[Bf-committers] GSOC 2015 Project Idea - OpenGEX Importer

Jonathan Railsback jonbitzen at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 13 23:01:04 CET 2015

Everyone - 

How about an OpenGEX Python Importer Plugin for Blender?

I've been doing some work with the Blender COLLADA importer, and something with a simpler, more coherent spec (such as OpenGEX)
could help Blender attract more users in game development area.

I was trying to use Blender to customize models from popular asset stores (Unity, Turbosquid) but was always hampered by the fact
that nothing ever worked quite well.  The Autodesk FBX->COLLADA converter has issues, and other tools I found exported
animation using a non-matrix format (rot-X,rot-Y,rot-Z,scale, and translation) that didn't work well with Blender unless you implemented annoying work-arounds (which I'll be glad to share if anyone cares!).

For whatever its worth, I've read the COLLADA spec and the OpenGEX spec as well, and OpenGEX is at least a lot more compact
so it must be easier to understand :)

I've been pondering working on such a thing myself, but I suspect a student working on it full-time over
the summer will make more progress than I can in a few evenings here and there.

Eric Lengyel, author of the OpenGEX spec, created it to support his game engine, and has written exporters for Maya, Max, and Blender to allow models to
be imported into his engine.  I guess the idea here is that an importer would help support cross-tool content pipelines in the game development area, since the export plugins for Autodesk tools already exist.  

I suspect I wasn't the only one on Earth that has tried to edit models but got stuck by the mess that is COLLADA and the non-GPL-friendly blackbox which is FBX.

I did some Googling, and I think someone has already written a python library to parse OpenDDL (the text-based language used by OpenGEX) so I dont think it would be a totally ground-up effort.



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