Flame supports the import of 3D data saved in the FBX format.
The FBX standard format provides a means for exchanging 3D data—3D polygonal models, cameras, lights, keyframe animation—for scene compositions between tools and packages developed by different manufacturers.
FBX support makes it possible to import 3ds Max, Alias Wavefront, Maya, Softimage XSI, and LightWave 3D formats. You can import models, scene compositions, lights, and camera data.
You can also export camera data. See Importing and Exporting Cameras for information on how to export an FBX camera.
supports the import of most models, including polygonal, nurbs, and smooth bind skinning, while subdiv primitives are not supported. See the FBX compatibility maps
for more details.
To import FBX format data in Action:
- Do one of the following:
- Drag the Import node from the node bar and place it in the schematic.
- Drag the Import node from the node bar and place it where you want it in Result view.
- Double-click the Import node. You do not need to be in Schematic view to add a node in this manner.
- In the Import menu, select FBX as your format type.
- To change the scale of the imported FBX file to fit the scaling in Flame, enter a value in the FBX Unit to Pixels field. One unit in your FBX file (default is centimeter) is converted to the number of pixels that you specify. The default value is 10 pixels, which applies a 10x scale to all the geometry vertices and axes translations.
- Select which type or combination of types of FBX files you wish to display by clicking the corresponding filter button.
|Enable: ||To: |
|Lights ||Import lights from the FBX format file. |
|Cameras ||Import cameras from the FBX format file. Free cameras are imported as target cameras (with a point of interest). |
|Models ||Import models and 3D geometry from the FBX format file. |
|Normals ||Import the models' normal information. |
- To use the frame rate of the FBX file as the frame rate in Action, enable Keep FBX Frame Rate.
TipIt might be useful to enable Keep FBX Frame Rate when importing an FBX file before starting to build your animation, otherwise the timing of your animation may be affected.
- To add a keyframe at every frame of the imported FBX file, enable Bake FBX Animation. When disabled, Flame translates the FBX keyframes to a comparable animation curve in Action for comparable channels. Experiment with this option enabled and disabled to get your desired results.
- To use the mesh animations of the point cache included with the imported FBX file, enable Mesh Animations.
- Navigate to the location where the FBX files are located.
Make sure that you have write permissions to the folder where the FBX file is located, as Flame
decompresses the textures embedded in the FBX to an .fbm folder collocated with the FBX file.
- Select a file from the file browser.
- Click Load.
The FBX data is imported into Action.
About Mesh Animation
Mesh animation (geometry caching) records the position of every vertex in an animated 3D scene over time. This allows character animations, animated geometry deformations, or physical simulations to be "baked" and transported in the FBX file without an understanding of the animation technique used to create the effect. By exporting FBX scenes with geometry caching, and then importing into Action with Mesh Animations enabled, you can preserve very complex geometry animations , such as nCloth animations.
All imported cached geometry can still be manipulated in Action like a normal geometry. Deform meshes, texture maps, lighting, axis manipulations are all supported on the animated geometry. Animations can also be retimed within Action.
FBX Information Preserved at Import
Flame supports the latest FBX SDK, in sync with Autodesk 3D applications. To ensure compatibility, all applications must use the same version of the FBX SDK.
The following FBX features are preserved in Action:
- Point lights, spotlights, area lights, ambient lights, and directional lights
- Shadow casting
- Object ID and material assignments
- Sub-materials, exposed explicitly in the Action schematic
- Bezier animation curves
Object Group and Material Nodes
FBX models are created with one or more faces, which leads to different representations in Action.
In this context, face
actually means either a single face (such as one of six sides of a cube) or faces (such as a group consisting of 2 sides of a cube) that are grouped together to receive a single texture. How faces are grouped (if grouped at all) is decided when the model is created and cannot be modified in Flame
A model with a single face appears as a simple model, with a single Material node attached to the Geom node.
A model with multiple faces appears as a complex schematic where one Object Group node is created for each face. To each Object Group node is then attached the Material node. Having multiple Object Nodes allows you to modify, even replace, the textures applied to each shader.
You cannot create new Object Group nodes, and their link to the Geom node is unbreakable; they have no editable attributes. Object Group nodes details how faces were applied to the FBX model, and allow you to texture differently the components of the FBX model.
In the following examples, one imported FBX model has a single face, while the other has three faces, one for each sides of the cylinder.
(a) FBX model with a single face (b) FBX model with multiple faces (c) Added Object Group nodes, one for each face
The schematic above creates the image below. Note how having different Object Group nodes allows you to link different textures.
(a) FBX model with a single face: one texture map for the whole model (b) FBX model with multiple faces: a different texture for each face