Preparing the export
To start the export process, load your character and the clothes to be exported to the scene. There are a few things to consider for use in Unreal Engine. Unlike for purely rendering purposes, it is advisable to keep the number of vertices as small as possible. I therefore use a DAZ3D Genesis 2 character. But don't worry: The Universal Tool works with all figures from the Genesis family.
To keep the number of vertices and polygons low, it is recommended to use the base mesh and later delete unnecessary polygons. More on this later in the tutorial.
The same rule follows the first function in the main script - the main tool changes the resolution to the base resolution to decrease the number of vertices.
If you change your character very much through morphing, it is also advisable to adapt the skeleton to the changed mesh by using the Yminus Adjust Rigging tool. This prevents unwanted effects when animating in Unreal Engine. Use it for the main character only, not for boots, hats or something similiar.
As this is your choice, this function has not been included in the universal tool.
Loading your character and clothing into the scene
To prepare the export process load your character and all clothing into the scene. Give your character the shape you want to.
If the character is meant to be much smaller or taller than the Base Genesis shape you should adjust the Rigging for the shape with the Yminus Adjusting Tool.
If you like to use your morphs in Unreal Engine use after the renaming process (with the Single Yminus Renaming Tool) the standard export function and include "Morphs". This process is not topic of that documentation.
Bring all items on top level
Unreal Engine aborts the import process if it detects duplicate bone names in the fbx file.
We see in the scene tab that all clothing items are on a lower level of the main character. That means that if we exported the main character like this, we would have the bone name "Hip" and others multiple times in there. You can easily check that with the Check Duplicates Tool.
We first have to bring all items to the main level by selecting them and dragging them to the top with the mouse.
Be sure that there are no items within another figure tree! (It could cause root duplicates or bone name duplicates! You will be prompted by the unreal error log - duplicate bone names like "hip" prevent the importing process.)
By the way - usually it is not recommended to merge meshes into the main figure for the use in Unreal Engine - but if you like to add some anatomical details or other stuff to the body, you should firstly merge them into the character, then delete the duplicate bones in the scene tab and then assign your clothing and export all figures step by step with the tool.
But that's not the topic of this tutorial, nor is it about using and exporting morphs.
The best way to let the character wear clothing in Unreal Engine is to assign it in a character blueprint. This gives you the opportunity to later change clothing or assets in game. It is not recommended to export one figure with all clothing attached.
Select the desired figure for renaming and exporting.
Run the Yminus DAZ2UE Full Script for each item step by step. Enter meaningful names in the opening Save window for the following import.
The tool will change the resolution, check für duplicate bone names, will rename all necessary bone names and labels and will export an fbx file with preselected options. You will have a separated folder with all textures in it for convenient import into unreal and later editing.
Not used bones according to the standard rig of Unreal Engine Mannequin will not be renamed.
Using DAZ 3D characters and clothing in Unreal Engine faces a lot of problems: First of all: the standard rig of all UE-Characters are different to the DAZ 3D -characters. More than this, character design for an Game Engine follows other rules then for rendering purposes only. With a simple export via .fbx file format many issues occur: bones are scaled, skin texture pokes through the clothing, animations don't work.
To simplify the import process and make it safe, this small tool set is available. The Yminus-Tool Set shortens the time to rename all DAZ-character nodes (bones) (and labels) for all Genesis, Genesis 2, Genesis 3 and Genesis 8 human characters and clothing for importing and use in Unreal Engine to match the standard rig of UE-characters. All of this is possible without the use of third party software, the DAZ to Unreal Bridge or expensive exchange tools!
With the yminus tools and the tutorial you will be able to use your purchased characters from DAZ 3D in Unreal - even for games or 3D-showreels.
It is not a one-click-solution - but it saves a lot of time and shows the proper way to export and work with DAZ-characters in Unreal Engine. Included in this package are the universal script DAZ to Unreal Engine, where all necessary processes are included to get an import ready fbx file.
The individual steps of the main tool can be followed with the sub-scripts for changing the mesh resolution, checking double bone names, for renaming the nodes and for quickly exporting an fbx file with proper preselected options.
There are also two other useful tools that are not included in the universal script. On the one hand a script to have all the bone names listed, for example to create an overview in a spreadsheet program to rename the bones manually and on the other hand a tool to adjust the skeleton to a morphed mesh if necessary.
There is also an extensive step-by-step documentation (available via DAZ 3D) and a video tutorial . This help section deals with following topics: How to use the scripts? How to export and import character and clothing to Unreal Engine? How to retarget the skeleton and animations? How to assign and animate clothing from DAZ 3D to a player character with Unreal Engine Blue-Prints? - and much more (How to rename bones manually? How to avoid poking through of textures and meshes?).
Functionality of all scripts:
The main script changes the resolution in base resolution, checks the selected item for duplicate bone names, renames all nodes (from all genesis characters) and labels, saves a .fbx (2012) file ready for import in Unreal Engine.
There are 3 subscripts if you like to manage all steps manually
Subscript 1 is just a short cut to change the mesh resolution to "Base Resolution" to decrease the number of polygons
Subscript No. 2 renames all nodes and node labels of the selected character or clothing according to the Unreal Mannequin
Subscript No. 3 exports the selected item with preselected options as .fbx file
This subscript is a short cut to adjust the rigging of the selected character. Use it for the main character only after applying morphs.
This subscript checks the selected item downwards the node tree for duplicate bone names.
This subscript shows a list of all node names (not labels) of the selected item. You can copy that list for further use.