Blender FBX Import

Hi there!

Our team has a high demand on import/export FBX files, mainly for animated characters, between Blender, Cinema 4d, Max and Maya.
Overall a proper and robust exchange of uv, animation, joints/bones and materials.
Collada didn’t work very well for us in this workflow so far.

I searched the forums and just found old informations from 2007.

Is an Importer planned for the next Blender versions ?
What do you think about this topic ?


Whether it’s needed or not is largely irrelevant. From a legal standpoint, it can’t happen… at least, not in any official capacity. The FBX SDK is not GPL-friendly.

Edit: what he^ said
Obviously it’s a bit of a hairy problem. I recommend you get a petition going to send to the Autodesk board of directors to loosen up the license a bit.

Oh thats bad news!
But a good chance for third party addon developers to make good money, i guess :wink:

edit: Thanks for the info guys!

If it is worth money to you then this would be a good chance for you to organise third party addon developers.

Having never used an AD product*, I’m curious as to the real-world usage of an FBX importer for Blender.

*whoops that’s a lie, I tried their sketch app and used maya like 10 years ago for a couple of weeks…

Well unless you are creating everything yourself or have a team that only uses Blender, you will find that other people use an Autodesk product, and export to FBX. When you go to buy a model online, many come in only FBX, maybe OBJ, but OBJ is rather ancient now.

The lack of fbx import for models and animation is a ridiculously huge hole in blender’s feature set. I would love to see this problem be solved. Couldn’t it just be released separately away from the main package?

Of course we need an FBX importer. And the good news is – those that want it – are the same people
who would be WILLING TO PAY, for a good one.

Honestly, you keep Blender in its dark ages without it.

really, Blender needs a really good FBX exporter as well.
for those of us that like to make and sell models, FBX seem to be a standard of sorts,
and if someone could design an FBX Export than conforms to the 2009 standard or so that would be great.

At least for basic things, inanimate objects with textures, etc…
this would be really nice.
texture map, bumpmap, specmap(if any) etc…
Rig and bones would a bonus.

the fbx exporter works well incl keyframe animation exported to 3ds max.
you need to use the free ad fbx converter before opening in max.

a fbx importer for blender would be real great.
yes i would pay for it.

the fbx exporter seems to work rather well for objects, bones and animation. Not perfect, but it’s pretty far along. Right now, though, there is almost NO WAY to get skeletal animation into blender, except perhaps for BVH, but ironicly enough, not many 3d packages can export bvh.

Collada import is a mess, so yeah, I would pay for a solid fbx importer if it came to that, you bet! I’ve seen an fbx importer as an external add-on floating around blender builds. What is that? It doesn’t actually work, but what’s the story there?

OK, here is lay of things, the fbx importer cannot be made officially by blender developers because you need the fbx sdk, which is NOT GPL compat, infact they go out of their way to make it incompatible (which resulted in ton’s famous encounter with autodesk). But this doesn’t mean you the community cannot develop one, you just can’t distribute it with the sdk or with blender

I’d like to hear more about this encounter

What independent developer, or coder can make this? You will be very HAPPY you did. As thousands
of professionals will buy one!

Hmmm neither wings nor meshlab import fbx either. Could 123D act as a file convertor?

I agree. This is a huge problem because it does not allow Blender to be part of a pipeline. Using Blender becomes an “All or Nothing” proposition.

The problem is that this huge hole is never identified or seen as a problem because of the Open Movie financing methodology.

Blender not being able to work well with other apps will never be a problem in any of the open movies, since they use ALL Blender for ALL aspects. It is only when you get into the real world, and discover that in order to work as part of a team that you need to be able to import and export into a common format that you discover Blender is a cul-de-sac when it needs to be an avenue…

How long have people been asking for an importer, saying how desperately crucial it is, and they can’t do this or that without one. If it’s so important have they stood up to the plate and done something about it ? The answer is No. If you really want an importer why not pull your finger out and do something about it rather than taking the usual attitude of most people on these boards, waiting for someone else to do it for you.

That, in fact, is not the problem. As has been stated repeatedly (here and elsewhere): as it pertains to FBX, an official, feature-complete importer/exporter cannot be distributed with Blender because it would require the use of the FBX SDK. Unfortunately, the FBX SDK doesn’t play nice with the GPL. It simply cannot happen in any official capacity unless Autodesk changes the SDK license.

A third party developer (perhaps someone in a studio) could possibly distribute an importer/exporter that uses the SDK, but they’d have to ship it without Blender and without the SDK (the user would have to be responsible for getting those). Furthermore, the situation is made more difficult by the fact that the SDK is C++; meaning that there’s no easy way to integrate it into Blender’s Python-based import/export mechanism.

We know its a problem, you really think we are that stupid, if we could do it, we would but we can’t due to licensing issues and there is nothing we can do about that