Game developer Jonathan ‘nuclearfriend’ Murphy has released Blend File Importer, a handy new plugin that lets users import Blender’s .blend scene files directly into Unreal Engine.
The add-on makes it possible to import scenes created in the open-source 3D software into Unreal Engine directly, rather than having to export them as FBX files, reducing iteration times and saving disk space.
Drag and drop .blend files into Unreal Engine as if they were FBX files
Unlike Unity, Unreal Engine doesn’t support Blender’s .blend file format natively, meaning that users have to export assets in file formats like FBX in order to get them into the game engine.
Blend File Importer fixes the problem, making it possible to drag .blend files into Unreal’s content browser.
Online reviews suggest that it copes well with even messy scenes, although it may be necessary to adjust some materials after import, and you can choose to import scene assets individually or as a combined mesh.
It’s also possible to edit the source file in Blender and have Blend File Importer re-import the updated version automatically – at least when editing static meshes: support for skeletal meshes is coming soon.
The new add-on provides a quick alternative to Epic Games’ own Send to Unreal plugin for Blender, which is free to use, but which requires a bit more set-up.
Pricing and system requirements
Blend File Importer is compatible with Unreal Engine 4.26+ and 5.0.
The plugin costs $7.99: it was originally free, but after seeing the demand for new features, Murphy has made it a paid add-on to fund future development.
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