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Supported 3D Export File Formats

To learn of the 'Best Practices' to import from our most popular 3D CAD file formats, click here.

The following export converters implement the Okino "conversion engine" which ensures that all aspects of the source 3D data flows through to the desired destination 3D program and/or file format, regardless of how different or incompatible they are.

Statistically speaking, most of our common hourly customers would be re-exporting their source data to 3ds Max, CINEMA-4D, LightWave, Maya or NGRAIN, or FBX (for Unity or Unreal VR/AR authoring), even though we support all main 3D programs and file formats succinctly.

Where supported, the converters output optimized mesh or NURBS geometry, 3D spline/bicubic and NURBS curves, hierarchy, object/camera/light animation data, lights, cameras, materials and their associated attributes, texture/tangent/color vertex attributes, mesh skinning weights, skeletons (bones or joints), meta data, texture bitmaps and scene properties. Files created by these exporters are "Render Ready" meaning that everything is set up to produce a good rendering on the first pass with no tweaking necessary (in particular, the perspective camera, its camera parameters and the lights are accurately translated to the target rendering platform).

 3D Export FormatExt Mat Hier uv VC L&C Anim Skel Skin
 3D Studio R1-R4 .3ds CheckCheckCheck CheckCheck  

The export converter writes out the scene database to a 3D Studio file including mesh data, smoothing group information, material attributes, bitmap references, viewport configurations, cameras, lights, and camera plus object animation data (where appropriate). It also provides for automatic bitmap conversion during file export.

This converter outputs almost every possible 3D Studio file attribute. For materials, a partial list includes all texture maps (texture # 1, texture # 2, reflect map, bump map, shininess map and opacity map), automatic planar & cubical environment maps, transparency values, phong values and shading modes (flat to metal). Note: the converter also does shading parameter matching so that, for example, colors and textures read in from LightWave will be rendered fairly closely when exported to 3D Studio. Other exported attributes include view port settings, atmospheric effects and background color schemes. Geometry hierarchy, geometry attributes and the first keyframe of the animation section is output.

The .3ds file format was the native file format of the old Autodesk "3D Studio R1-R4" software, which waspopular up to about 1996 before itssuccessor (3ds Max) replaced it. Having been around since the very late 1980's, it has grown to become an industry standard for transferring models between 3D programs, or for storing models for 3D resource catalogs (similar in status to Wavefront OBJ as a model archiving file format).

Please do not confuse the .3ds format with the 3ds Max .max format. You will find throughout the 3D industry that some companies refer to .3ds as the "3ds Max file format" but this is not true. The native file format of 3ds Max is the .max format, whereas .3ds is just a legacy import/export file format ported over to 3ds Max by Tom Hudson during the transition from 3D Studio R4.

Suggestion: Do not use the .3ds format to transfer data to/from 3ds Max (especially for huge CAD datasets). There are many people who continue to do this. The best method is to use the directly integrated PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system.

Note that the .3ds format is no longer an ideal file format as it once was. The .3ds format has several serious shortcomings, many of which probably stem from the fact that 3D Studio R1 grew out of Tom Hudson's mid-80's "CAD-3D" on the Atari platform:

  • All meshes must be triangles.
  • All texture filenames are limited to 8.3 DOS character lengths.
  • The number of vertices and polygons per mesh is limited to 65536.
  • Accurate vertex normals cannot be stored in the .3ds file. Instead "smoothing groups" are used so that the receiving program can recreate a(hopefully good) representation of the vertex normals. This is still a hold-over legacy for many animation programs today which started in the 1980's (3ds Max, LightWave and trueSpace still use smoothing groups, and Maya up to v2.51).
  • Object, light and camera names are limited to 10 characters. Material names are limited to 16 characters.
  • Directional light sources are not supported.
 3MF (3D Manufacturing Format) .3mf CheckCheckCheckCheck    

The 3MF export conversion system intelligently and robustly converts from the world’s most popular and complex 3D programs (MCAD, AEC, DCC and VR/AR) into 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) files for subsequent 3D printing.

The 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) is a 3D printing file format spearheaded by Microsoft that allows design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to other 3D applications, platforms, services and 3D printers. As explained by Microsoft, "3MF files describe the appearance and structure of 3D models for the purpose of manufacturing (3D printing)." It was primarily designed to replace the simplistic and aging 1987-era STL file format for 3D printing (as well as OBJ and VRML2).

