Is It Time For A Universally Compatible Complex 3D Scene Description File Format?

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  1 Week Ago
Is It Time For A Universally Compatible Complex 3D Scene Description File Format?

Yes, I realize there is FBX et cetera. But what if there was a truly open standard 3D scene file format that supported virtually everything you can possibly save in a 3D scene, and could be opened with ease in Max, Maya, C4D, LightWave, Blender or any other 3D soft?

I'm talking about something that would let you work on a complete 3D project in Maya, move it over to C4D without losing anything, and then possibly render it in LightWave or Blender or Max, again without losing any aspect of the 3D scene?

Wouldn't that make life a lot easier? Shouldn't CG artists lobby for something like this - an easy way to move really complex 3D scenes back and forth between 3D apps?

An open standard too, so no particular 3D soft maker owns it or can bastardize it?

In 2018, literally millions of people around the world do daily 3D work with some 3D soft or CAD soft or the other, and there is no good Universal 3D Scene Description File Format in existence.
 
  1 Week Ago
I'm reminded of this:




Yes, it'd be nice. In practice, getting people to agree on standards is really hard.
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  1 Week Ago
This comes with a lot of problems. The key problem is that even the same feature is not identical between applications, much worse if the way the applications work are completely dissimilar.
All 3D DCC apps feature some kind of geometry deformers, but they all work slightly different, have different parameters and different ways to be set up. Even fundamental stuff like scene organisation is very different between apps.
It would be very easy to set up a file format that is so flexible that every application could store it's own information in it, think of a 3D version of TIFF, but that would not mean that any other application can then read or make any kind of sense of that specific information. They would need the exact functionality of the other apps to be able to interpret the data correctly.
FBX and USD are very good tools to allow exchange to a certain degree. Maxon helps the problem along by providing 3rd parties an SDK that allows them to read and write C4D files without having Cinema 4D installed.
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  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by skeebertus: Yes, I realize there is FBX et cetera. But what if there was a truly open standard 3D scene file format that supported virtually everything you can possibly save in a 3D scene, and could be opened with ease in Max, Maya, C4D, LightWave, Blender or any other 3D soft?

I'm talking about something that would let you work on a complete 3D project in Maya, move it over to C4D without losing anything, and then possibly render it in LightWave or Blender or Max, again without losing any aspect of the 3D scene?

Wouldn't that make life a lot easier? Shouldn't CG artists lobby for something like this - an easy way to move really complex 3D scenes back and forth between 3D apps?

An open standard too, so no particular 3D soft maker owns it or can bastardize it?

In 2018, literally millions of people around the world do daily 3D work with some 3D soft or CAD soft or the other, and there is no good Universal 3D Scene Description File Format in existence.


Of course ,from a practical perspective, such a
format would be great.


However it is like trying to establish a "Utopian" society
while leaving individual"democratic" freedoms intact.


It can not work.


Because for there to be a "universal" standard some autocratic authority
would have to impose the universal standard while somehow 
prohibiting "nonstandard" formats.


This is the antithesis of free market economics
that also assumes such a "standard" would be the absolute pinnicle
of technological acheivement with no need for future innovations
that diverge from the "standard format".
 
  1 Week Ago
a full compatible scene format cant work.. all tools are to different...
but USD in combo with materialX will come close...
http://www.materialx.org/
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ArtStation
 
  1 Week Ago
There more I dive into the topic the more I come to the conclusion that to get
more complex support, you need to custom tailor your import / export pipeline
to specific programs. ie a max<>maya,  a C4D<>Blender importer etc.

thats why I do think it is important to document your file format as good as possible / or
even open source that part of it with a license wich allows integration in closed source software
 
  1 Week Ago
Impossible!
The internet will blow up if this is accomplished.
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  1 Week Ago
Kaboom! It looks like its on its way

https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-modeling/stemcell/
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James Vella
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  1 Week Ago
stemcell is just an converter... it have nothing todo with a fileformat like USD...
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ArtStation
 
  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by oglu: stemcell is just an converter... it have nothing todo with a fileformat like USD...

I agree. I would not be surprised if you see this being turned into a pipeline tool at a later stage. A good example is Connecter (by Design Connected) which started as a Browser for 3d assets, which is now developing into something quite robust 
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  6 Days Ago
All these excuses are a bunch of hooey...

Yes 3D apps are different in some areas, but in most areas they really aren't all that different.  Scene scale, meshes, UVs, Lights, camera position/settings, vertex cache, texture maps basically 90% of any scene at it's root is made of the same stuff regardless of the app.  Software developers could make it fairly straight forward and offer generic options those things that are different between apps like materials or sprites and obviously prompt the user for straight forward baking for animation, caching for particles, but oh no...because they have no vested interest in seeing anyone moving content out of their application they couldn't care less about the user's needs.   
 
  6 Days Ago
Originally Posted by Imhotep397: All these excuses are a bunch of hooey...

Yes 3D apps are different in some areas, but in most areas they really aren't all that different.  Scene scale, meshes, UVs, Lights, camera position/settings, vertex cache, texture maps basically 90% of any scene at it's root is made of the same stuff regardless of the app.  Software developers could make it fairly straight forward and offer generic options those things that are different between apps like materials or sprites and obviously prompt the user for straight forward baking for animation, caching for particles, but oh no...because they have no vested interest in seeing anyone moving content out of their application they couldn't care less about the user's needs.   
Caching and baking will give you stuff like FBX, that is not what this thread is about, it is about transfering functional setups between applications. Just exchanging baked meshes or textures hasn't been a real problem in the last 10 years or more.
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  6 Days Ago
If anything universal, I think it is time for a universal basic income for artists...
 
  4 Days Ago
Khronos is also working on a format. (The group behind OpenGl): https://www.khronos.org/gltf/. This also shows that there's a lot more than c4d / max / maya to 3D.

These formats are all good to interchange some data. But it'll never cover every feature.
The scene format of an application is very tightly coupled to the way the scene is represented in software. If you'd create a new software and take, say FBX, as a scene file. You'd basically be at mercy of Autodesk. Even for something like gltif, which is an open standard, you'd still need to wait for them until you could implement a feature.
And you'd still need to figure out a way to save things that do not belong into the scene format. Like window positions or defaults etc. You'd end up with two files per scene. At that point you're better of just creating your own file format.
So exporting to another (even if it's widely used) becomes just a feature, that fights for resources. So it's no surprise that it's not a top priority.
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