FBX import/export

I searched the forum and only came up with someone asking the same thing a couple of years ago, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more recent discussion about this.

Are there plans to enable FBX import/export? It would come very much in handy for swapping files and scenes between programs as it has much more capabilities than the Wavefront (obj) format. Specifically, being able to share instances, multiple UV layouts, etc. between programs would be great.

If someone could point me in the right direction, if there is one, I’d really appreciate it.

You can already export to FBX, and I have seen work on a importer on the patch tracker. I can’t comment on how well it works with the features you are interested in though… I have only used (and hacked) the export script so it can export cameras correctly, with the camera patch. The only program that I successfully tested the FBX (again, only the camera) was Maya. The other apps I can test is Nuke and Houdini, and with those there’s problems with local rotation and start frame being 0 instead of 1.

I’m not a fan of the format, and it irritates me that there are multiple versions of the “standard” (2006, 2009 & 2011 I think). Even exporting something from Maya 2011 as a FBX-2006 can’t be opened in Maya 2008…! I mean, what’s the point then? But I agree that it’s a format that is in wide use (because of Autodesk) and the possibilities goes way beyond OBJ. Don’t know if Collada is better than FBX.

AFAIK the fbx exporter has been around for a while as I understand it there are no plans for an importer. there was a recent discussing between Ton and someone from autodesk about making FBX open source. but we’ll wait and see.
P.S. you should be able to share multiple uv’s from .obj files but as far as I know many programs use only a subset of the wavefront format. So problems can be down to the exporter as well as the importer.

Thanks for the replies and the info!

I’m aware of the export option, but I’m specifically looking for a way to import scenes/models with instanced objects, so it’s a bummer that FBX importing may not happen…

Programs such as City Engine, for example, can make massive scenes using instanced objects that can be exported through FBX into other programs, keeping the scene size down. It’s impossible to work with it using other file formats because of its sheer size, and the ability to change all instances at once is lost with just OBJ and such… I think Collada also has instancing support, which may be another option. Any news on that one?

Looks like there hasn’t been much development lately