Some salient features of the 3MF exporter:

  • Accurate conversion from all sources of primary 3D data files, including MCAD, AEC, DCC and VR/AR software applications and file formats.
  • Full geometry instancing support throughout the conversion pipeline from 3D file import to 3MF file export.
  • Layered texture map support with automatic embedding and resizing of JPEG and PNG bitmap images. This exporter has a unique and intelligent method to determine how to deal with 3MF’s oddities relating to layered texture images (see examples further below in this help).
  • Conversion from all supported source 2D bitmap image file formats to embedded JPEG or PNG images within the 3MF file, of variable width/size and bit depth.
  • Support for multiple layers of uv texture coordinates for each exported geometry object.
  • Export of vertex colors and/or mixing of vertex colors with an object’s surface (diffuse) color.
  • Support for the 3MF Core Specification and the 3MF Materials Extension.
  • Mesh processing options such as automatic polygon reduction, explode-by-material assignment, sort polygons by material and coordinate list optimizations.
  • Multiple methods to embed pivot points in the geometry data.
  • CAD-like units matching.
 3ds Max (via PolyTrans-for-3dsMax
native plug-in system)
.max CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck
Okino has spent more than 2 decades developing the main, professional conversion system for 3ds Max called PolyTrans-for-3dsMax. It allows 3ds Max to directly read and write all the 3D file formats supported by Okino.

Please note that it is not possible to import or export .max files directly from inside the NuGraf or PolyTrans stand-alone software itself (see below for explanation); The .max file format is not a pure 3D file format (as is the .3ds file format) but rather it contains a "state snapshot" of how the various plug-in modules with 3ds Max interact with each other to produce the final displayed mesh model.

In order to read/write .max files we must run PolyTrans directly inside 3ds Max itself. This is because we need to have 3ds Max evaluate its "stack" of plug-in modules that operate on the base mesh. The evaluated output mesh is then sent to PolyTrans. Vice versa, we need to gain access to the core of 3ds Max to import data from PolyTrans and save it to the 3ds Max internal database.

Please note that these special plug-in modules operate INSIDE 3ds Max itself and not inside the stand-alone NuGraf or PolyTrans software. These modules are NOT to be placed in the Okino 'vcplugin' directory.

If you wish to transfer data from NuGraf, PolyTrans or Maya to 3ds Max, execute those programs and save out an Okino ".bdf" file. Now load in the .bdf file via the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system.

 Acclaim Motion Capture .amc, .asf  Check   CheckCheck 
This export converter writes out motion capture data in the Acclaim (.amc and .asf) file format. This file format describes animated skeletons in terms of bones, hierarchy and angle constraints.
 Biovision Motion Capture .bvh  Check   CheckCheck 
This export converter writes out motion capture data to the Biovision .bvh file format. This file format describes animated skeletons in terms of joints, hierarchy and angle constraints.
 CINEMA 4D .c4d CheckCheckCheck CheckCheckCheckCheck
Okino's CINEMA 4D export conversion system intelligently and robustly converts from the world's mostpopular and complex 3D programs (MCAD, AEC, DCC, Animation and VisSim) into highly accurate andefficient .c4d files. The conversion is direct, from source file format to .c4d file format, with nousage of the MAXON CINEMA-4D software. Technically, this is the firstprofessional conversion program which can read and write to the .c4d file format (some people may beconfused of other programs which support CINEMA-4D v6 format but that has been obsolete since 1998).

An overview of its salient technical features can be read here.

Refer to the following main documentation:

Since mid-1998 Okino has been the primary provider of professional 3D conversion solutions to MAXON Computer'spopular CINEMA-4D animation program (a short historical overviewof CINEMA-4D can be found online here).We understand the conversion requirements of CINEMA-4D customers very well and have amassed a largemutual user base of CINEMA-4D customers.

 COLLADA (best for Blender) .dae CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck

Okino provides the main, professional implementation of the COLLADA file format in this exporter system.It is a full featured and well implemented exporter to the COLLADA .dae file format. It supports avariety of 3D geometry output choices, hierarchy, skinning + skeletons, materials, textures,meta data and animation.

As a passing note, COLLADA has long been the best 3D file format to import/export with Blender and not FBX (whichmay surprise many Blender users). Okino has been involed with Blender since its very beginnings and hence tests its import/exportconverters under particularly stressful conversion conditions. Blender's COLLADA implementation properly supports geometry, hierarchy,part naming, instancing and material conversion. The two runner ups would be FBX and VRML2 but they are not recommended for use with Blender.

An overview of its salient features can be read here.

Please refer to the corresponding COLLADA importer.

 DirectX .x CheckCheckCheckCheck¥Check¥Check

This export converter writes out ASCII and binary DirectX (.x) formatted files. Mesh data (with vertex normals, vertex uv texture coordinates and vertex colors), materials, texture references, hierarchy and object animation are all exported. In addition, vertex weights used for mesh/skeleton deformation skinning are exported. Automatic bitmap file conversion is done to the PPM and BMP file formats.

¥ = The DirectX file format has no support for lights or cameras.

¥ = DirectX is very much associated with bones and skinning but it has no explicit "bone" primitive. Any hierarchy node in the DirectX file format can act as a bone, just as it occurs in the Softimage dotXSI file format. PolyTrans has very strong and robust support for exporting skeletons and mesh skinning information from various source 3D file formats and animation packages.

The main features include:

  • Proper translation of all forms of geometry into the DirectX 'Mesh' primitive, complete with support for the 'MeshNormals', 'MeshMaterialList', 'MeshVertexColors' and 'MeshTextureCoords'.

