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FBX Export (Blender)

In this tutorial you’ll learn about exporting from Blender to IMVU.  [Download Blender FREE here.]

Exporting to FBX

Using FBX as an alternative to Cal3D, exporting individual meshes, groups of objects or entire projects to IMVU from Blender is now much easier.

Export Checklist

Before exporting run through this quick checklist. In no particular order;

Ensure bones and nodes are set up correctly.

Check meshes are properly parented to their respective skeletons.

Check Material names, remove unused or duplicates (unless intended).

Reset meshes (Apply) and optionally triangulate (Tessellate).

Ensure meshes have UV maps with image assigned.

Mesh and skeleton should be positioned grid-centre (rooms and furniture), or relative to the bone they will attach to.

Export to FBX from Blender

In the main 3D View right-click or Shift+right-click the items to be exported, then from the File menu select Export » FBX (.fbx). This opens the File Browser. Browse to a location the file is to be saved and amend the file a name as necessary (defaults to the name attributed to the *.blend file itself). Once set, in Export FBX export settings bottom-left;

Main activate Selected Objects.

Geometries select Apply Modifiers (optional - disable for Shape Keys/Morphs).

Armatures deselect Add Leaf Bones.

Animation deselect NLA Strips and optionally Force Start/End Keying.

Once done click the Export FBX button top-right to export an FBX file (*.fbx) that’s then ready for import into IMVU.

IMPORTANT

When exporting animations make sure each sequences has an Action else the animation won’t work in IMVU – animate using the Action Editor instead of the Timeline Editor.

FBX export settings
Export FBX

Export settings for saving a project as an fbx file in Blender.

Import FBX to IMVU

Importing FBX files into IMVU differs slightly depending on the product type, largely due to differences in skeleton set up and use, importing a Pose for example, the Select Skeleton Root dialogue will be displayed whereas it might not for a furniture item or room.

To Import and FBX file into IMVU, first;

Start an Editor instance deriving an appropriate product

Once an Editor is open click the fbx import tab

Click the +Load FBX button in the panel that's displayed

Browse to and select the FBX to be imported and click the Open button

This opens the fbx file into the importer. Next, with the file loaded;

Select/deselect the items listed per requirement; Meshes, Materials, Animation and Morphs

Set the Mesh ID for each mesh, e.g. 0 replaces the furniture default, 2 the accessory default

Change Apply scale to 0.01

Click the Import button

Click the Import Changes button in the Import Status pop-up (note any errors)

IMVU will convert the selected data, creating a set of compatible XML files (xrf, xmf, xsf, xpf and xaf). Once done the FBX Import panel will appear blank confirming import. Finally click the Apply Changes button to see the result automatically assembled in the Editor.

IMPORTANT

If there are issues the Import Status dialogue will list them and either allow continuation of the process (warning about textures or meshes being replaced) or force cancellation (problems with the file itself).

FBX import setting in IMVU
FBX Import

The main import panel for bringing in FBX files… of importance for Blender users is setting Apply scale to 0.01 else everything is HUGE!

Updated on September 24, 2018

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