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Sc4Freak

3D file format

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Hi, I've tried searching around, but I can't seem to find a good, simple 3D file format to use for my game. It's a hobbyist project, so I don't have the resources to write my own proprietary format and produce exporters for all the different modelling packages out there. So I have to look towards an existing format. I only have a few basic, specific requirements: - >50,000 triangles - Texture coordinates - Named submeshes (so that different materials can be applied to different parts of the model) - Keyframe animation - Already has exporters for major 3D modelling packages - Reasonably simple to parse (or already has existing import libraries) - "Tags": just named positions in the mesh (eg. attaching the weapon to the position tagged as "RightHand") - Specifying textures/materials/shaders in the mesh isn't required. I can handle that outside of the mesh if necessary. Does anyone know of a format that suits these needs? Thanks.

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Depending on what you're doing, the '.X' format that is native to directX meets all those requirements, and comes with native support for working with the model, and functions/classes associated with working with and loading the data.

It's also widely supported by lots of different modeling packages, though I've found that it's support is still maturing in blender, which is unfortunate [not all features are supported, and what is supported was done so just recently], or at least thats how it was last I checked. [Last I checked, there still isn't full support for exporting of animations from blender, and texture file names are difficult to coax into being exported correctly]

It does have a few drawbacks though, and doesn't have some features that some of the beefier formats have [such as support for lights, among others]. It's easy enough to work with though that you can create converters to translate the .X files into your own, easily loaded, file type [especially if you use Blender, which is the route I tend to take, so that I can fill in the gaps left by the Blender export script.]

Another one to consider, though only for certain instances [look over it's capabilities to see if you can accept it's limitations] is the incredibly simple Wavefront [.obj] format. It's text based, trivial to parse, and is widely supported [and accurately supported by blender, which is why I use it for static geometry often]. Actually, I'd argue it's the easiest to parse of all the 3d file formats out there.

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If you feel like taking the challenge, try FBX. It's starting to become an industry standard, and Blender just got a fully supported exporter for it. Only down fall is that the API provided by Autodesk is complicated.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=6837478&siteID=123112

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Collada?

https://collada.org/public_forum/viewforum.php?f=10

Unlike FBX, Collada is an open standard with project pages on sourceforge.

FBX is an API. It comes as a set of closed src libraries and tools. Their file format isnt actually documented anywhere so you'll be stuck using their propietary tools to work with FBX models. Some standard.

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