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Importing 3D scenes

Godot scene importer

When dealing with 3D assets, Godot has a flexible and configurable importer.

Godot works with scenes. This means that the entire scene being worked on in your favorite 3D modeling software will be transferred as close as possible.

Godot supports the following 3D scene file formats:

  • glTF 2.0 (recommended). Godot has full support for both text (.gltf) and binary (.glb) formats.

  • .blend (Blender). This works by calling Blender to export to glTF in a transparent manner (requires Blender to be installed).

  • DAE (COLLADA), an older format that is fully supported.

  • OBJ (Wavefront) format + their MTL material files. This is also fully supported, but pretty limited given the format's limitations (no support for pivots, skeletons, animations, UV2, PBR materials, ...).

  • FBX, supported via FBX2glTF integration. This requires installing an external program that links against the proprietary FBX SDK, so we recommend using other formats listed above (if suitable for your workflow).

Copy the scene file together with the textures and mesh data (if separate) to the project repository, then Godot will do a full import when focusing the editor window.

3D asset direction conventions

Godot uses a right-handed, Y-is-up coordinate system, with the -Z axis as the camera's forward direction. This is the same as OpenGL. This implies that +Z is back, +X is right, and -X is left for a camera.

The convention for 3D assets is to face the opposite direction as the camera, so that characters and other assets are facing the camera by default. This convention is extremely common in 3D modeling applications, and is codified in glTF as part of the glTF 2.0 specification. This means that for oriented 3D assets (such as characters), the +Z axis is the direction of the front, so -Z is the rear, +X is the left side, and -X is the right side for a 3D asset. In Blender, this means that +Y is rear and -Y is front for an asset.

When rotating an oriented 3D asset in Godot, use the use_model_front option on the look_at functions, and use the Vector3.MODEL_* constants to perform calculations in the oriented asset's local space.

For assets without an intrinsic front side or forward direction, such as a game map or terrain, take note of the cardinal directions instead. The convention in Godot and the vast majority of other applications is that +X is east and -X is west. Due to Godot's right-handed Y-is-up coordinate system, this implies that +Z is south and -Z is north. In Blender, this means that +Y is north and -Y is south.

Importing .blend files directly within Godot

Note

This functionality requires Blender 3.0 or later. For best results, we recommend using Blender 3.5 or later, as it includes many fixes to the glTF exporter.

It is strongly recommended to use an official Blender release downloaded from blender.org, as opposed to a Linux distribution package or Flatpak. This avoids any issues related to packaging, such as different library versions that can cause incompatibilities or sandboxing restrictions.

From Godot 4.0 onwards, the editor can directly import .blend files by calling Blender's glTF export functionality in a transparent manner.

This allows you to iterate on your 3D scenes faster, as you can save the scene in Blender, alt-tab back to Godot then see your changes immediately. When working with version control, this is also more efficient as you no longer need to commit a copy of the exported glTF file to version control.

To use .blend import, you must install Blender before opening the Godot editor (if opening a project that already contains .blend files). If you keep Blender installed at its default location, Godot should be able to detect its path automatically. If this isn't the case, configure the path to the directory containing the Blender executable in the Editor Settings (Filesystem > Import > Blender > Blender 3 Path).

If you keep .blend files within your project folder but don't want them to be import