3D File

3D File

3D Generator - External referenced 3D file (.fbx, .obj or .blend)

In Smode you have the possibility to reference external 3D files into Smode. Smode use the official SDK to load FBX Files and the Open Source library ASSIMP to load OBJ and BLEND files.
  • Be sure to keep only 1 scene and clean all unused materials in your blend/fbx files before trying to import/reference them in Smode.
  • Merge all your objects that have the same materials to increase the rendering performances.
  • Smode should also load .3DS, .DXF, .LWO, .STL and .PLY but theses files are not officially supported in Smode.
Smode can take millions of triangles, as any real time software but the imported geometry should have the minimum meshes possible. A file constituted of too many object will be impossible to manage and make possible crashes. Also remember to always flatten all the objects transformations prior to do the export (check the limitations chapter below)


  • Animations/Skeletons are not imported (there is no skeleton system is Smode).
  • Files with packed textures doesn't import the texture (but if the name of the texture correspond to a file in the media directory Smode will automatically make the link).
  • Files with multiples layers (UV or others) only import the first layer.
  • Materials parameters (diffuse, specular, etc) are not imported.
Note that you can check what is inside your 3D file through the file preview. You can have a lot of vertices but be very careful about the number of objects:

So before importing a 3D model, remember those simple rules:
- Apply all your transformations on every 3D object before importing in Smode (Ctrl+A -> Apply all transformations on Blender, "Freeze transform" on Maya)
- Smode can take a lot of polygons but few objects.
- Combine your 3D object to have as less objects possibles inside your file. (After selecting many objects, do a Ctrl+J on Blender, or a "Mesh -> Combine" on Maya)

How to reference a 3D File

To import a 3D File simply drag and drop from the media directory to the compo tree and select Reference .
By default the whole model is referenced but you can select the sub-model to reference in the subGHeometryToUse . Be careful using this option ! Renaming the model in your 3D editor will break the link so I highly recommend to work with separate files for each object that should move separately.
Once you select your sub model the model position is not changed and is relative to file position. So each time you modify the position in your 3D modeler it will update in Smode (automatically if you checked the option Auto Reload ). To avoid that you can tell Smode to place the 3D model relative to the used sub-geometry transform using the useLocalPlacement option. Then you will have to place manually the model.
  • The materials and textures are not imported or referenced.
  • You can replace an existing GeometryLayer Generator by drag and drop the file on the generator maintaining the alt key pressed, it will keep all the modifiers, materials, etc.

How to Import a 3D File

Importing a 3D File is now basically the same as referencing. It give the possibility to the user to automatically generate a tree configuring references by:
  • Linking the diffuse and normals textures to material if they are present in the media directory
  • Setting Sub Geometry To Use for each branch of the tree
  • Create a Light Illuminate 3D renderers Read More and Standard Camera Standard camera with a perspective/orthographic frustum Read More at correct placements (theses are not referenced)
  • Setting all the references placements of the 3D file with Use Local Placement
There are some options available:
  • Hierarchy
  • Import as References : I highly recommend to keep this option checked (else you will need to re-import each you modify your geometry)
  • Discard Materials : Don't link diffuse or/and normals textures to models

Manipulation tricks for files containing many Meshes

If you got too many mesh in your imported files and you want to put the same material ( 3D Renderer Displays a 3D geometry Read More ) over all of them, you can Group their generators as followed :
First select all the mesh you want to group and do a right click:

Then choose a 3D Renderer Displays a 3D geometry Read More among the list.

And there you go, no a single material is applied on the overall geometries. Note that in this status, 3D Modifier Modify a 3D geometry Read More can also be applied on many different mesh altogether:

Import options

- Raw : Create a 3D Group A Group of 3D Layer Read More by node encountered in the file. Some nodes, in particular inside of evil .fbx are too complex and correspond to a large 3D Group A Group of 3D Layer Read More chain. As you guessed, non recommended to use
- Optimized : Same as previous option, except that empty node are suppressed, this result to a smaller 3D Group A Group of 3D Layer Read More chain.
- Groups of groups : Not fully implemented and probably useless. Should limit hierarchy to 1 main group and x child groups without having child groups of child groups.....hum, well, you got the concept...
- Flattened : Create a unique 3D Group A Group of 3D Layer Read More with all meshes but activate the "global matrix" option, which mean that the pivot point of each mesh is set as 0,0,0. Ideal if your goal is to put one different material by mesh but you don't want to move each mesh independently. If you want to move the meshes in that case, better to move them in the original 3D editor. Smode will take that in account if Auto Reload Allow external files to be automatically updated inside of Smode. Hidden feature. Read More option is activated on the file.
Import as Reference:
Do not Uncheck !!! (only if there is a bug). Discard materials:
easy one, for non-fbx files Smode is searching the files corresponding to textures of diffuse and normal map based on names it find within the files. This is about all that is currently supported for fbx materials import. So do not uncheck if you want theses materials to be imported
Always show this window:
Easy one. Go inside the preferences (F11) to reactivate the windows.

FBX specific :
- Preserve pivots: Authorize creation of complex nodes (which get hierarchy messy inside of Smode). Is only useful in "Raw" mode (and maybe in Optimized in some cases). Better use that in last resort.
- Merge Pre Post rotation: Theoretically useless, if unchecked, create more complex trees.
- Scale Factor: Is supposed to scale all of the fbx. If that does not work, it's Autodesk fault, so go see their documentation instead.


  • File (3D Group File Selector) : link to the file used as 3D mesh (officially support .fbx, .obj, and .blend)
  • Sub Geometry To Use (Multiple-choices option) : path to the sub mesh of the 3D file to use
  • Use Local Placement (On/off option) : if using a sub geometry use this option to use the local anchor of the selected sub geometry

See Also: