Simple Action Export

by Eirik in Addons


Working with multiple rigs and many animations isn't the easiest...

I needed a simpler way of managing it all under a unified interface.


Why would I need this?

There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach when it comes to dealing with the multitude of workflows people nowadays need in regards to 3D applications. This add-on however has probably saved me hundreds of hours whenever I work with animations, constantly fine-tuning the animation then having to re-export and re-import the animation to wherever it may be needed. So this add-on solves this problem by making the management of multiple rigs with a lot of animations per rig easy. The add-on will associate the animations of your choosing, together with the settings for exporting, to every individual rig you may have.


Features

  • Export Current Active Action: a one-click export for your currently active action
  • Batch Export Actions: Batch export all enabled actions to individual FBX-files
  • Multi-Rig Batch Export: Select multiple rigs and batch export all of them simultaneously with SAE functionality
  • Action Management: Add or remove, disable or enable actions easily from the UI
  • Auto-Rig Pro: Fully compatible with Auto-Rig Pro!
  • Rigify: Fully compatible with Rigify!
  • Auto Adjust Timeline: Adjust the timeline automatically for each individual action on export to ensure correct animation length!
  • Export Standstill Action: Export an action as a standstill action, great for extracting static poses directly from a single frame in your animation!
  • Include Mesh on Export: Include the mesh when exporting your actions
  • Importing Actions using Filters: Easily add actions to SAE with filters
  • Export All Actions Containing: Export actions containing the specified string
  • Export using the Unreal Engine Scale: Automatically fix the unit difference between Blender and UE
  • and more!


Individual Rigs

Let's say you have 3 rigs in your scene, and these 3 rigs have 5 associated animations to each of them. That means you'll have to manage and keep track of 15 separate actions when you're scrolling through the longest Action Editor of your life. Simple Action Export will store your action selections, what actions are enabled or not, FBX export settings, and every other setting available on a per rig basis.

See here how the add-on will remember your settings and all actions associated with the rig:


This works extremely well for scenes where you have multiple rigs, and want an easy and efficient workflow.


How easy is this to use?

Simple Action Export works with custom rigs, Rigify and Auto-Rig Pro rigs!


Adding actions to SAE is really simple, and instead of adding actions one by one you can use filters to speed up this process. These filters can be mixed with each other to narrow down the import to your liking.

To easily add new actions, there is currently 3 filters available to use when adding actions.

  • Add All Containing: Specify a string (e.g "Rifle_", "Char", "Walking_", etc) to only add actions with that string in its name (case-sensitive)
  • Only Actions with Fake User: Only add actions that have enabled Fake User (shown as the shield with the checkmark)
  • Only Actions within Range: Specify an end-range for how long the actions to import are. For example set this to 55 if you want to import actions that have a length between 0-55 frames.


Multi-Rig Batch Export


  • Selecting multiple Rigs which you have configured with SAE will enable you to Batch Export all enabled actions for every selected rig.
  • Individual settings per rig applies on the export.


Auto-Rig Pro Compatibility


Simple Action Export is fully compatible with Auto-Rig Pro (ARP).

When you have ARP installed and enabled, SAE will give you the option to use ARP as an exporter. This is very recommended if you are using an ARP Rig, as the exporter will ensure compatibility when exporting.

SAE provides you with standard Auto-Rig Pro settings directly from the add-on when you choose to use it!


Exporting

When you want to export your actions you have a few options available to you to ease this process.

  • Auto Adjust Timeline: When exporting, this will automatically adjust the length of the action to the last keyframe in the animation.
  • Export include Mesh: Whether you want to include the mesh when exporting your actions.
  • Export Standstill Action: This will only export the currently active single frame in the active action. Great for when you want to export a pose.




  • Export All Containing: This will let you input a case-sensitive string to limit your export to only the actions containing that string ("Rifle_", "Char", "Walking_", etc). When this is enabled, you will be given the choice to either use the actions you have added via SAE, or to let this filter work with every action in the scene.


  • Use Unreal Engine Scale: Multiply the scale by x100 when exporting to fix unit differences between UE and Blender.


Quick Export Mesh

  • Here you have quick access to export your mesh with the rig (excluding actions) when you want to use it in for example a game engine or other 3D application.
  • Quick access to apply the current pose as the new rest pose


Settings

Under the Settings panel you will find the settings SAE will use when exporting actions.


Adjust Timeline on Selection: When selecting via the action list, the timeline will be adjusted automatically based on the length of the action (no more setting the start and end time manually for each animation!).



Who doesn't need this

If you primarily export using Blender's own FBX Export and use the "All Actions" parameter to export a single FBX with all your actions, and have no need for easier and cleaner export to individual FBX's, then using Blender's built-in export tools should suffice. 


Limitations

  • Only exports to FBX as of now.
  • NLA Strips currently not supported, coming soon
Dev Fund Contributor
Published 7 months ago
Blender Version 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.0
License GPL
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