Open 3D Model Exchange Format and Exporters for Popular Software

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Design and specification of a new open file format for 3D model exchange and clean, stable export plugins for Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Blender.
20130424193732-avatar
Eric Lengyel
Technology
Roseville, California
United States
1 Team Member

Summary

The C4 Engine community has recognized the need to create a new file format for the exchange of 3D scene data along with a set of well-maintained, reliable export plugins for popular 3D modeling software packages. Our current dependency on the open-standard Collada format has become a liability due to its over-engineered and under-specified format as well as the poor reliability of the export plugins available for Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Blender. This has led to many long-standing difficulties in the process of moving 3D scene data from professional modeling software into the C4 Engine. We're fed up with it, and we're going to make something better.

Our Plan

We have designed a new 3D model exchange format having the following characteristics:

  • It is an open format, and it will have a freely available specification. 
  • The format is text-based so that it's human-readable in any ordinary text editor, but it is possible to embed binary data in hexadecimal notation. 
  • Data is structured in a hierarchical manner using a C-like syntax instead of something overly verbose like XML.

Our plan is to implement export plugins that produce our new format for Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Blender. The source code will be released under an open-source license so that anyone can obtain it for free. The source code will be clean and well documented so that it can be easily modified or used as a template for implementing export plugins for additional modeling packages.

An import plugin that reads our new format will be implemented for the C4 Engine, and the source code will be included in future releases for all licensed users. Even though the new format will become the preferred method of bringing scene data into the C4 World Editor, we will continue to support the Collada format as well.

How Funds Will Be Used

The funds raised by this campaign will be used to purchase the professional 3D modeling packages (Maya and 3D Studio Max) that we will be supporting directly. These are very expensive, but we need them in order to produce and test our new export plugins.

Our Experience

This campaign is being run by the creator of the C4 Engine, Dr. Eric Lengyel. He has over 20 years of experience in computer graphics and game programming, and he is the software architect behind one of the most professionally respected game engines ever built. His reputation for elegant design and clean implementation will show in the final model exchange format specification and the source code for the export plugins.

 

Find This Campaign On
$17,420USD
raised by 59 people in 14 days
207% funded
0 time left
$8,400 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 8, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    The 31st

    A copy of our upcoming game The 31st. See http://www.the31stgame.com/.

    7 claimed

    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $20USD
    The 31st Two-Pack

    Two copies of our upcoming game The 31st.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $50USD
    Art Asset License

    A license for any one item in our upcoming asset store for users of the C4 Engine. Items in the asset store will consist of packages of various trees, bushes, grass, flowers, ivy, rocks, boulders, crates, barrels, and general debris. Each will include textures, materials, multiple levels of detail, and impostors where appropriate. (Must be a licensed user of C4 to access asset store.)

    7 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $100USD
    Two Art Assets

    A license for any two items in our upcoming asset store for users of the C4 Engine. (Must be a licensed user of C4 to access asset store.)

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $300USD
    C4 Engine for iOS

    A license for the iOS version of the C4 Engine and early development access when it's available. (Must already be a C4 licensee. The final iOS license will cost $500 for existing licensees.)

    22 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $500USD
    C4 Engine License or Upgrade

    A license for the standard edition of the C4 Engine, an additional seat on an existing standard license, or an upgrade from the standard edition to the professional edition. This is a savings of $250 off the regular price of a standard edition license.

    14 claimed

    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $500USD
    All-Access Art Asset License

    A license to the entire opening-day contents of our upcoming asset store for users of the C4 Engine. (Must be a licensed user of C4 to access asset store.)

    4 claimed

    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $1,000USD
    C4 Engine Professional Edition

    A license for the professional edition of the C4 Engine, or an additional seat on an existing professional license. This is a savings of $500 off the regular price of a professional edition license.

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: May 2013
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