Exploded View Tool

tools
unreal

#1

Hey everyone!

I’ve been working on a tool that automatically generates an exploded view from your models in the engine.
You can download the latest package here! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hElS9ZmCQCcO5EFM_hV_CO52aqihbNT1/view?usp=sharing

Make sure to leave some feedback in this form (https://goo.gl/forms/CDbs1FPJWEdIG8IF3), it makes it really handy for me to track your feedback.

In July a research paper will be available where you can read about the process of making this tool.

Getting Started
To activate the tool in your project, simply copy the ExplodedViewTool folder into the Content Folder of your project. To utilize the tool in your project the meshes you want to explode need to be imported in a specific way. Make sure the FBX you’re importing has all the separate elements you want to explode detached into different objects. Then, when importing, turn off the combine meshes option. This will import every object as a separate static mesh that will be used in the blueprint.

Now drag and drop the blueprint into the scene.
To put this list of meshes into a blueprint, select the whole list and drag it into the component list.

To calculate the required variables to explode, click on the checkbox Calculate Variables. This checkbox will automatically return to false as it is used as a button in the construction script.
The explode tool will now already explode the mesh when you press play or simulate.

Settings
Of course, there are multiple settings that allow you to tweak the animation. Remember that tweaking any variable in the category ‘Recalculate Variables’ requires you to click on the Calculate Variables checkbox to update the changes.

Explode Amount is the distance the pieces are exploded.

Explode Center Warp Power is a warping modifier to the pieces close to the Explode Center Transform.

Tangent Amount and Tangent Rotation Amount are used to tweak spline generation.

Explode Time is the length of the animation.

Explode Wait By Distance Factor is used to time the start of the animation for the different pieces. The smaller the value, the longer the blueprint waits to activate the next piece.

Explode Rotation Amount is the amount a piece rotates during the animation.

Explode Smoothing is used to smooth the animation. Pick and option or use the custom setting and tweak the timeline in the blueprint. Adding additional timeline options requires the enumeration to be updated.

Exploding reverses the animation. Used with the event structure.

Always Play overrides the event structure and always plays the animation. Handy for debugging.

Use Splines Paths for Exploding can be turned on when you have generated the splines using the Blutility.

Additional Exploding using Splines
To generate splines open ExplodedView_CalculateSplines and press the ‘Calculate Splines’ button. This will spawn a lot of actors in your scene that contain a single spline. These actors are attached to their corresponding meshes, so you can simply collapse the World Outliner tree if you don’t want the splines cluttering the window. You can easily modify the splines by adjusting them. The splines are currently not saved when exiting a level. This is a bug that we’re working on.

Bugs
If you encounter a bug, make sure to let me know on the form. If you’re having issues with the tool working in the first place, make sure you’ve clicked Calculate Variables and have regenerated the splines, if you’re using them.

Known issues:

  • Splines don’t save when changing levels and revert to default.
  • Scaling not yet supported.