I’ve been exploring and fighting this problem for a few weeks with no result and I’m really out of ideas.

I have to create a character (to import to Xcode). It is a standing in place ghost with its 'cloth' just waving in a loop (I used wind force). The only element I need to export is a waving cloth. I have prepared the simulation, baked it, exported as .mdd, imported the .mdd to obtain Shape Keys, removed irrelevant elements (incl. cloth modifier) and… I am not able to turn it into animation…

At first I presumed it’s an export problem (I posted Exporting cloth simulation to Collada results in static cloth instead of a waving one ), but then I realized that it’s not - the object is static and there is no animation.

I have proper Shape Keys but no idea how to push them run as animation. I have tried different methods to link Shape Keys to actions - still I’m not sure whether it is the core problem. I have added armature then run a script to create drivers between Shape Keys and Armature (as in https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?325838-How-to-convert-a-cloth-simulation-animation-to-keyframes and here https://blenderartists.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-261576.html and How to convert cloth simulation into mesh animation? ). I manually added an action to the Cloth, but I don’t know whether it was needed. I don’t even know if there has been established any relation between Shape Keys and any action. I have applied Object transform (scale, rotation..) - no result… This How to export a scene with Shape Keys Animation? also doesn't work for me... This one Create ghost character from a certain point in cloth simulation is also not a solution - at the end there is again cloth modified added. I see there are few threads that might be related to mine but they remain unsolved.

Here the pain blend can be downloaded https://files.fm/u/sm2gkvv5

I export Collada and .blend to Unity for testing - there is an animation (I see frames running) but the cloth is static - not deforming.

I guess the solution must be very simple (I am a newbie) or there is a bug… Maybe anyone can help and tell me what is missing? There must be a way to export characters with animated cloth to game engines!…

I’m using Blender 2.79.

trying to get shape keys animated


Maybe Unity is importing the .fbx from the .blend in wrong ways (Unity imports .blend files as .fbx under the hood). I downloaded your .blend file, exported manually to .fbx and I can see the cloth waving in Unity3D.

I'm using Blender 2.79 and Unity3D 2017.3.0f2.

Try as follows:

  1. In Object mode select both mesh and armature

Select both mesh and armature in object mode

  1. Select File -> Export -> FBX
  2. Disable Add Leaf Bones

enter image description here

  1. Import the .fbx file into Unity

Animations in action

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This could have been a simple comment but I still can't comment other posts (reputation <50) and I wanted to help the OP. Still I tried to make the answer as complete as possible. $\endgroup$
    – Cacti
    Feb 28 '18 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Cacti! Wow! Thank you for having a look into my issue. It seems that somehow the animation gets exported to .fbx (and it is visible in Unity). Still, exported Collada file doesn't include mesh animation - it should be visible in MacOS Preview and the ghost keeps standing still. $\endgroup$
    – Magdalena
    Feb 28 '18 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Cacti, I marked your answer as useful, but it seems it will be visible after I achieve 15 points... Best of luck in your projects! $\endgroup$
    – Magdalena
    Feb 28 '18 at 22:07

After so long research I am coming to conclusion that using a cloth sim (and expecting it to run in .dae or alembic .abc) was a mistake that took me to a "dead end"... Fbx - yes, other formats - I don't know. I guess I have to re-design the character or perhaps use different 3D software.

I hope this information will help others to save time.


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