There is a large selection of formats that you can choose to store information about 3D models. The most popular that you may have ever encountered are STL and COLLADA. It is these formats that are mainly used in various areas of life, such as cinema, architecture, video games and medicine, as well as in education. For each activity there is a format that is best suited, because each of them is unique. This article will tell you about the formats that will be useful to you if you work with 3D models, as well as we consider the most popular formats that are on the market today.
The most important value for a 3D model file is the storage of model information. This is usually a file in plain text or a binary file. In such files, information about geometry is encoded, how the model looks like, the scene, and the possible animation of the 3D model. Let me explain in more detail: geometry is the description of the form of a model, that is, mathematical data. The appearance of the model is its color, material and other characteristics. Scene – the location of the background objects of the model that is, lighting, and camera. Well, the animation is the movement of the model or its movement. But there is one feature. Not all formats can store this information. For example, the STL models format stores only geometry in it, and it simply does not need the rest of the information, for example, the COLLADA format, on the contrary, saves all the data about the 3D model. In practice, more formats are used than these two. Today there are more than 100 of these formats. If you have any compatibility issues, then simply use universal formats or “open source”. Of course, these formats are very popular.
Why did the conversation start about STL models and COLLADA? These are the two most popular universal formats. The STL and COLLADA formats are most often used to exchange data on models in CAD programs. To show your 3D model you need to convert your file to COLLADA format. This change is called “model export”. The person to whom you transferred your model takes the COLLADA format and imports it into Blender, where it changes it into the usual BLEND format. Here is an example of how you can exchange data using formats and CAD programs. Today, personal and universal formats are the most popular formats used in the world for 3D modeling. Almost all programs for creating 3D models use these formats from individual manufacturers.