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Prepare Custom UAV Vehicle Mesh for the Unreal Editor

This example shows you how to create a vehicle mesh that is compatible with the project in the UAV Toolbox Interface for Unreal Engine® Projects support package. You can specify the mesh in the Simulation 3D UAV Vehicle block to visualize the vehicle in the Unreal® Editor when you run a simulation.

Before you start, install the UAV Toolbox Interface for Unreal Engine Projects support package. See Install Support Package for Customizing Scenes.

To create a compatible custom vehicle mesh, follow these workflow steps.

Step

Description

Set Up Bone Hierarchy

In a 3D creation environment, set up the vehicle mesh bone hierarchy and specify part names.

Assign Materials

Optionally, assign materials to the vehicle parts.

Export Mesh and Armature

Export the vehicle mesh and armature in the .fbx file format.

Import Mesh to Unreal Editor

Import the vehicle mesh into the Unreal Editor.

Set Block Parameters

Set up the Simulation 3D UAV Vehicle block parameters.

Note

To create the mesh, this example uses the 3D creation software Blender® Version 2.80.

Set Up Bone Hierarchy

  1. Import a vehicle mesh into a 3D modeling tool, such as Blender.

  2. To ensure that this mesh is compatible with the animation components in the UAV Toolbox Interface for Unreal Engine Projects support package, use this naming convention for the vehicle parts in the mesh.

    Vehicle PartName

    UAV body

    UAV_Body

    UAV motor

    UAV_Motorn

    UAV rotor blade

    UAV_Rotorn

    Camera pivot point

    UAV_CameraPivot

    Camera arm

    UAV_CameraArm

  3. Set the UAV body object, UAV_Body, as the parent of the other UAV objects.

    Blender bone hierarchy body selection

  4. Set each UAV_Motorn objects as the parent of the corresponding UAV_Rotorn object.

    Blender bone hierarchy motor selection

  5. Set the UAV_CameraArm object as the parent of the UAV_CameraPivot object.

    Blender bone hierarchy camera selection

Assign Materials

You can optionally assign material slots to the vehicle parts. In this example, the mesh uses one material for the body, one for the six motors, and one for the six rotors.

Blender body material

  1. Create and assign material slots to the vehicle chassis. Confirm that the first vehicle slot corresponds to the UAV_Body object. For example, this image shows the hierarchy in Blender.

    Blender chassis material

  2. Create and assign material slots to the motors.

    Blender motor material

  3. Create and assign material slots to the rotors.

    Blender rotor material

Export Mesh and Armature

Export the mesh and armature in the .fbx file format. For example, in Blender:

  1. On the Object Types pane, select Armature and Mesh.

  2. On the Transform pane, set:

    • Scale to 1.00

    • Apply Scalings to All Local

    • Forward to X Forward

    • Up to Z Up

    Select Apply Unit.

  3. On the Geometry pane:

    • Set Smoothing to Face

    • Select Apply Modifiers

  4. On the Armature pane, set:

    • Primary Bone Axis to X Axis

    • Secondary Bone Axis to Z Axis

    Select Export FBX.

Import Mesh to Unreal Editor

  1. Open the Unreal Engine AutoVrtlEnv.uproject project in the Unreal Editor.

  2. In the editor, import the FBX® file as a skeletal mesh. Assign the UAV_Skeleton asset to the Skeleton parameter.

    Unreal FBX import from Blender

Set Block Parameters

In your Simulink® model, set these Simulation 3D UAV Vehicle block parameters:

  • Type to Custom.

  • Path to the path in the Unreal Engine project that contains the imported mesh.

See Also

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