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The FBX converter supports smoothing groups.  Before exporting your model from 3dsmax, check:
Geometry -> Smoothing Groups.

Modo should also have similar export options in Preferences -> File I/O -> FBX I/O.   Make sure Save smoothing groups is checked.

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3 hours ago, Bolt said:

The FBX converter supports smoothing groups.  Before exporting your model from 3dsmax, check:
Geometry -> Smoothing Groups.

Modo should also have similar export options in Preferences -> File I/O -> FBX I/O.   Make sure Save smoothing groups is checked.

Is there anything that can be done to better support files that may not be perfect? The dwarf model must contain that data because it gets loaded in 3ds max. We're converting thousands of files right now so anything that optimizes the process will save a significant amount of time.

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The dwarf model has no smoothing groups, so everything gets smoothed as if it belongs to one smoothing group. To get this working with Leadwerks, the "armour" mesh should be split into its own smoothing groups.

Programs like Akeytsu don't seem to be using smoothing groups, instead they're reading the actual vertex normals. But, the catch is, sometimes they're stored per polygon vertex.  Which means, for a vertex to have more than one vertex normal, it needs to be split.  Because, as you know, most game engines store their normals per vertex.  So, Akeytsu is probably splitting up their mesh too, you just don't realize it.
 

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Ok, I think I got it working.  Vertices must be split by their normal when loading data into per vertex buffers.

There are some artwork issues with your Dwarf model, btw, but the smoothing should now be correct.  The two beard strands are black because the faces are reversed (you probably scaled them by -1 or they were procedurally created), and the left foot has one polygon assigned to the wrong smoothing group (user error).
 

dwarfBeard.PNG

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I downloaded Akeytsu just to try it out.  Their FBX import looks ok.  I get the same smoothing results as them now.  And I looked at the dwarf beard again, and it's actually the vertex normals that are reversed.  The face geometry is ok.  Akeytsu shows the same reversed normals too.  As for Unity, it might have double-sided lighting enabled by default, so it doesn't show up as black.

btw, I added a Split vertices per normal option to all the U3D FBX plugins if anybody wants to test it out.

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