FBX Export

The problem that this feature will solve:

FBX is the defacto standard under Unreal. For those of us who model digital assets, FBX is the norm.

Brief description of the outcomes that you expect from this feature:

The ability to export projects from Shapr3D for input to Unreal.

What is is that you can’t achieve without this feature?

There appears to be issues with either the obj output from Shapr3d or the obj input to Unreal. As a result, I get walls that I can walk through. When I take the OBJ file and convert it to FBX, everything works correctly.

At present, I also get light leaks in Unreal. FBX is the standard used by Maya (again, something everyone uses or refers to).

Is this a workflow blocker for you? Is this why you can’t use Shapr3D for work? Is this slowing you down?

Right now, I can’t seem to get a good, water-tight model from Shapr3d into Unreal. Whether FBX would fix this is hard to say. However, it would open up the market to many asset designers since FBX is a standard.


Can you use USDZ in Unreal?

I actually thought of that but that also appears to be a no-go.

Have you tried STEP?

We don’t use Datasmith as we need to customize the UV’s prior to import into Unreal. Unreal 5 does not appear to support STEP.

My problem with OBJ’s is that there is something strange going on where
a) you can walk through walls
b) light leaks.
c) the interior appears as if it is lit

If I convert to FBX with Autocad OBJ to FBX converter it fixes walking through walls. But I still have b and c.

I DID manage to eliminate c last night, but sadly, don’t remember exactly how I did it. So c) may be a settings issue in Unreal.

The light leakage, however, is a problem.

Makes sense. What is your use case? Is it game development? I’m not an expert in UE, what are the requirements for a solid object? With the mesh export formats we just simply write out the tessellation of the bodies as it is, so it’s strange why Unreal doesn’t handle it as a solid object.

Game and asset development. There is much we dislike about Sketchup (it has ZERO support for bevels — we ended up buying third party which when it works, is looks good). The use of Sketchup over Maya (which is also used) is speed. Until bad geometry is created and then we lose speed.

The idea of watertight objects really appeals to us — it would eliminate a lot of rework to fix geometry.

I’m an engineer, but not at that level — my understanding is that when “light” hits hard corners there is a possibility of leakage. My test was with cubes with two rooms. Ideally that second room should be very dark with no evidence of leakage. This is easy enough to do with Sketchup (oddly). I figure it would be trivial with Shapr3d. Not so much.

I have validated (through another program) that these are water-tight models. So the only possibility, in my mind, is either the OBJ being written or being read is not being handled correctly. As I say, converting to FBX seems to help (we don’t really deal with OBJ much).

My next step is to read Unreal’s documentation regarding OBJ’s and see if there is a user error in all of this.

EDIT: The reason FBX would be nice is that it is used a lot in assets and design. We round-trip a lot. We would LOVE to get rid of Sketchup — it causes as many problems as it solves.

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Got it. I’d probably try some sort of CAD->FBX direct converter, and simply export a STEP or X_T file from Shapr3D. Most likely if our current mesh export is not supported by UE, we’d get the same results if we had direct FBX export. FBX export is not very high on the requested export formats, thus I can’t give a timeline for a potential implementation.

Understood. I’ve been in the business for over four decades so I know exactly the issues facing sales and engineering.

That said, we may rely on Shapr3d for non-building related objects. We had hoped to replace Sketchup, but it is a dreadful program for anything that is beveled — and reality is full of beveled edges! I can see using the two — one for the gross features and the other for finer details.

We will begin re-evaluating for other game objects.

Thank you for your time!

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Is direct FBX export a hard requirement? Sounds like one additional step (a 3rd party converter) could solve the problem.


Only in that it is one more step in the workflow and is prone to error. We will continue to look into it and decide if it makes sense in the long run. AutoCad’s converter appears to work so we could indeed use that.

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Makes sense. Let us know how it goes!

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About the only issue we have is the inability to export rotated by 90 degrees on the X.

For better or worse, Autodesk’s Maya, Adobe’s Substance Painter and Epic’s Unreal all assume that object’s are rotated +90 on fathers X axis.

I have added an enhancement request to allow the export of OBJ models on the rotated X,Y, or Z axes (there may be other engines that require a different rotation).

We have that current ability in SketchUp (many set designers use SketchUp and this has trickled down to asset designers as well). The biggest problem with SketchUp is it is too easy to create bad geometry which can entail a lot of rework (you see this when UV painting).

Until that feature is added, we are looking at other means of accomplishing this to determine which doesn’t impact our workflow.

Unfortunately no matter which vector we choose for the up vector, there will be applications that will choose a different one. We could make it an option of course, but so far we haven’t seen significant demand for it.


I think there is a little bit of confusion going on.

I’m not asking for changes in Shapr3D, merely that ability to add an option on export so as to be compatible with Adobe Substance 3D and Epic’s Unreal.

For example:

This would add the ability to rotate on the X 90, 180, 270 on export of the OBJ file. Nothing about the functionality of Shapr3D would change.

Hopefully that clears up some of the misunderstanding.