I've recently started learning Unity. Not being able to add custom animations to the standard FBXs you get from Unity's app store is really really slowing me down. When I import one into Blender, it brings none of the animations with it. I also purchased 3D Studio Max and, while a little better, it's still a steep learning curve.

Can I create an animation in Blender or 3D Studio Max and apply it to an existing Mecanim model?

Do I need to manually create and rig a basic model, import it, then move its animation to another character, or is there an easier way?


2 Answers 2


You are on the right track with the rig needing to be the same. If you are using one character mesh and model you can reassign textures in Unity3D as needed.

One thing to check is the Unity documentation: http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/Manual/HOWTO-ImportObjectMax.html

It covers importing and exporting from MAX including "Exporting Bone-based Animations" which may be of use. I'm not sure how you would go about applying that to the existing models in Mecanim but if you can apply them in blender/MAX then it should import nicely into Unity3D.

Edit: It looks like others have had the same issue:

How do I import asset and maintain textures

To quote:

Make sure you have the textures imported otherwise the model can't find even if it wanted too.

But even then, you may have to manually assign the proper textures to the materials after importing. Select each material and see if the texture is missing... if so, find/guess what texture goes with it and drag it in ther

In Unity when you import the objects make sure your import settings (available by selecting the object in your project view and revealing in the Inspector) are set to import the models textures. See if this helps.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your reply, the problem i'm having is that when I import an asset store fbx into blender or max its missing all the textures/materials, I can find loads of docs about importing from max to unity but not the other way round, could you offer any advice? I'm not using the same mesh all the time since i'm not good enough to actually create them, what I was hoping to do is add animations to the existing asset store characters \$\endgroup\$
    – Mrk Fldig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 10:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrkFldig - edited my answer - found another post that had the same issue on the Unity3D forum \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2014 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ sorry maybe i'm being dim but thats going from 3dsmax -> Unity, what i'm trying to do is go from Unity -> 3dsmax with everything intact, if I import TO 3ds Max FROM unity at the moment I get the mesh, bones but no textures and animations! \$\endgroup\$
    – Mrk Fldig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 10:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh hold on I was just messing around with max, I can export the bones, reimport them to a blank scene, animate them and then apply those animations in unity? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mrk Fldig
    Jan 9, 2014 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds good, let us know if it works. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2014 at 10:57

Right thanks for Blue for helping me figure this out, if you want to add extra animations to the stock humanoids from the Unity Asset store the following worked for me:

1) Start a new project in 3d Studio Max

2) Click Animation->Bone Tool

3) From the right hand pane select "Biped", click in the viewport and size accordingly.

4) Animate the biped anyway you like(lots of tutorials on youtube), Note you do not need to add a mesh.

5) Click on the viewport and press Ctrl-A to select everything

6) Click file->export and save the FBX anywhere you like

7) Drag the resulting file into the Assets in unity

8) Click the imported file and in the right pane in unity click Rig then select the animation type as humanoid, click Apply.

9) Click the little play button on the icon for the asset you just imported.

10) You should see something like take 001 - thats your animation

I managed to get this to play with lots of different asset store bipeds and all seem to work fine, please note i'm by no means an expert in either pieces of software but I needed a quick way to add animations to existing characters so I can get on with learning unity rather than 3ds Max etc.

It should be noted also that the standard 3ds Max biped comes with hands but not fingers so thats something extra to figure out but all in all its actually not that hard!

  • \$\begingroup\$ fingers are really easy to add in max, just attach some hand bones to the arm, there is loads of tutorials on how to do that in max \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2014 at 23:18

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