
Are you sure you had Mesh and Armature on the Export Tab active?

The animation is freaking out on the Selected option!!!
Try the FBX Option

There are fewer bones than usual!!!
Despite the “fix”, Roblox mentioned with the bones, it still doesn’t display them right. If there an ending bone it gets force shifted to the second last bone front connection

The animation is freaking out on the Selected and FBX option!!!
Get a fresh new model this might fix it

The animation freaks out on the new model as well!!
I don’t know a fix for it
Redo your animation I guess.
Or check if you have reexported the animation on the right scale.

My model keeps breaking on the Character Import Plugin!!!
There are 2 causes why this breaks one maybe you have a leftover Armature Rig somewhere which you have selected
The other issue is you rigged your model wrong or parented wrongly
If it is a stationary model such as a boat export the model without the armature then rig it inside of Roblox with RigEdit Lite or RigEdit Plus . RigEdit has a Guide on how to use it so go check that Guide HERE

The rig I imported to Blender and the animation I exported as fbx still won’t work!!!
To clarify If you used the Import Rig to Blender/Export Animation to Roblox Plugin then the animations won’t apply themselves to your rig. THIS TUTORIAL IS FOR SKINNED MESH/ARMATURE MESHES

If I scale up something in the animation does the scale change also get transferred to Roblox?
Yes it does if you choose the Keyframe System Scale, Rotation & Location then the scale change will happen. Tho very unsure if it still works or if Roblox patched it

Update log:

  • Added something i forgot what i added
  • Fixed some small things. If you find any more issues dm me on Discord (Yui Arte#8949)
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When exporting to FBX from Blender, the scale option can be very helpful in making your model appear the right size in Roblox.

A safe starting scale value for export is 0.03048, and here’s why:
Roblox imports things 10 times larger than they need to be, so 0.1 would fix that, but stuff would still be too big.
Roblox works in imperial (feet) and Blender is typically used with metric (meters) so using the scale value to convert from meters to feet would give you a scale value of 0.3048.
multiply the two together and you get the final scale value of 0.03048.
Sometimes this can still be too big depending on your model. 0.003048 can be a good option in that case.

What scale you should use is only really trial and error if the model wasn’t made with a scale in mind. If your model is supposed to be 1.8 meters tall (average human height) and was made 1.8 Blender units tall, then you should be able to export with a scale multiplier of 0.03048 and it will import at the correct size in Roblox.

Thanks for the tutorial, btw. It helped.

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