Importing Blender characters and animations into Unity is supposed to be easy. Getting there is pretty horrific, though. As usual, nothing will work right away; you have to look at a million forum pages and tutorials, and swear a lot. One fun complication: both programs keep overhauling themselves, so half the time a method suggested in a tutorial won’t work in your version. And then there was the evening my Blender file got corrupted, giving me a distorted figure I couldn’t fix.

Still, I went back a save, refinagled, and now I have an imported figure that animates. (The image below is not animated, but hey, the pose is different from the original!)

That woman is bigger than my first car!

That woman is bigger than my first car!

I need to go look at more Blender tutorials now, because I’m sure I’m doing the animation wrong.  There’s got to be an easier way to repeat a pose, rather than copying bone positions one at a time.

She lost her hair, because my earlier save didn’t have it.  Unity wasn’t always getting her hair anyway– one more thing to check into soon.

For reference, the major stuff I learned:

  • I’m scared of the Actions tab in Blender now.  I was messing with that when my figure got corrupted.  So I’m just doing one long animation, and breaking it up in Unity.
  • Unity can read Blender files, so you can just put a copy of the file in your Assets folder, then import it.  Key bit: you can click on the asset again to change the import settings.
  • Unity has two animation systems… the tutorial for using one of them has about 50 steps.  Instead of doing that, I used the old system; the key bit is setting the Rig type in the import inspector to Legacy.

I spent about two evenings trying to get the animations to play, and it just wouldn’t do it. But using the simpler figure, long animations in Blender, legacy mode in Unity, it worked this time.  Now I even have two animations!