I'm sure this has been asked many times before but... Where is the FBX importer?

Hey everyone! I have been working in the video gaming indie scene for a few years now and I have used the FBX exporter extensively. Being able to export rigs and animations directly from blender is a god send but… Where is the importer?

I understand that this is an open source program and making an importer for rigging data and animation must be very difficult, but I just find it odd that we have an exporter and not an importer.

That being said, I have learned to live with it, unfortunately :C

Update to the latest version. 2.69 has an FBX importer.

The FBX support in Blender is totally useless. For example export a camera (static) from Maya to Blender in FBX format, it doesn’t work. As well as many other things. I would rather prefer to have more work on the Alembic format instead of this crappy format. There’s always issues with FBX.

P.S. I still looking for a way to import/export animation camera from one software to another in a decent way, all my tries failed and trust me… I tried a lot of formats.

@SamCameron animation support will be added. But your right, if you need animation support its useless.

The company that funded its development wanted static mesh importing with cycles materials so this is what I worked on first.

If there are bugs, report them in the tracker, I have looked into and fixed many bugs reported in FBX support.

Campbell… even with static camera import doesn’t work. Try to export an static camera from Maya to Blender in FBX… nothing happends.

I don’t think cameras are supported. Just meshes.

I have successfully imported animated cameras and lights from maya using Collada. It’s a bit hit and miss, but it has worked for me in the past.

Well in the notes says that cameras are supported:


You can definitely import static cameras from Maya with it, I’ve done it. Lens and sensor size read correctly too. Sometimes the rotations are backwards though.

It doesn’t work for me, I add a new camera in Maya and then I click on export selected as FBX and when I import in Blender I get nothing.

It works for me too cameron, from maya and from c4d, static camera and meshes. And please show some respect to Campbell! He’s our hero. Before saying his work is useless, maybe you should ask if you are doing something wrong first.

I respect very much Campbell, all I say is that the FBX format is a piece of s**t. I don’t know how you say that it works for you because it doesn’t work at all from me. Here’s a FBX file from Maya with just a camera, let me know if it works for you because for me it doesn’t work at all:


FBX format is quite large - like other formats - HTML/PDF/DOC … there is much room for misinterpretation (not many apps support the FULL FBX spec from what I have seen)

In FBX you could think of cameras like an armature with a single bone, The armature can be moved, as well as the bone. - Sot the camera supports its own transformations on-top of the objects.

in FBX cameras can have their own:

Blender doesn’t support this (for good reason, IMHO its a fairly strange feature) — but applications (or versions of applications) that choose to write cameras this way, wont load in Blender properly.

Applications can write cameras quite differently but still be valid FBX, but all importers should support all different possible combinations of options.

Blender currently reads the camers object transformation but ignores transformation stored on the camera data (not the object).

But cameras are certainly supported, lens angle, shift-x-y.

One of the reasons I didnt get around to supporting this is its not well documented and I couldnt find many files that use this feature to validate for testing.

Even guys using Autodesks official FBX SDK have some trouble to interpret these values correctly.

You can blame Blender for not reading it right or FBX for making something which (arguably) should be straightforward into a complicated, hassle to support.

So! - its a bug/unsupported-feature… but currently theres lots of them: animation, shape keys, vertex groups… list goes on. Full FBX support for every feature is a really big project, any help to improve support would be very appreciated by users Im sure. and Ill maintain and improve when I get some time to.

I see that many people would like to get support for armatures and animation but this doesn’t make the importer useless.
Personally I need it for meshes, multiple materials, multiple UV channles and vertex colors. And guess what, all of this is supported and fully working.

Btw, exporting a camera from Maya/Max is as easy as adding a camera to the scene and check “Cameras” in the FBX export dialogue. You might need to flip it along the local Z-axis in Blender but that’s about it.

This .fbx file also imports empty with no camera in Max so you obviously messed up the export.

Indeed, if you just open the file in a text editor, you can see that there is no camera (or any other object) in there.

Hey everyone, I just downloaded 2.69 and attempted to import a .fbx and it didn’t work. The error warning said that a ASCII FBX isn’t supported or something.

I then attempted to export the default cube as an FBX and attempted to re-import it into blender… same error.

What am I doing wrong?

From the importer/exporter documentation

there is an importer that comes inside some add on packs and plugins stuff. no importer supplied with blender. have heard that fbx importer has a habit of failing in one way or another.

Try with blender 2.69, importer is bundled and enabled by default - http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Release_Notes/2.69/Addons

Autodesk has a free tool to convert between different fbx dialects and ascii/binary: