autodesk fbx converter
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When working on a collaborative project, technical artists must continually streamline the art pipeline by managing various artists assets. These assets can include scenes from level designers, character meshes from modelers, body and facial animation rigs from animators, and motion capture data from outsourced studios. Its not uncommon for technical artists to receive files of different formats, versions, and naming conventions. Before these assets can be used in a game engine, their differences must be fixed manually or by using custom scripts. Either way, this can be a lengthy and tedious process if the asset list grows on a daily basis. This process can be streamlined with the help of the FBX Converter tool. The FBX Converter is a multi-purpose tool that allows you to preview and compare files quickly, extract their animation data, and batch-convert them into a common format. It is available from the Autodesk
website as a free download. The FBX Converter combines 4 distinct tools: A converter to transform external files to FBX and other compatible file formats, an explorer to browse a files data structure, a take manager to extract and store animation takes into a new FBX file, and a viewer to preview any file that can be converted to FBX. Although each of these tools can be used separately, they are better used together for greater efficiency. Each tool will be covered using typical workflow examples. Lets say you need to convert a few files to the latest FBX format. These files vary in both format and version, so youll have to compare their file structure before and after the conversion. Set up your workspace to display the converter and 2 explorers. You can load files using the Add button, or by dragging them into the Source
Files area. Once the files are listed, set conversion options for both source and destination files, and then click Convert. Drag a pre and post conversion file into each explorer for comparison. Notice that as you browse through either files data structure, the other explorer synchronizes accordingly. To disable this, uncheck the Sync Selected option. Use the explorer to search the node hierarchy, and compare the differences between files. In this example, multiple FBX files contain animation stored on multiple takes. Lets say your art pipeline requires a single take per FBX file, you can use the take manager to address this issue. As youve done before, drag the desired files from the converter to the take managers Source Files area. The take manager lists the current animation takes for the selected file. You can customize the take names, as well as whether or not to include
a character rig for extracted takes. You can create an FBX file per take, per FBX file, or both. Note that every new FBX file created contains every object and textures used in the source file. Finally, to preview these animations, youll use 2 viewers. Drag any file to a viewer to see it play. The FBX Viewer plays files the same way MotionBuilder does, since its based on the same architecture. This is an interactive viewer that lets you control the camera angle, playback rate, and other visual options. Information related to the current take, camera, viewing mode, frame rate, and so on, is displayed in the upper-left corner. For additional shortcuts, drag the splitter upward. The FBX Viewer can also show different time code display rates, which can be toggled via the Preferences window. When multiple instances of the FBX Viewer are opened, you can
Share button to synchronize their playback. By enabling the Camera option, you can also control the camera in all viewers from one instance. This is useful when you need to compare animation files before and after a conversion, or between animation iterations. Close all tools to access the applications workspace which contains helpful tips on how to use each tool. Notice that if you drag an FBX file into the workspace, an FBX Viewer opens. It will automatically convert the file and then play it. This also applies to files available online. Just drag the URL link from an e-mail or web page to open the file in an FBX Viewer. The log feature displays every command issued by the FBX Converter tool in a session. You can use these log entries to launch the FBX Converter from the command line or external scripts with the appropriate arguments.
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