  • Export of skin weights, from select source programs, for realtime deformation of single skin meshes by their associated bound skeletons (the skeletons are represented as frame hierarchies). New for DirectX 8.

  • Export of vertex duplication lists for DirectX 8. In order to output proper uv texture coordinates there are cases when vertices of a mesh have to be duplicated. The vertex duplication list allows the reader of the .X file to undo this duplication process.

  • Object hierarchy support by embedding mesh data within a 'Frame' structure.

  • Automatic conversion of bitmap files to .bmp or .ppm format. Also, the converter can resize the bitmaps so that they are a power-of-two and square in size.

  • The converter can take any arbitrary 3D object (including those with n-sided polygons and optional holes, bicubic patches or NURBS patches) and convert them to optimized triangle meshes.
 DXF .dxf Check       
This export converter writes the scene database as either 3-point or 4-point polygons using the 3DFACE or POLYFACE MESH entities. Polygons with 5 or more vertices, concave polygons, or polygons with holes are automatically triangulated. All polygons will be assigned DXF color # 1.

If the file is written using the POLYFACE MESH option then there is no need to weld the geometry data when the DXF file is read into another program (since the data output to the DXF file will be automatically welded by this converter).

DWG format, up to the most recent release, is provided in the Okino CAD/Pack license. The base-level Okino software only supports up to DXF R12 (ASCII).

 Electric Image FACT
(also good for Form/Z)
.fact CheckCheckCheckCheckCheck   
This export converter writes out raw FACT files to the Electric Imageanimation system. FACT files are also a common format to move scene data in and out of the Form/Z modeling program.

Please note: if you wish to export animation data to Electric Image Universe then use the LightWave export converter file format.

Features of the export converter:

  • Exports polygonal geometry (or NURBS converted to polygons) with associated vertex normals, uv texture coordinates, vertex colors and tangent vectors,

  • Export of complex FACT hierarchy, including the preservation of linkage information and child/parent transformation information. Pivot points are properly exported as linkage information.

  • Complex material information is exported:

  • Diffuse, specular, ambient and luminance colors.

  • Diffuse, specular, ambient and luminance shading coefficients.

  • Transparency, reflectivity, index of refraction and diffuse bias.

  • Automatically creates a MacBinary Header for ease of use on a Macintosh.

  • Converts between Electric Image's left handed coordinate system and right handed coordinate system.

  • The ability to selectively export

  • Vertex texture coordinates

  • Object hierarchy

  • Texture bitmap references

  • Materials

  • All inherited attributes such as position, rotation and scale are properly handled.

  • Outputs texture UV coordinates as well as various forms of texture projections (where applicable). Since the size of texture projections depend upon the bitmap resolution of their associated texture maps, this exporter also locates and opens up the texture images to obtain their resolutions.

  • The converter can scale and translate geometry during export
 FBX .fbx CheckCheckCheck CheckCheckCheckCheck

Okino was the first professional conversion company to fully implement the FBX file format from its get-go,long before most people even heard of the file format.

This geometry export converter writes out Autodesk FilmBox Files (FBX).This export converter supports meshes, NURBS surfaces, spline shapes (converted to meshes or NURBSsurfaces), lights, cameras, materials, automatic bitmap conversion, skeleton (bones) and mesh deformationskinning, object animation, camera animation, light animation, material animation and more.

Statistically, the Okino FBX exporter has been primarily used for moving data into Unity, the Unreal Engine and MODO. If you are exporting data into 3ds Max or Maya then please use Okino's PolyTrans-for-3dsMax or PolyTrans-for-Maya software.

Please refer to the corresponding FBX importer.

 glTF .glTF, .glB CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck

This geometry export converter writes out industry standard glTF and glB files with an extensive set of user definable options and processing stages to make for highly optimized files. This export converter supports polygonal meshes with optional vertex colors, 3D point sets, NURBS surfaces and 3D spline shapes (converted to meshes or 3D line primitives), compex meta data embedding, geometry instancing, pivot point processing, Draco compression, optional lights, cameras, materials (with mutliple layers of UV coordinates and textures), automatic bitmap conversion, automatic bitmap scaling and embedding, skeleton (bones) and mesh deformation skinning, object animation, camera animation, light animation and more.

A corresponding and well implemented glTF and glB importer is also provided.

 HOOPS HSF (WEB Streaming) .hsf CheckCheckCheck Check   
This geometry utility saves out the database to the HOOPS Stream File (.hsf) file format. The HOOPS Stream File (HSF) file format allows highly compressed files containing 3D data and bitmap images to be streamed over Internet connections of any bandwidth.The HOOPS Stream File (HSF) format is a robust, customizable and highly compressed 2D/3D visualization format specifically tailored to the needs of displaying 3D model and scene data. Through its rapid widespread adoption and open, published nature, HSF is fast becoming a ubiquitous medium for applications to share visual data and for end users to publish and store their visual data.

