Blender IK/Constraint baking & FBX exporter

I am getting more familiar with Blender every day, but despite the plethora of turials, advice and forums, I still have a hard time finding some things.

  • Stopping the orientation issue after FBX export.
    Mesh faces down no matter what forward or up direction you choose.
  • Stopping the armature being added as root bone after FBX export.
  • Baking IK/constraints.

Thankfully, I have a solution to the latter two.

Stopping the armature being added as root bone after FBX export
Open your \Blender\2.63\scripts\addons\io_scene_fbx\export_fbx.py file (Back it up first).
Around line 2546, you should find the following:

        else:
            # the armature object is written as an empty and all root level bones connect to it
            fw('\n\tConnect: "OO", "Model::%s", "Model::%s"' % (my_bone.fbxName, my_bone.fbxArm.fbxName))

Just comment it out:

        # else:
            # the armature object is written as an empty and all root level bones connect to it
            # fw('\n\tConnect: "OO", "Model::%s", "Model::%s"' % (my_bone.fbxName, my_bone.fbxArm.fbxName))

Since doing this, I have exported several FBX files with/with out animations and imported them into UDK with out issue, aside from the orientation issue.

Baking IK/constraints.

Several forum posts and messages point to various old or missing scripts to to this.
Turns out there is no need – its built in.
Hit space and type ‘Bake Action’.

Handy if, like me, you have IK/contstraint targets not connected to the armature you want to export. As long as you remember to bake an action when you’re done animating it, its all good.

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