I’ve really come to enjoy Thursdays and Fridays during my month’s stay here in Germany as it gives me a chance to do some work with the extremely talented students of the Hochschule Bremen.  As you may remember from my most recent post, we faced quite a headache with regards to 3ds and the way it handles Windows localization settings.  This week, however, we were extremely fortunate to stumble on a previously hidden plugin included with this popular 3d package: its OBJ capabilities.

As I’ve seen some really bad exporters floating around, I was pleasantly surprised to find  an extremely well equipped piece of software by the name of guruware OBJ Exporter.  The capabilities of this little gem are absolutely stunning, as is the thoughtfulness put into the interface and options.  The idea of presets?  WOW!  What a novel idea!  I know I’m not the only person out there with collections of screenshots for different export targets, this feature is truly a lifesaver.

In addition to the usual checkboxes to triangulate meshes, export texture coordinates, etc there are useful options that anyone in the real time 3d business will love.  You may ask “what could a developer possibly love about anything.. ever?”, which would be a fair question on a normal day.  Today, however, we’ve been granted the option to flip between a Z and Y up-axis, determine decimal precision, and specify target platform (which I can only assume is for the purpose of line terminations).  Brilliant.  As if cappuccino in a university cafeteria wasn’t enough, this was truly a great find.  Needless to say, we were able to correctly set up the exporter and get our test model into Betaville in a matter of minutes.  COLLADA may be the wave of the future, but the ubiquitous OBJ may still rain king for as long as there is software like this around.