Advantages of publishing to the HSF Web streaming file format:

  • No charge for displaying the HSF files on your WEB site. Some other WEB streaming file formats require broadcast license fees or fees to be paid for the publishing package. Okino Computer Graphics has paid a licensing fee upfront to TechSoft America on behalf of our customers.

  • Free HSF viewer control for WEB browsers. Available for Windows, UNIX and Linux platforms.

  • No WEB server configuration required. HSF streaming and viewing is a client-only solution, eliminating the need to endure the considerable IT burden of server-side configuration and maintenance. Users wishing to implement real time collaborative viewing or view-dependent streaming should refer to the HOOPS Net Server.

  • Multiple levels of data compression: vertex, normals, polygon and file-level.

  • Level of Detail support. Streams simpler models first, then successively more complex models.

Please also refer to Okino's extensive and popular DWF-3D conversion system which can be used to output .dwf files for viewing with Autodesk's "3D Design Review" software and with other WEB-centric and iPad-centric file viewers.

 Lightscape .lp Check Check Check   
This export converter writes a Lightscape preparation file (.lp) containingall geometry, lights, and material attributes needed to render the scene withinthe Lightscape Visualization System. Even complicated scenes can be exported quickly and usually requireonly minimal adjustment from within Lightscape before they can be fully rendered. Lightscape is now owned by Autodeskand integrated into some of their software packages.

The main features of the exporter include:

  • The output of geometry includes vertex normals and texture coordinates for rendering of smooth textured surfaces.

  • Support for both layers and blocks within the Lightscape preparation file. Multiple options are available for layer and block structure creation.

  • Material definitions are exported including values for transparency, smoothness, index of refraction, and luminance. The exported materials also include texture map information.

  • Exported lights include all point and spot light sources with directional lights being converted to point sources positioned some distance outside the extents of the scene geometry.

  • Automatic conversion of bitmap files to those formats supported by the Lightscape Visualization System.
 LightWave .lwo, .lws CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck  
This geometry export converter writes out LightWave compatible object (.lwo) and scene (.lws) files, complete with all geometry, mesh attributes, bones and skinning, hierarchy information, lights and cameras, materials, texture maps, automatic bitmap file conversion, object and camera animation, and material attributes.

The following information is output to the object and scene files:

  • N-sided polygon geometry. All polygons with holes are triangulated.
  • Vertex colors and vertex uv texture coordinates (LightWave 6.5 or newer).
  • All hierarchy information.
  • All pivot point information for each object.
  • Point, directional and spot light sources complete with proper location and Euler angle parameters for each light’s first keyframe location.
  • Numerically accurate output of LightWave’s default camera location complete with proper location and Euler angle parameters for the camera’s first keyframe location.
  • Background colors types (solid or gradient), fog parameters and object attributes (shadowed, casts shadows, etc).
  • Object and camera animation data.
  • Bones and skinning information in the unusual method that LightWave has chosen to implement.
 NGRAIN .3ko, .ngw CheckCheckCheck     
The NGRAIN Export Converter for Okino's PolyTrans supports the conversion of all 3D importer formats supported by PolyTrans to the NGRAIN format (3KO). NGRAIN 3KO (3D Knowledge Object) files are used by applications such as NGRAIN Producer and NGRAIN Mobilizer. This NGRAIN Export Converter also allows you to convert 3D files one at a time or by batch conversion.
 OpenGL C Code .c Check CheckCheck    
This export converter writes out the scene database as a C code program in the Open GL scene description language. The resulting program can then be compiled and used to draw the 3d database directly using OpenGL. The database is output as a series of polygons with vertex positions, normals, colors and texture coordinates. In addition, the surface definitions (materials) associated with each polygon is used to set up the OpenGL shading parameters. Please note that each object is output as a separate C code function in the resulting file.

Features of this exporter:

  1. Each geometry object is output to the OpenGL C file as its own function definition (ie: "Sphere#1" is enclosed in a function like: Sphere#1()).

  2. Mesh data can be output as unrolled loops or "vertex arrays" for high performance output. Vertex positions, vertex normals, uv texture coordinates and vertex colors can all be output.

  3. The Okino triangle stripper algorithm is used to take any form of geometry data and turn it into optimized tri-strips for use by the OpenGL tri-strip data type. This reduces the number of vertices that have to be transformed by OpenGL.

  4. Options to automatically have the scene rescaled to a user specified maximum size or some absolute size, as well as options to center the geometry at the origin and/or make the geometry sit on the Z=0 horizontal plane. This benefits OpenGL rendering quality in cases where the extents of the scene cause the OpenGL clipping planes to be spaced too far apart; scaling the scene smaller allows the clipping planes to be kept closer together and thus reduce rendering anomalies (due to limited precision in the Z buffer).

