Objective: To learn how to de-rig an existing 3D models armatures in Blender.
Now I never really use Blender, I am not an artistic person when it comes to the creation and manipulation of assets. But I do love to problem solve when making my games and this particular one brought me to Blender.
This new problem that I came across involved an FBX model not playing Mixamo’s animations and ultimately got me to the process of learning how to de-rig an assets armatures in Blender so that I could use Mixamo’s Auto Rigging feature to resolve the bigger issue.
I wanted to take the time to write a quick article and hopefully show you how to make this process simple and easy. Let’s get started.
1. Import FBX Model
Firstly, let’s make sure we import the FBX model into Blender.
File → Import → FBX (navigate through your directory till you find the asset).
This will be the asset I am removing the armatures from.
2. Unparent Mesh From Armature
Next step is too make sure that we unparent the mesh from the armature:
The mesh of this particular asset is sitting as a child under Armature. We can’t simply delete the Armature in this case as it will delete all the child assets as well. So first we need to unparent the mesh using these steps:
Whilst the asset ‘Monster_049’ is selected, press ‘Alt + P’ and you can either select ‘Clear Parent’ or ‘Clear & Keep Transformation’ if you wish to keep the current visual transformation of the asset. My suggestion is ‘Clear & Keep Transformation’ otherwise it can end up like this:
After completing this step and you can still see that there is a modifier attached to the mesh for the Armature (as shown below), make sure to remove it using the ‘X’ symbol:
3. Export Asset as an FBX Model
This the last step and funnily enough we don’t actually need to delete the armature from the Hierarchy as long as we select the right options when exporting this. So let’s take a look:
File → Export → FBX (and this will bring up a new window)
The only thing we need to focus on is the settings on the right hand side:
What we want to change here is (as seen below):
Limit To → Tick ‘Selected Objects’, and
Object Types → ‘Mesh’.
This will export out an asset without the Armatures, Camera, Lamp etc, just the Mesh. Which is what we are after as we are going to send this up to Mixamo’s Auto Rigging feature!
Hope this helps you in some way.