[Bf-committers] Importing Assets: FBX VS Collada

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Mon Apr 28 12:41:21 CEST 2014


> (every Autodesk software exports proper Collada!!)

What I heard is the opposite. Natively Maya/Max support(ed?) only broken versions of Collada. You have to install the opencollada plugin to get things to "work". We use opencollada too, which is not in active development much. Bugs dont get fixed, and a call from Khronos to help fixing opencollada went unanswered.

I'd be very curious to hear of a useful case (a real game project, in studio) that uses Collada to share a character model + rig + animation between two Autodesk programs, in a way that it writes and reads back in same program too. Just as good as FBX.

Collada is a write-how-you-like format, that puts the conversion culprit in the hands of the people who code .dae readers.


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

On 27 Apr, 2014, at 22:51, Stefano Corazza wrote:

> I'm compiling the key responses on the topic, thanks for the great 
> feedback/comments. Here also some reality checks.
> Sorry this is long but i'm trying to wrap the topic up.
>>> Re: baking animation into meshes instead of using a rig:
>>> This might work for uses related*solely*  to still picture & animated film development, but it does pretty much strand the game development folks trying to use Blender as an option in >>their pipelines. Animated armatures with skeletally attached meshes being imported and exported into/out of Blender is kind of essential for this area of Blender use.
>>> Benjamin Tolputt
> Benjamin well said. Game development CANNOT use baked mesh animation. 
> Also for film it is extremely inefficient and a memory sink. The future 
> is a cross compatible rigging system. And it is already there for FBX 
> and Collada (every Autodesk software exports proper Collada!!)
>>> cool to hear that FBX maps to Blender well. If it's a sane format perhaps it is ok for it to become standard .. by Blender folks reverse engineering and documenting it :p . Even if it's >>not publicly specified by Autodesk I suppose they can't break it as then many apps with support for it would break .. unless they'd require always using updated versions of the SDK.
> Autodesk will NEVER release FBX SDK openly. I tried for years to 
> convince them. They are a public company, so they cant do things that 
> weaken their position in the industry. I talked to top management many 
> times around this so make peace with it. Many apps DO NEED to upgrade 
> FBX SDK every year or every couple of years as they are breaking the 
> workflows at every release. Unity3d, Unreal, Maxxon, Mixamo, etc. we ALL 
> UPGRADE FBX SDK every year of couple of years. The effort of reverse 
> engineer FBX SDK in Blender every year is a waste of resources in my 
> opinion when Autodesk already provides a FBX <-> Collada conversion.
>>> a lot of game makers use special engines with own formats and are 
> quite happy to directly use Blender python for export.
>>> For game makers we should keep fbx to work too - but even better 
> would be if they start directly supporting .blend files. I'd love to see 
> efforts for that.
> Every decent game engine supports FBX import/export. The time of 
> import/export plugins is GONE. Even for Maya and Max it is getting 
> harder and harder to find them.
> With EVERY game engine importing FBX and with a FREE and maintained FBX 
> <-> Collada converter out there it seems obvious to me that Collada is 
> the way to go.
> Especially when you have a import/exporter that is already 90% there.
>>> Ton is asking why Mixamo does not create the new importer:
>>> 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-
> A negligible fraction of our paying customers is using Blender. Why? 
> Because you cannot reliably import assets from any other 3D 
> package/service!! So we are not a "stakeholder" in the strict sense but 
> would love to help the students/hobbyists/indie community that is using 
> Blender. Since you changed Python version with 2.6x and later we would 
> have to rewrite from scratch the plugin. We only have  a small team 
> engineers so we can't do it. The best option is to finish the job on the 
> current one that is almost there.
> What I can offer is test cases and QA service for the last 10% of the 
> Collada importer/exporter fix (support of multiple meshes/bind poses) 
> and Mixamo stocks as payment.
> If anyone is interested please contact me directly stefano at mixamo.com
> I hope you appreciate the passion for solving the problem and the amount 
> of real industry information on the topic. Establishing a standard is 
> not an easy job. But we are almost there!!
> Long life to Blender and the Blender community!!
> Cheers
> Stefano
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