  5. A Microsoft Visual C++ .dsp/.dsw project and workspace are output in addition to the frame work to an OpenGL application program. Thus, you get the base OpenGL C program to represent your 3D scene (geometry, lights, camera, textures, etc). as well as an OpenGL C program to display the 3D scene in a Microsoft Windows window.

  6. Removal of redundant coordinates for optimized mesh output.

  7. Control of color output by weighting of the shading coefficients which are carried over from the imported file format.

  8. Automatic bitmap conversion from all supported 2D bitmap file formats into whatever you require in your OpenGL C program, with .bmp being the default.
 Okino Transfer File Format .bdf CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck
The Okino .bdf file format is the native format used by Okino's PolyTrans and NuGraf products. It is a "snap shot" of the core Okino 3D scenegraph database and in essence is a super-set of the capabilities of most 3D files formats. It is the preferred and best file format to use whenconverting data between 3ds Max (via the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax native plug-in system) and Maya (via the PolyTrans-for-Maya native plug-in system).
 PLY .ply Check CheckCheck    
The PLY geometry export converter writes out scenes in the Stanford PLY ASCII file format, includingmesh attributes such as vertex normals, vertex colors and vertex texture coordinates. An optional materialelement can also be exported. A PLY file contains the description of exactly one object.

The PLY format is NOT intended to be a general scene description language, a shading language ora catch-all modeling format. This means that it includes no transformation matrices, object instantiation,modeling hierarchies, or object sub-parts. It does not include parametric patches, quadric surfaces,constructive solid geometry operations, triangle strips, polygons with holes, or texture descriptions.

Typically, PLY files are associated with 3D scanning and object reconstruction.

Please refer to the corresponding PLY importer.

 Renderman RIB .rib Check CheckCheckCheck¥  
This geometry export converter writes out the scene database to a RenderMan RIB v3.1 compliant ASCII file which can then be read into other programs, or more likely, be sent off to PIXAR's RenderMan renderer or the BMRT renderer. The converter exports meshed geometry (with proper segmentation so that shaders are assigned properly), trimmed NURBS, bicubic patches, cameras, lights, embedded material definitions, texture creation commands and animation of frames. Automatic bitmap conversion or filename extension renaming is also performed.

The converter writes out a full RIB specification that can be read into a RIB compliant renderer and rendered immediately. The converter primarily outputs optimized indexed polygon arrays using the "PointsPolygon" and "PointsGeneralPolygons" primitives but will also output fully trimmed NURBS patches and (non-trimmed) bicubic patch primitives directly. For your information, Renderman renders trimmed NURBS patches incredibly fast! Camera and object animation data can also be output; a Renderman 'Frame' is output for each frame in the scene, with each frame containing the cameras and geometry translated to that frame's time.

¥ = Keyframe animation will be handled by evaluating the scene at each frame and outputting multiple RIB files, or one RIB file with all frames in it.

 Rhino-3D & OpenNURBS .3dm Check Check Check   
This export converter saves out the database to the OpenNURBS .3dm file format. This is the main file format used by the Rhino-3D NURBS modeling package by Robert McNeel and Associates.

The following data is exported to the OpenNURBS .3dm file format:

  • Trimmed NURBS surfaces (patches) with uv-space and world-space trim curves. The world-space trim curves are calculated at export time by up sampling the uv-space curves to world-space.

  • Polygon meshes with vertex normals and vertex uv texture coordinates.

  • Independent NURBS curves.

  • Spline Shapes as equivalent NURBS surfaces or curves.

  • All other geometric primitive are meshed and output as polygon meshes.

  • Ambient, point, spot and directional light sources with related parameters.

  • Materials with ambient, diffuse, specular and luminous surface colors, phong shininess and transparency. The first diffuse and bump map texture images will also be output.
 Shockwave-3D .w3d Check Check Check   
This export converter writes out the scene database to the Shockwave-3D file format. This was a WEB Streaming fileformat developed together by Intel and Macromedia. This is not to be confused with the Shockwave or Flash "2D" vector file format. Shockwave-3D is a normal 3D geometry file format with varying levels of lossy data compression to reduce data file size.

One primary use of this export converter is to take 3D asset data into the Adobe Director program. The .sw3d files can be imported as 3D assets.

Note: the Shockwave-3D file format has more or less been obsolete since 2002 when Macromedia and Intel abandoned the file format. A fewyears later Intel would push it upon Adobe as the file format of their 3D PDF (U3D) format. The full history is outlined on theOkino U3D exporter page.

 SketchUp .skp CheckCheckCheck Check   
Okino's professional SketchUp conversion system intelligentlyand robustly creates native SketchUp files from almost every 3D CAD, DCC, animation and VisSim program.

SketchUp is a popular 3D design product originally developed by @Last Software ( and nowowned by Trimble, Inc. Okino recognized the growing popularity of SketchUp (well before it was purchased by Google and then Trimble) and as suchwe worked directly with the original SketchUp developer to create the very first set of independent, professional and fully compliant SketchUp 3D converters outsideof the SketchUp program itself. Okino's SketchUp conversion system is used throughout the 3D production world by everyone fromDisney to LucasFilm to Sony Productions to NASA and many people just like yourself. It handles all the complex problemsfaced by converting generic datasets into the SketchUp, and especially when dealing with CAD datasets.

