OBJ Previews

So am I the only one on the planet who would love to have Blender provide some simple preview images for OBJ files when you go to import them? And on a side note, seriously Windows can’t do the same thing in File Explorer??

Now I get that it may be a challenge to convert all the vertex/face positions listed in the OBJ file into a 3D image, but there must be some already-done code out there they can grab and implement.

I can use P3DO Explorer, but I find it a bit annoying. Although it does give a rotate-able image, which is nice.

I hear ya, I use kit ops batch and kitops to turn objs into blender files with png previews. Its an option but not really a good one haha.

There was something likes before OBJ File Thumbnail Preview.
The problem of previewing a 3D model is that there millions of possiblities of viewing angles… the zoom could be choosen by the bounding box but if you have model with sparse geometry over an wide are you also may not see very much on a thumbnail. And some models are not very recognizable from a 3/4 view. The best way would to make this mentioned preview automatically but redo this mannually for every model thumbnail which is giving not enough visual information.
But then: how to store the preview? Most (all?) 3D-formats don’t do this. Only for complete scenes the 3D software mostly uses the camera and only for their own format (like blender).
If blender would do the preview i’m sure there would be some nice guys/gals who would blame blender on the bad quality of viewing angle…
There was a script for making previews of obj files… pre-asset-manager time… hmmm i tried this but can’t find it now… ahh yes OBJ Thumbnail Render Script
have to investigate again…

Like I said, P3DO Explorer (and other apps) provide not just a single viewing angle, but they allow you to drag the mouse and rotate the view. Heck, presumably Blender already has the code to generate a user-rotateable 3D view of the scene objects in Layout, can’t they just manipulate that to make a file previewer?

Of course this would be nice but:
The script i was talking of is a possibility… to premake thumbnnails (okay doesn’t seem to work eith 2.9…). And as you can see there is some work to do: rescale the object in such a way that is fits into the cameras view render an image and save in what format to be recognized for window, mac and linux or using some own format (and using some own thumnail cache). Maybe also provide a way the reposition the object if the standard 3/4 view doesn’t look good.
So if you want this on the fly it’s some more work,.

As @ps.productions suggested use some asset browser…

And what is so bad about making your own catalog for your own or buyed assets? Shouldn’t you know what you have and/or and named it accordingly…

If you think this is so easy… there is the source code… you are free to try…

And think about this: if a noob user open up a folder with dozen of object blender will hae to do some time to render the thumnails… and i bet one of them would cry: My blender is sooo slow… so maybe it’s a wise decision not to do so…?

… thinking a bit about this: on linux thumnails are stored as PNG in a special folder. If there is none someone can provide a thumbnail-provider to make one… maybe blender could use those to load a thumbnail too… IDK if this is used for images or blender does this on its own… maybe also reading the thumnail (if provided) from the file itself… the thumbnail-provider itself could be blender (i used this to make thumbnails of older 2.49 blend files) i don’t know how this is done in windows or mac…

Not sure what point(s) you’re trying to make, but regarding doing it myself, yeah, I thought about that. In fact a couple years ago I wrote a 3D raytracing renderer in C++ using OpenGL, and I imagine making a simple non-raytraced previewer would be quite a bit easier. And if you open up an OBJ file in Notepad++ you can see it’s pretty straightforward to extract the important stuff to feed to the renderer.

But in the real world there’s thing called “cost to benefit ratio”. And as I said before, I already have an app that not only generates the PNG preview images of the OBJ files but also a realtime, interactive 3D viewer that rotates the image. So why go to tons of trouble to either make my own or do some of the other stuff you suggested that’s already done in P3DO Explorer? All I’m talking about is it would be kinda nice if the Blender import file explorer included some previews and maybe a 3D view. But if they don’t I’ll survive using P3DO Explorer. I just wish the same functionality was inside Blender.

My windows does this but only for like 1 out of every 50 obj files.

On my mac I have a plugin that lets me view OBJs with quick look and it works 99% of the time but rarely shows the textures.