COLLADA Import/Export Team

Blender has COLLADA support through the OpenCOLLADA library. This came first to Blender 2.5 with the Google Summer of Code 2009 programme. As a first step it was quite OK, but since people started using it in more and more complex situations a number of weak points have been identified.

I started working on improving our COLLADA support since September, first by doing a simple code reorganisation to be bring some clearity to the code. Now I”ve been busy with other tasks as well, so I”m happy to tell that there are at least two active members in our developer community who are working on continuing this effort.

Martijn Berger and Jeroen Bakker are both have started digging into the code. Martijn (JuicyFruit on IRC) has started with a second refactor of the code, to make it structurally sane too. My first refactor was mainly on the code layout, from two huge files split of too many smaller files; his work is in shuffling code even more around to get a good structure for the code itself as well. Jeroen Bakker (jbakker on IRC) is working on fixing the already reported crashes in our bug tracker. A few patches already are waiting in the patch tracker for me to review and apply. This I will do  ASAP.

Right now it looks like that animation support will be temporarily disabled – there are some issues we”d like to work on eventually, but rather have the current refactor go well first.

Our efforts to improve the COLLADA support will continue! If you think you have it what it takes to help us out, don”t hesitate and contact me, then we can work out how to distribute the work load, who works on what.

/Nathan

17 comments 4,380 Views
  1. Really hope 64-bit support returns. I haven’t seen support for quite some time. At least it doesn’t compile. Glad to see this blog it will help developers communicate with the community.

  2. Keep up the good work. Collada support may seam ‘boring’, but it is essential to get it right when using blender in a pipeline with other tools. Hope to see animation output with bezier interpolation working at some point in the future 🙂

    -pjoe

  3. Are there any plans to include support for kinematics_model to Armature convertions? I would be glad to help out with that.

  4. It’s great to see some real dedication. I was hoping blender would take COLLADA serious. One of the key’s to blender success is pipeline integration and technology like COLLADA will make it possible.

    It will be even better when you guys come around to also support Alembic which would give blender even more integration hooks.

    and if the problems with OpenEXR would be fixed (Mirrored, no RGBA assignment) I would be at peace at last 🙂

    Keep it up!

  5. That’s great!
    I’m trying to import a Collada file converted from an fbx …
    I got the keyframes of my animation but they all have the same value….
    Hope to see a completely working solution soon!

  6. Is there any way to contact these guys apart from IRC?

  7. Please make Collada work properly, else Blender is too difficult to use in the video game industry! Most engines and pipelines use Collada nowadays and Sony is doing a huge push to the format. It seems almost ridiculous that the flaship open source modelling software has poor support for it.

  8. I would like to help with improving the Collada import/export, I have downloaded the latest source code to give it a first review, which developing IDE is the best to use ? is MS VC++ 2010 Express suitable?

  9. Brian, what do you mean? I compile it all the time, 64-bit. Blender 2.5x trunk + Collada.

  10. @brian, on Windows at least we have OpenCOLLADA for 64bit.

    @ruben, our current target is to fix all instabilities that in the existing code can be found. A refactor is being worked on, which should allow to add more features when it’s completed.

    @andrew, if you want to contact me personally, you can find me on my own blog http://www.letworyinteractive.com/b

    @gorkz, working on it! 🙂

    @ali, I use msvc 2008 pro myself, most coding work using gVim (and compiling on cmd.exe with scons), but occasionally I do use Visual Studio too.

  11. @Nathan, we were already in the middle of an e-conversation about Blender’s light exports to Collada, but you haven’t replied for a few weeks now which is why I was asking for these guys’ details 🙂 I’d rather discuss it on the forums but there’s usually no response when I post there.

    I need to get on with custom property exports (http://www.blender.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18145), for myself even if they don’t get submitted, so I want to know how this refactoring is going to affect the code layout for this and the lighting changes.

  12. What Gorkz said. So many of us would like to use Blender, but the lack of Collada support just doesn’t allow it. It’s a shame animation support is experiencing issues, that’s what I’m waiting for. Best of luck guys!

  13. Anticipating the next update! Please include support for multiple animations…

  14. Are there any updates to the Collada exporter that you can share with us?

  15. Sorry guys. I don’t know where i can get help for my problem. I have a 3d Models in blender. I export to a collada file e the geometry is not good. You can see the result http://screencast.com/t/oBVisR5xlXmn
    Can someone help me please

  16. Could I suggest the addition of Physics information in the COLLADA Exporter?

  17. I think this thread is dead, but the need for Collada still exists. I just started using Marvelous Designer 5, with Blender 2.72. I can get .OBJ + Point Cache working both ways, Blender to MD5 and MD5 to Blender, but prefer Armaturea (TransLocRot) for Avatars than using PC2. Pointe Cache works great for the cloth animations from MD5 btw. Looking at the xml generated by Blender versus the Maya Plugin MD5 uses to make their Avatars is quite different. MD5 Dev’s are probably wondering why I crash MD5 so much… it’s because I’m trying every way possible to get .DAE’s working. Although people say the format is dead, it’s got quite a few features that FBX, OBJ’s dont’ have. MD5 avatars have a cool option where you can add different hair or shoes.(I believe they are using attachment points and add accessories to the rig on the fly) Doing it with point cache means baking each accessory with it’s own PC2 file, long and fat… I use AssimpViewer to check Collada, quick way to find out you screwed up or not. The Better Collada add-on for Blender does produce better files, in the viewer, and most of the schema is there, but obviously not all since it still crashes MD5 more often than not. Hope Kronos and Blender get together one day and make a proper Blender plugin…

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