Please refer to the corresponding SketchUp importer.

 Stereo Lithography .stl         
This geometry export converter writes out the 3d database to an ASCII formatted or binary formatted 'StereoLithography STL' file which can be read by many CAD/CAM related software packages.
 U3D (for 3D PDF) .u3d CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck

Okino's mirror set of U3D import and export convertermodules are two of the most well developed and feature rich converter modules availablefor handling U3D files. U3D files are most often associated with the 3D models which areembedded in Adobe® PDF files.

This export converter saves out files in the U3D file format, including meshes, materials, hierarchy,lights, cameras, animation, skeletons (bones) and skinned meshes. The Adobe® Acrobat® PDFviewer does not support all of these entities, particularly skinned meshes. Once a U3D file has been created it can then be embedded into Adobe Acrobat PDF files using the Adobe Acrobat® Pro program.

An overview of its salient technical features can be read here.

Okino also has a long history involved with the U3D file format.U3D has quite a tainted history in the development community. It was derived from the old Intel IFX 3D gaming toolkitof the 1990's and forced upon developers as the Macromedia 'Shockwave-3D file format' in 2000. The Shockwave-3D formatwas abandoned in 2002 and then it resurfaced in 2004 when Intel forced it upon Adobe as the 3D file format to usewithin 3D PDF files (instead of Adobe using the better X3D file format). With the IFX toolkit being so buggy, Okinospent much of 2004 through to 2007 debugging the IFX toolkit and creating the main, defacto implementation of the U3Dimport/export converters.

 VRML1, VRML2, Inventor2 .wrl, .iv CheckCheckCheck¥Check¥  

This export converter outputs clean and detailed files to the VRML 1.0,VRML 2.0 (VRML 97) and a sub-set of the Open Inventor v2 file formats. VRMLis an ASCII file format for describing 3d scenes which is primary used ininteractive virtual reality applications.

You should be made aware that VRML 2.0 is a very good and generic formatto transfer data to other 3D programs (ahead of the .3ds (3D Studio)and .obj (Wavefront OBJ) file formats) if you cannot move data in a native form.

Features of the VRML 1.0/Inventor v2 export converter include:

  • Output of clean mesh data with optional vertex normals and vertextexture coordinates.

  • Lights (point, spot and directional) and the perspective camera.

  • Embedding of any form of texture image inside a VRML file as raw data,or just providing the reference to the texture file.

  • Automatic bitmap conversion and automatic bitmap resizing to/from themost popular 2d bitmap file formats.

  • Modification controls for bitmap file paths written to the VRML file.

  • Material parameter output: ambient color, diffuse color, specular color,emissive color, shininess and transparency.

  • Proper segmentation of a mesh into multiple mesh primitives so thatdiffuse texture maps can be assigned properly.

In addition the following is output when VRML2 format is selected:

  • Hierarchy for geometry and folders ("null nodes" or "emptyinstances/objects").

  • Export of Object, camera and light animation.

  • Vertex colors for mesh data.

  • The usage of DEF/USE of the VRML2 file specification to allow instancingof geometry. This can greatly reduce the size of an exported VRML2 file ifone mesh, or a sub-set of a VRML hierarchy tree is referenced multiple times.
 Wavefront OBJ .obj Check Check     
This geometry export converter writes out the scene database as a series of optimized indexed polygon meshes (faces and their associated indices) along with optional normal and texture data (if its exists within the database). A Wavefront material definition file (.mtl) can also be exported which supports all material and texture options (ie: Ka, Ks, Kd, map_Ka, map_Kd, map_Ks, map_Bump, etc). The export converter also features extensive automatic 2d bitmap conversion options and features (see dialog box description below).

¥ - The Wavefront OBJ file format does not have support for hierarchy, vertex colors, animation, lights, cameras, skinning or other more common scene file contents.

The Wavefront file format is quite robust and is a popular format used to transfer entire object geometries between 3D packages.

No hierarchy information is output since the .OBJ file format has no methods to describing hierarchy; each sub-object of a hierarchy will nonetheless be exported as a unique group whose name's match the original object names in the internal database hierarchy.

 X3D .x3d CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck  
Okino's X3D exporter (and corresponding importer) are one of the first set of production-quality X3D and Classic VRML converters to come to market, just as Okino had provided the first industry standard set of re-purposing converters for VRML1 and VRML2 in 1996 and 1998 respectively (and which are still two of our most popular file formats today, a decade later). They were developed in full cooperation with the Web3D Consortium and the U.S. Navy.

