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I have object without rig. It's animated by keying objects - rotation, moving and so on. However, now I want to export it as .fbx with animation. I know how to do it when you export armature and rig, but without it, I can't get it right. What is solution, do I need to rig it? enter image description here

For example, case lid is parented to hinge, and by rotating hinge - I move whole lid.

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    $\begingroup$ You have to make sure you enable Bake Animation in the export menu. However, this will bake keyframes on all channels for Location, Rotation and Scale. And if you maybe just have a start and end keyframe with Bézier interpolation, the baked animation will have keyframes on all frames inbetween and they are all with Linear interpolation. You can set a Sampling Rate higher than 1 in the options to not have one key per frame, but since they are linear interpolated, smooth animations become jagged looking. $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2023 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ I tried that and similiar, but it's not exactly precise because of interpolations. Thanks anyway for helping $\endgroup$
    – Radoon
    Nov 22, 2023 at 9:32

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The ideal way is to rig it first, then to animate it. Even if you rig it now, it will be a bit hard to transfer the animation back to the rig.

Whether the animation can work as is or not, depends on where you want to use it. Right now, it will be a bit complex as you'll end up with a separate action for each object.

If you can share the file, I can give you more details on how to convert it to a rigged asset.


Edit: I transferred the animation to an armature I created. The steps I followed are listed below.

  1. Reduce the number of objects as much as possible by joining them together making sure to apply modifiers. The remaining objects should be the ones that have animations. The Empty object was added to replace one of the objects I merged which was by another object's modifier.

List of objects before:

enter image description here

List of objects after:

enter image description here

  1. I noticed that the origin of the box was inside it. Typically, for assets that sit on the ground, the origin should be at the bottom. I moved the objects up to achieve that by introducing an empty object, making it the parent of the top level objects, then moving it up.

enter image description here

  1. I created an armature with a bone for every mesh object at its origin. I had to add an extra bone for a mirrored animation.

  2. With constraints, I made each bone a child of its respective object. The mirrored animation required a different setup as it doesn't have a source object. For this one, I parented it to the lid, then copied an inverted rotation from the original bone (on the opposite side). Now, when I play the animation, the bones follow the objects as if the mesh was skinned to the rig.

  3. I baked the animation of the bones removing the constraints.

  4. Since I have the animation on the armature, it was safe to merge all objects down into one mesh, but before that, I assigned the weights for each separate object to its respective bone.

  5. After merging all objects into one, I parented it with an Armature Deform to the armature.

  6. I cleaned the file by removing temp empty objects and remaining object animations.

enter image description here

The only thing I would like to do now is to introduce some hierarchy to the bones, but I will let OP decide if that's necessary.

You can download the file from here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello. I uploaded .blend file, go check it and let me know what you find out. Yeah I should have rigged it, but I thought this would be quicker and I wouldn't need to export it with armature. Howver,things changed. Thanks!! $\endgroup$
    – Radoon
    Nov 22, 2023 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Radoon I updated my answer with the steps I followed to convert the box to a rigged animated asset. I also attached the file. $\endgroup$
    – Mr A
    Nov 22, 2023 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ This was more than I asked for. Flawless explanation, I got some rigging experience but this surely got me new tips and knowledge. Thanks once more, fixed and perfect! $\endgroup$
    – Radoon
    Nov 23, 2023 at 8:11
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    $\begingroup$ You're welcome! $\endgroup$
    – Mr A
    Nov 23, 2023 at 9:53

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