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Using the Autodesk FBX SDK

images.autodesk.com_adsk_images_autodesk_fbx_badge_150x265.jpg When you build Cafu from source, support for several file formats is provided by Cafu's own source code so that the Model Editor can import static and animated models in the most important file formats.

Optionally, it is possible to have the build scripts account for and use the Autodesk FBX SDK in order enable the Model Editor to import model files in these additional file formats as well:

  • Autodesk FBX (.fbx), version 6.0 to 7.2
  • Autodesk AutoCAD DXF (.dxf), version 13 and earlier
  • Collada DAE (.dae), version 1.5 and earlier
  • 3D Studio 3DS (.3ds), all versions
  • Alias OBJ (.obj), all versions

The FBX SDK is a separate download from Autodesk that we cannot distribute together with Cafu: The combined file size for all platforms is massive, Autodesk prefers that software vendors don't redistribute their SDK and in fact requires prior written permission, and we're happy to maintain a certain degree of independence, for example when we want to use Cafu with compilers or on platforms where the FBX SDK is not available.

Therefore, we made the use of the Autodesk FBX SDK very easy, but entirely optional. If you don't use it, all that you're missing is that the Model Editor cannot load the above mentioned file formats. (When we make official binary releases of Cafu, we always ship with FBX support enabled.)

Follow these steps in order to activate support for FBX:

  1. Download the Autodesk FBX SDK from
    • The download requires a one-time registration, but it's free.
    • You just need the FBX SDK, not the FBX Extensions SDK.
    • At this time, we use version 2017.1 of the FBX SDK, but any later version should work as well.
  2. Run the installer to extract the SDK contents into a convenient location. Their installer is exceptionally nice, it neither modifies the Start Menu nor the Windows Registry, but just extracts the files into a directory.
    • Assuming that your top level Cafu source code directory is Cafu/, you can directly install the FBX SDK into Cafu/ExtLibs/fbx/.
      Make sure that the installer doesn't automatically append another directory for the SDK version, and if it asks if you would like to keep a copy of the old FBX installation, answer “No” (otherwise it first renames Cafu/ExtLibs/fbx/ to Cafu/ExtLibs/fbx.old/, creating an (easily fixed) problem if you use Git).
    • Alternatively, just install the FBX SDK into a convenient location first (e.g. into a temporary directory or the default directory suggested by the installer), then copy or move the contents into Cafu/ExtLibs/fbx/.
      (Under Linux, we recommend to not install into the suggested /usr directory. Better install into a temporary directory in your home folder, no root privileges required.)
  3. As a result from the previous step, make sure that you now have directories examples, include and lib (and possibly others) immediately below Cafu/ExtLibs/fbx/.
  4. (Re-)Run SCons as described at Getting Started with the Cafu Source Code in order to automatically recompile with FBX support enabled.
cppdev/fbxsdk.txt · Last modified: 2017-02-18 22:32 by Carsten