[Bf-committers] Importing Assets: FBX VS Collada

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Fri Apr 25 20:19:49 CEST 2014

Hi Stefano,

You say:

> We have created a Blender 2.49 plugin to import Collada 1.4.1

Then why not do it for 2.7x? That import API is there since 2009.

You are really welcome to pick up this development job and become a module owner for the Collada importer. It's the stakeholder principle. If you depend on a feature to work, you can also help it to be realized.

If you - on the other hand - just seek for volunteering help, that's OK too. But I know Collada is incredbly impopular to work on.

If you look for someone to be contracted for it... you could ask Gaia Clary.


Ton Roosendaal  -  ton at blender.org   -   www.blender.org
Chairman Blender Foundation - Producer Blender Institute
Entrepotdok 57A  -  1018AD Amsterdam  -  The Netherlands

On 25 Apr, 2014, at 19:27, Stefano Corazza wrote:

> I'm writing this in response to the emails around FBX import topic.
> Thank you Tom, Bastien, Toni, Jeffrey and Campbell for your input. 
> Bastien I also would like to express my admiration for the reverse 
> engineering work you have done so far.
> Background: Our company - Mixamo - has worked with FBX SDK since 2008. 
> We also help wrote some top industry 3D software FBX exporter (I cant 
> mention it). We have extended FBX SDK 2009.3 to support Collada 1.4.1. 
> We have created a Blender 2.49 plugin to import Collada 1.4.1 which is 
> still the only full feature way to get Collada 1.4.1 into Blender. We 
> recently upgraded to FBX SDK 2014 and we are constantly in contact with 
> Autodesk FBX group to provide them bug reports/test cases. We are very 
> focused on character animation specifically.
> Collada:
> The current Blender Collada import support is 90% there. We have done 
> extensive tests with characters, rigs and animations.
> Most of the assets work just fine, the only gap at the moment is on the 
> support for multiple meshes/bind poses, here a test case we put together:
> /https://developer.blender.org/file/info/PHID-FILE-2kleiwpxahd6to6lac5y/#/
> FBX:
> The current FBX support is still in its initial stage and full support 
> would be a huge project to undertake for a format that is constantly 
> changing. The things that are missing are related to animation and 
> include skinning, definition of bind poses, layers, etc.  The complexity 
> of the FBX format is pretty huge. Reverse engineering mesh import is 
> orders of magnitude easier than reverse engineering the animation 
> system. FBX SDK had several major changes going from the very stable 
> 2009.3 into 2011 and  2013 including radical and non backwards 
> compatible format changes. For all these reasons and many more I would 
> be happy to explain I think FBX is not a viable solution in the short or 
> long term for the amount of resources it will take and the intrinsic 
> lack of full feature support it will lead to.
> Autodesk provides a free tool to convert any FBX into Collada: 
> http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?siteID=123112&id=20481519
> They have actually improved Collada support recently.
> For the reasons above I would STRONGLY recommend that we fix the current 
> Collada importer that is 90% there and keep Blender "clean" instead of 
> going for the FBX route.
> What do you guys think??
> Do you want me to provide a more detailed case?
> Thanks!!
> Stefano
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