"X3D" is the next generation standard, a superset of the VRML2 specification. It is an Open Standards XML-enabled 3D file format to enable real-time communication of 3D data across all applications and network applications. It has a rich set of features for use in engineering and scientific visualization, CAD and Architecture, Medical visualization, Training and simulation, multimedia, entertainment, educational, and more. Where VRML1 and VRML2 dominated the 3D market for the last decade, it is expected that X3D will become the successor and replacement for the next decade. More information about the X3D file format and initiative can be found at

 XAML-3D and free viewer .xaml CheckCheckCheck CheckCheck  
The Okino XAML exporter acts as a middleware tool. It importsfrom almost every major 3D CAD, DCC and VisSim file format, then optimizes/reduces/composes the scenedata, after which the scene data is exported cleanly out to an ASCII .xaml file. Downstream UX authoringprograms then import the 3D XAML files to compose a .NET user interface.

For example, this exporter can take complex 3D scenes from Maya, 3ds Max, CINEMA 4D, Maya, Softimage, Lightwave, allmajor CAD assembly formats, (and many other 3D programs), turn them into compliant XAML files, thenuse them for Microsoft Windows button creation, hit targets, form controls, and much more in adownstream UX design program.

As part of Okino's long term commitment to Microsoft's XAML initiative, we have developed a very nice and useable 2D/3D XAML viewer which is being made available to the XAML community for free. We have spent several years working with XAML and during that time we had found it quite difficult to (1) easily locate the known free XAML viewers via Google, (2) find one which implemented the features we required as part of our critical 3D data translation work.

 XGL .xgl CheckCheckCheck     
This geometry export converter writes out ASCII XGL formatted files as well astheir ZGL compressed equivalents. Triangular mesh data (with vertex normalsand vertex uv texture coordinates), material properties, embedded textureimages and object hierarchy are exported from the XML-style XGL file.

The XGL file format is most often used to convey data from several CAD packages into Okino software (such as SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor, etc). This exporter can be used to convert all of the Okino supported import file formats to the XGL format.

Legend: Mat = basic or advanced materials, Hier = full scene hierarchy, u/v = uv mesh texture coordinates, VC = mesh vertex colors, L&C = lights and cameras, NURBS = trimmed NURBS surfaces, Anim = keyframe animation, Skel = skeletons defined by bones or joints, Skin = mesh skinning (deformation by skeletons).

Arrow Optional Add-On Exporters in the 'DCC/Pack' License

The DCC/Pack contains our most developed and heavily used converters dealing with the common "Digital Content Creation" animation and modeling programs, as well as VisSim (OpenFlight). These converters are grouped together in the DCC/Pack as they are developed in unison so that data can flow fairly evenly between any two DCC-based animation or VisSim packages. The DCC/Pack is an electronic add-on license to the baseline PolyTrans and NuGraf products, available when you purchase the baseline product or any time in the future. Anyone who normally uses Maya, OpenFlight or Softimage in their conversion pipelines will typically purchase the standard DCC/Pack license.

If you wish to convert 3D scenes and animation between 3ds Max and Maya, which is one of our most requested conversion pipelines, then you would purchase either the baseline PolyTrans or NuGraf program, and the DCC/Pack add-on license.

See also the corresponding table of DCC/Pack import converters.

 3D Export File Format Ext Mat Hier u/v VC L&C Anim Skel Skin
 PolyTrans for Maya (via
native plug-in system)
.ma, .mb CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck
PolyTrans-for-Maya runs inside Maya as a native plug-in system (and requires a resident copy of Maya). This allows a Maya user to easily access all of the stand-alone Okino converter modules. PolyTrans-for-Maya would be considered one of Okino's "main software products" that a large number of Okino customers would own.

To convert data to/from 3ds Max use the Okino ".bdf" scene transfer file format and the native PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system on the 3ds Max side.

To convert data to/from CINEMA 4D use the .c4d import/export converters from the Maya side.

To convert data to/from Lightwave use the Lightwave import/export converters from the Maya side.

 OpenFlight .flt CheckCheckCheckCheckCheck¥  
This geometry export converter writes out OpenFlight .flt binary files, complete with all geometry, hierarchy information, material, lights, "flip book" animation and texture mapping attributes. A file exported to OpenFlight should appear almost exactly as whence the file originated (little or no tweaking should have to be done).

Okino's OpenFlight converters are unique in the fact that they can read from newer OpenFlight file formats (16.x and 15.x versions) and write to the much older 14.2 file format; the 14.2 file format is still quite common in the military VisSim markets. Okino writes its own FLT exporter module and has complete control over its development and refinement. The FLT importer utilizes the Presagis OpenFlight DLLs to do all the parsing while custom Okino code walks the database tree and converts the "node based" VisSim information to scene graph data more acceptable to the common animation programs.

¥ = OpenFlight does not have keyframe animation, but rather it uses "flipbook" animation. The Okino OpenFlight exporter samples the scene at every frame and outputs instanced copies of the geometry with the matrices in the animated state for each frame. Thus, keyframe object animation is turned into flipbook animation for OpenFlight.

