Importing 3D Models

Vizible supports the .gltf, .osgb, .fbx, .obj, .3DS max, and .ive formats. Read below for more details.

Use 3DS Max? See this guide on bringing models from 3ds Max into Vizible.

New: Vizible now supports glTF models, and we think they provide the easiest way to bring brilliant 3D content into your VR experiences. See this article to learn more.

3D models can be considered as the core building blocks of fully immersive, explorable, interactive virtual reality. The basic environment, or virtual setting you will most likely use for the majority of your Vizible presentations will be a 3D model. All objects that have real world proportions and three dimensional qualities in VR are most likely 3D models.

There are a huge range of tools that have evolved over the past several decades which professionals can use to create 3D models. Workflows between 3D modeling programs, and ultimately, into VR, can be widely varied in complexity. This is because modeling programs were originally designed with different intentions for their primary use case (i.e. architecture vs. engineering vs. photorealism), and not for cross platform compatibility.

What We Mean By 3D Model

We have reated this visual glossary which goes over the common aspects of 3D models (though the article references 3DS Max the concepts are general).

For 3D models, we primarily mean polygon-based representations of an object. In terms of use, point-based representations of scenes or objects are fairly similar. However point-based representations differ in how they are optimized for VR and how they generally interact with lighting. See this article for more information on point-based (or point cloud) models.

How Vizible Uses 3D models

Vizible uses Vizard as its underlying render engine to process and display 3D models. Vizard is an OpenGL platform which natively renders .osgb models, but accepts a wide range of model types.

In Vizible, you can classify a 3D model as one of three subtypes:

Prop: Standard 3D model designation for any object in a scene. This is a standalone asset which can be added and positioned within a scene and then have a wide range of interactivity attached to it.

Environment: Environments have the same properties and editable effects as props, the only difference is that when you drag them into a scene, they will automatically have their position set as the origin point of the scene.

Background: rendered behind all other assets in a scene, typically skyboxes and similar assets. You can adjust orientation of Backgrounds, but not position.

When you drag a model into Vizible, the program will do its best to auto-assign a subtype based on the dimensions of the object. You can also change an asset subtype at any time. Note that changing the asset subtype will not affect how the asset is rendered in any scenes to which it has already been added.

When it comes to preparing 3D models for VR, the most important thing to consider is the requirements of real time rendering. 3D models need to be kept within reasonable size limits in order to be rendered at a high enough frame rate to ensure a comfortable VR experience. When bringing a model in from CAD programs and other 3D modeling platforms, you will often need to go through a process of Optimization. For more information please see our article on managing asset size and it’s impact on the scene.

Supported File Formats

Native: osgb, .gltf (via .glb files)

Secondary: fbx

Available but not recommended: ive, obj, 3ds, wrl

File Format Discussion

Native

osgb: native format of vizard, supports additional features specific to vizard not supported by FBX, as well as advanced types of shader materials.

gltf: a new, increasingly popular open-source format (see this doc article specifically about gltf, and this blog post about why we've embraced it)

Secondary

fbx: common transfer format that supports modern features like lights and multiple UV channels. FBX does not support Vizard-specific helpers straight out of Max (can be added in Inspector), and supports basic shader materials. We’re also in the process of fully supporting FBX avatars.

Available but not recommended

ive: outdated version of binary OSG format, replaced by osgb

obj: very useful for high polycount models between programs for further editing, but stores only texture channel and lacks additional features making it a poor choice for a final export format.3dsvery old DOS era exchange format. Has severe limitations like object names limited to 10 characters, a low polycount limit (65536) and filenames limited to 8.3 format. Only useful for acquiring files from old programs that do not support FBX or OBJ.

wrl: old plain text format that loads very slowly and lacks modern features

Importing Existing Models

Like any other asset, once your model is prepared you can drag it into your Asset Library and then into any of your Vizible Presentations. We have outlined the workflow into Vizible from some of the most common 3D modeling programs used by professionals and will add to this section over time.

3DS Max (recommended)

See this guide on taking models from 3DS Max to Vizible.

Export with OSG Exporter (external link)Baked Lighting (external link)

Sketch-Up

For more information see our guide on importing sketch-up models.

Where to Get 3D Models

If you are not a 3D modeler, you can find a huge range of 3D models for free and for sale in a number of online asset libraries. Some of the content libraries we commonly use include:

Turbosquid

Sketchfab

3D Warehouse from Sketchup