Did anyone ever get FBX support?

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

RunsWithScissors
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:59 am

Did anyone ever get FBX support?

Post by RunsWithScissors » Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:06 am

I have done much searching but as best as I can tell, all FBX threads seem to just zombie off.
Does anyone know anything about this?
I noticed that there seemed to be much resistance in many of the threads that I read to adding support for .fbx becasue it was not "open source" but I noticed that blender comes with the ability to export many proprietary formats? so what is with the resistance to fbx? it is probably the best universal format there is.

I read a couple threads where there seemingly was more favor in creating a collada exporter/importer.

From the stand point of trying to incorperate Blender into an existing professional production pipeline. collada is useless. nothing uses it.

fbx is used by every major 3D application there is. And it supports and transfers everything. from the meshes to the textures to the weights of vertices, skinning, joints. everything.

the SDK is freely availible. ...

then again I may be way off here and maybe there is one out there and I'm just missing it. " i doubt it I have been searching for 4 hours now" but if so just point me in the right direction please. Oh and an explanation of why it is not in blender by default would be great too.

Blender is a wonderful app but, as someone that works in production everyday I can say that fbx would make it 100x more useful. especially from one of the most expensive aspects of CGI and that is rendering.

The ability to use blender/YafRay as a renderfarm for existing Maya/XSI projects is very huge!!!

kakapo
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 2:32 pm

Post by kakapo » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:35 pm

i think there will never be fbx support for blender.

fbx just is a closed proprietary sdk which isn't compatible with blenders license. there are no specifications for the fbx format so there also can't be an open source implementation like for other formats.

what theoretically would work is doing some fbx command line tool and going over an intermediate format but this would be a lot of work.

i think the open collada format is a much nicer idea and it gets more and more supported.

RunsWithScissors
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:59 am

Post by RunsWithScissors » Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:03 pm

Not in mainstream production it isn't.

You can support all of the open source formats that you want but unless you support things that non-open source apps use to. the you are gonna stay on the outside looking in.

LetterRip
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip » Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:31 pm

Not in mainstream production it isn't.
It would appear that in fact it is being used more and more in mainstream production. It might not be in your production pipeline though...

LetterRip

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:01 pm

RunsWithScissors wrote:Not in mainstream production it isn't.
Then get other software manufacturers to implement the most common open source formats - like for example Collada. They can implement them - even without using any code that would require to open their code. The format specifications are there.
You can support all of the open source formats that you want but unless you support things that non-open source apps use to.
It's not a matter of wanting it or not. It's about missing specifications and probably a legal issue (at least in US).
the you are gonna stay on the outside looking in.
Sorry to say that, but this is a totally stupid comment... If you want to use Blender, then use some other format for exchange. But if you really insist in using FBX (and support a format that might change in future and make your work probably unreadable instead of using an open format that could be parsed because you've got a format specification) then you've got to get a tool that supports FBX.

RunsWithScissors
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:59 am

Post by RunsWithScissors » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:08 pm

there are 3 apps used in 3D in the mainstream for film. Maya, XSI, and Houdini, some would say 3dsmax but I say it is crap. becasue it is never used for anything other than previz.

none of those 3D apps support Collada nativly.

I know people at ILM and they are not using it. and my Friend at Disney has not even heard of it.

So no it is not in the mainstream. I'm not saying it is not a great format. I hope that it or something like it catches on and soon. but don't sit there and tell me it is mainstream and just becasue I'm not using it....... anyway you get my point.

There are a few opend source groups making plugins for Maya and MAx to suppoort Collada. but from what I have read they are quite buggy. Hopefully all of this will change and soon. especially since this seems to be the only route.

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:46 pm

RunsWithScissors wrote:there are 3 apps used in 3D in the mainstream for film. Maya, XSI, and Houdini, some would say 3dsmax but I say it is crap. becasue it is never used for anything other than previz.
XSI already has native Collada support, Side Effects annouced a builtin importer some time ago (and probably an exporter), for Maya there exists ColladaMaya (which still lacks some essential things). That's the best you can have - right now.

kattkieru
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:30 pm

Post by kattkieru » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:49 pm

RunsWithScissors wrote:there are 3 apps used in 3D in the mainstream for film. Maya, XSI, and Houdini, some would say 3dsmax but I say it is crap. becasue it is never used for anything other than previz.
Obviously you've never seen anything by Blur Studio or Blizzard. You're right in saying that it doesn't have as much of a foothold in film, but it's not crap. (Neither is Blender, which in the film world has been used mostly for previz.) You've also forgotten Lightwave, which is still used in many places as a final rendering solution (and was used at Pixar for a long time as a modeler, IIRC), but that's a digression.

Back to topic, is there anyone with sufficient legal knowledge to outline a method by which FBX support could legally be added to Blender? In searching the forums I saw someone mention that having the functions in a shared library but the exporter in Python counts under an "aggregation" clause, or something; what does that mean, in plain English?

Near as I can tell, the plugin / python script -> intermediate format -> command line FBX converter method seems to be the only way to legally circumvent the GPL and get FBX into Blender, but I'm not a lawyer, so I'm hoping someone else can give a simple explanation about what might be the best method, preferrably with as little fiddling with the command line as possible for users.

LetterRip
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:43 pm

It could legally be done as a python script that is seperately distributed and uses the FBX api, which is then placed in the scripts folder by the user.

LetterRip

kattkieru
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:30 pm

Post by kattkieru » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:00 pm

Not to be dense, but just so were clear, does this usage of the API also include usage of a plugin wrapper shared lib with the requisite binding functions, also added by the user and released under a different license? Or just the python script?

dgebel
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 7:20 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Post by dgebel » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:49 pm

According to http://www.highend3d.com/news/software/23.html
FBX was supposed to get Collada support last fall. So is this still an issue? Couldn't you just export to Collada and import Collada via the FBX toolkit in whatever other app you need?

Wings3D has FBX support and is listed right on the FBX page. Does the BSD license allow the FBX license somehow but not Blender's GPL?

LetterRip
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:03 am

Post by LetterRip » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:04 am

Yes the BSD license allows you to use the code pretty much however you want including linking to proprietary librarys. The GPL doesn't allow that.
Not to be dense, but just so were clear, does this usage of the API also include usage of a plugin wrapper shared lib with the requisite binding functions, also added by the user and released under a different license? Or just the python script?
You could use what ever license you want for the python script + wrapper for the fbx lib.

LetterRip

kattkieru
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:30 pm

Post by kattkieru » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:47 am

Sweet. Cheers on sorting that!

Edit:

Played a bit with the converter tonight (*cannot* for the life of me find the SDK download link). Collada converts just fine. Haven't tried anything complex yet, but you can convert from FBX to Collada and vice versa with the command-line converter provided by Alias with little difficulty.

Dunno how it handles animations (I heard our Collada exporter was expanded to work with animations?), and I haven't really experimented with textures, but from what I see a python plugin isn't even really necessary unless you want to be extra lazy and not drag files onto the converter.

gatogato
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 12:38 pm

Post by gatogato » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:11 am

Hi,

I could really, really need this now. I have a client whom I need to provide with files that retain materials/textures like specular, diffuse and normal maps etc. when importing them into 3ds Max. Since I don't have a Max license that is a tough task to do when nothing really seems to keep more information than the linked in color map at best.

FBX support or the Collada->FBX method would really help me a lot! But it seems the Collada exporter doesn't support much functionality yet when it comes to textures and materials.

gato

JetPacJamesey
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:46 pm

MS game development - XNA Beta

Post by JetPacJamesey » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:58 pm

I believe that the homebrew dev kit for the Xbox 360 will require .FBX models. This is a huge potential audience/ market for blender users which requires a pragmatic response.
J

Post Reply