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The Mill SDGM • Real-Time FX R&D • Camera Workflow

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

A proper camera export workflow from Maya to Unreal, and eventually Maya > Houdini > Sprite Sheet > Unreal will be essential in our pipeline. Exporting a camera from Maya into Unreal is a more convoluted process than I had expected.


The process is as follows:


1. Scale your Maya Scene to Unreal Engine

Make sure you are using centimeters.
Change your grid size to match Unreal Engine

2. It's imperative that you do not animate your camera directly. To avoid this, create a camera rig. Parent your camera to a series of nulls and begin your animation!

Camera Rig

3. Once you're finished animating the camera motion, set the Y axis rotate in the channel box of your camera to 90°. If you don't do this your camera will be facing -90° from what you'd expect in UE.

Set Y Rotation

4. Now we want a clean set of translations and rotations on our camera, instead of being bound to our camera animation rig. To do this, lets create a new camera specifically for exporting and parent it to the animated camera.

New camera for export

5. Let's bake the new camera's animations (Key > Bake Simulation), now that it's parented. Make sure to key all of the channels and set your frame range.

Baking frames

6. Time to export. Using the Game Exporter (File > Game Exporter), make sure your up axis is set to Z.

Export using Game Exporter

7. Create a new camera sequence in Unreal Engine (Cinematics > Add Level Sequence). Make sure your frame rate is the same as what you had set in Maya (the top right section of the sequence editor). Add a camera by selecting the camera symbol in the top left of the sequence editor. Right click on the CineCameraActor and import your FBX. Uncheck Match By Name in the import dialog box.

Import FBX into CineCameraActor

You should now have your camera motion keyed!


Camera should look incorrect Maya
In Unreal

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