 Softimage 'dotXSI' format
(does not require copy of Softimage)
.xsi CheckCheckCheckCheckCheckCheck¥Check
This geometry export converter writes out Softimage .xsi files. No copy of the the Softimage animation program is required. Meshes (with vertex normals, vertex colors and vertex uv texture coordinates), hierarchy, cameras, lights, materials, texture maps, object animation and envelopes (mesh skinning) are supported as a baseline.

¥ = The dotXSI file format really doesn't have a sense of a "skeleton" like in other file formats. In most other formats, except for DirectX, a grouping node can be tagged as a bone or joint; when imported into its respective animation program, such nodes are visualized as bones. In the dotXSI file format you would normally create an IK chain in order to have bones visualized in the XSI user interface. However, it is not necessary to create an IK chain in order to define a "skeleton" for mesh skinning (enveloping in XSI lingo). The dotXSI file format allows any object or any grouping node to be used as a "mesh skinning bone" (deformation object) so to speak, and this is exactly how the Okino converter handles bones & mesh skinning for the dotXSI file format.

Arrow Optional Add-On Exporters in the 'CAD/Pack' License

The CAD/Pack is an optional add-on license composed of mostly importers of CAD data. However, the following CAD exporters are included in the CAD/Pack as well.

** Please press the "+ Notes" hyper-link to read important information and limitations about each CAD exporter.

Export Format
Ext NURBS Surfaces NURBS Trim Curves NURBS Curves Polygon Meshes Entity Colors
 DWF-3D .dwf CheckCheckCheckCheckCheck
This exporter outputs full 3D scenes to the Autodesk DWF 3D file format, including mesh, polyline and trimmed NURBS geometry, object/light/camera/material animation data, materials with embedded texture maps, lights, cameras and a plethora of options to output highly optimized files. The structure of the DWF file format is ideal for creating highly compressed files for Internet download.

Please also refer to the corresponding DWF-3D import converter.

 DWG .dwg    CheckCheck
The DXF and DWG geometry export converter writes out the scene database as either 3-point or 4-point polygons using the 3DFACE or PolyFace mesh entities. Polygons with 5 or more vertices, concave polygons, or polygons with holes are automatically triangulated.

Please also refer to the corresponding DXF/DWG import converter.

 IGES 5.x .iges ¥¥CheckCheckCheck
This IGES export converter allows trimmed NURBS and polygonal data to be exported in various flavors of the IGES file format. This export converter is useful for transferring data to various brands of CAD/CAM software, many of which will be able to read the IGES data exported from this converter.

In general most CAD programs which accept IGES files require that the geometry data be "trimmed NURBS" or "BREP solids". This IGES exporter will only output "trimmed NURBS" (in IGES entities 144/142/128) when the source data is also "trimmed NURBS", such as from Softimage-3D or Maya (and only when the geometry data was modeled as NURBS and not polygons).

This IGES exporter can also output all 3D geometry items as pure polygons meshes, as IGES entity # 106 (copious data). However, as outlined in the next paragraph, this option tends to confuse users of this IGES exporter since they expect such #106 data to be read into all CAD modelers. In general there are very few CAD programs which will import and accept #106 copious data polygon meshes because they only accept NURBS and not meshes. This option to output #106 copious data was added for one customer who wanted to output a text font outline to Pro/Engineer, after which the data was imported as a 2D drafting outline, traced, and turned into a 3D model using interactive Pro/E drawing tools.

¥ Important Notice ¥ This export converter CANNOT convert polygon mesh data to an IGES file as NURBS or solids. It is a very common request that Okino customers will want to take polygon mesh data from programs such as SketchUp, 3ds Max, Maya, CINEMA-4D, etc. into solids modeling programs such as ProE/Creo, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor, etc. This is just not possible, even if you don't believe it. Solids modelers require that the IGES file only contains trimmed NURBS data, usually with additional BREP stitching data to make the trimmed NURBS into "solids". Polygon mesh data cannot be converted back to trimmed NURBS or solids simply by exporting to IGES; to do that you will need to purchase a "surface reconstruction" program which allows you to interactively reconstruct a NURBS model out of a mesh model, and only then will you be able to export a newly reconstructed NURBS surface to an IGES file.

Arrow Optional JT CAD Add-On Exporter

The "JT" export converter module allows various types of 3D geometry, hierarchy and materials (assembly data) to be exported to native .jt disk based MCAD files. The JT exporter is built upon the official "JT Open" toolkit which has been licensed from Siemens Corp. The use of the official "JT Open" toolkit ensures consistency of JT files across the enterprise and throughout the PLM market.

See also the optional Okino JT importer module.

Arrow 3D Export File Converters From Third Party Vendors

Okino has one of the most extensively developed plug-in development systems and APIs since its original creation in 1988. Okino's plug-in development program allows third party developers and vendors to create new importers and exporters, as well as system-level plug-ins to create such add-in components as renderers, modelers and search engines.

Click on the following logo to jump to the online list of third party commercial plug-in modules available for Okino software.