I am involved with a research that deals with 3D graphics. I am very new to 3D graphics. In my research I have to move a 3D object based on some information queried by processing a video. Viewer's only interaction with the 3D environment is, changing the camera viewpoint.

I am not that worried about the speed or efficiency at this level. What I need is easy to learn and easy to program 3D game engine, I suppose.

I'd like to know about any open 3D model file format supported by the game engine, as I will have to use custom made 3D models using 3D modelling techniques of computer vision.

I tried Panda3D, but the most significant drawback was it's inability to use .max files directly (most of the 3D models available were of this format). Panda3D was quite simple when it came to scripting.

Thank you in advance.


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  • \$\begingroup\$ Language? Your mention of panda3D suggests Python. Also, I think very few engines will support .max. You may want a converter. \$\endgroup\$ – The Communist Duck Apr 17 '11 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @The Communist Duck When I googled many models that came were in .max format. If there are ample resources in other formats it wont be a problem. (as I said I am pretty new to this). Panda3D needs .egg or .bam. I hardly found any models in these formats. I am not that concerned with the language, as long as there are enough resources to learn. (I started learning python since Panda3D uses it). I'd prefer a high level scripting language, since they are easy to learn. I'm familiar with Java and learning C++. \$\endgroup\$ – Niroshan Apr 17 '11 at 16:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ 3D and Python aren't the best of languages to go together. It will work, but you may find it easier to use Java. I'm surprised at Panda's lack of model support. \$\endgroup\$ – The Communist Duck Apr 17 '11 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just found a pthon script for converting obj to .egg format. Is JMonkey a good engine when it comes to Java? \$\endgroup\$ – Niroshan Apr 17 '11 at 17:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ A very common format is the OBJ format. It is accepted by many 3D-engines and exported by most 3D-editors. However, it is not animatable, so only appropriate for static objects (like cars for instance). Besides JMonkey, there are other engines in java: ardor3D and Xith3D for instance. \$\endgroup\$ – Gunslinger Apr 17 '11 at 18:34

Have you looked into Ogre3D? Ogre is a fairly intuitive hardware-accelerated graphics rendering engine. Not a full game engine, but it doesn't sound like you really need much beyond graphics drawing and basic manipulation, which it can handle. There's an incredibly informative wiki with plenty of tutorials here; the beginner's project is preconfigured with basic camera movement controls.

It uses a mesh format for it's model data, but there are plugins for most (if not all) of the major 3D modeling software for converting their formats to Ogre's.

There are bindings for Ogre in quite a few different languages, including Python and C++, as well as an experimental port for .NET called Axiom3D.


Blender (the 3D editor) may be useful, it has an interactive game feature and python scripting. http://blender.org/features-gallery/features/


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