Blitz3D (.b3d)

B3D is a model format, with skeletal animation. It's generally regarded as the best format for animated meshes. B3D is a binary format, which makes it load much faster than .X-files(Another model format with skeletal animation). <text about new animation system>

Maya / 3DS Max to .b3d

Export your model from Maya or 3DSMax to FBX format (2010 or lower) and import this in FragMotion and export it to Blitz Basic 3D (.b3d)

Blender exporters

As blender is a very popular modelling tool, it'd blow if it couldn't export to .b3d. Well, it doesn't, but thanks to blenders plugin system with python scripts, some blokes wrote their own exporters and decided to share the fruits of their labour with the rest of the world. The most prominent script seems to be the one written by Gandalf[1], but that host 404's. CuteAlien host's a patched version on his site[2], with extra export options. Bardor wrote yet another version[3]. Most recently, Auria from the forums made us aware of a new fork. See [7] for more information. The main feature of this new fork is support for Blender 2.5 and 2.6, whereas the original script by Gandaldf works only for Blender 2.4

There is also blender-to-b3d[4], but it's sorely lacking in functionality.

The updated version (3.0) of Gandalf's B3DExport.py script is now available and supports Blender 2.6. See [9].

Discussion about Gandalfs exporter (And derivations thereof)

Gandalfs exporter needs the animations to be lie in NLA-strips(?)[5] in order to export bones/animations. Failure to place animations therein leads to models missing their bones and animations, but no warning will be given.

As mentioned later in the thread where Bardor posted his script[3], bones may need to have at least one keyframe in order to be exorted. In [6] a solution to missing animations was to add a keyframe. This might be related to the need to have at least one NLA-strip in the model.
Luben tried exporting a model where no bone had any keyframe, and at least one bone was lacking vertices altogether during 2010-10-14 and found that both CuteAlien's and Bardor's scripts managed to export the models correctly. Luben tested early morning 2010-10-15 and found that the exporters need blender files where at least one action channel is present, even if it's empty. Create one by addind a keyframe. You may remove it afterwards, as it's only the presence of a channel that is important. Or so it seems at the moment

If there are errors while exporting with CuteAliens script, try enabling "Use timeline" before exporting.

If there are errors while exporting with Bardors script, you can try to open it and change the second line "# -*- coding: cp1252 -*-" to "# -*- coding: UTF-8 -*-"

Auria's script is not yet tested but added to the list for full coverage.

The latest version of the script is 3.0, thanks to Diego 'Gandalf' Parisi, Joerg Henrichs, and Marianne Gagnon. See [8].

Errors with animations/useAnimationFrom

See <link to new animation system>

for thse having difficulty exporting from blender > 2.66 [9]


[2] http://www.michaelzeilfelder.de/irrlicht.htm#Scripts
[3] http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=222901#222901
[4] http://routebuilder.bve-routes.com/download.php
[5] http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Tutorials/Animation/BSoD/Character_Animation/NLA
[6] http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=38555
[7] http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=240302#240302
[8] http://supertuxkart.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/supertuxkart/media/trunk/util/
[9] http://www.rtsoft.com/forums/showthread.php?7509-Blender-B3D-2-6x-Export-script