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PG01

alternatives to 3ds and obj

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From the posts I've read so far 3ds is a much rebuked (crap) format and being the rubbish searcher I am, I was wondering if you guys have an opinion on a better format for using with large scale scene graph optimization, I won't be using vertex shaders too much, compression is probably the most important aspect for me. Obj is useless as far as that's concerened. 148MB for the O2 arena, totally empty :D If it's not a regular format could you post any file format information you know of too, it'd be greatly appreciated. On the flip side, if you think that a custom format would be a better approach then what's the best way? The only way I know of is to create a plugin for Maya/max and then create a loader code file in Visual Studio to load the file as I would with any other format but if there's a better way it'd be brilliant.

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Quote:
Original post by PG01
On the flip side, if you think that a custom format would be a better approach then what's the best way? The only way I know of is to create a plugin for Maya/max and then create a loader code file in Visual Studio to load the file as I would with any other format but if there's a better way it'd be brilliant.


Yes, I think that this would be the best thing to do, expecially if you have a specific set of informations you want to store. It is not necessary to write a plugin, though, since every major application (max, maya and lightwave for example) do have scripting support. I'm not sure if they support writing to a binary file (you said that size is a goal), but fo text based files (i.e. XML) a script should be a fast alternative.

As about other formats: Collada and lightwave's come to my mind. The first is XML based and supported by many appications, while the second is an open format (you find detailed informations on the net) and someone told me that it is a nice format to work with.

Hope this helps.

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Yes I've heard that LWO is a good format, it's used on Terragen 2 for objects and populations and indeed it would be quite easy to find assistance on that format. I doubt I'll use a text based format because of the enourmous sizes so a binary format is the best option. As far as using my own, I've tried to learn enough maxscript to be able to export my own format but ended up throwing my keyboard out the window each time :D I'll look into lwo as well but I'll probably use my own, it's what I intended to do eventualy anyway so I might as well get it out of the way. If you have any suggestions on a structure that'd be great

@DonnieDarko: Can you configure that program to export to any type of file or is it limited to one type, it mentions .x a lot. If you can configure it to your liking then is it effectively the same as making an exporter script in maxscript?
Cheers for the replies guys

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