COLLADA concept


I am having difficult understanding some of the concepts in COLLADA.

I see and example of a COLLADA exporter as part of the source code.

I didn’t see any importer example but I see something call integration.

The integration looks are small fragment to be use within a bigger application.

As part of learning about COLLADA, I want to read in a COLLADA file, spit out the information as RIB or POV and render it to proof to myself that I understand the various components i.e. geometry/transformation/material/texture in COLLADA.

Which example can I use as a starting point?


Hi Nicholas, welcome to Collada!

The first thing to understand is that Collada itself doesn’t have any source code. It’s a file format, not an API. The file format is governed by a spec and an xml schema published on Here are some useful links:

Collada spec
Collada spec release notes (addendum to the spec)
Collada schema (for validating Collada documents)
Collada Wiki
Collada book

The Collada DOM is a library for loading Collada models. There are other libraries as well, like FCollada. Before you can use these libraries to work with Collada files, it’s necessary to understand Collada itself. The links given above should help with that. Documentation for the DOM can be found on the Wiki.

Which example can I use as a starting point?
If you’re interested in using the DOM to write an importer, there are a couple samples to look at. One is a file called integrationTest.cpp in the “test” folder. It only works with the latest DOM development code in the svn repository (there are instructions for obtaining it). That importer is non-functional and only meant to illustrate some basics of using the DOM. Collada RT is a fully-functional Collada renderer that can serve as a reference for writing an importer using the DOM. The latest code can be obtained from the same svn repository as the DOM, and there are also binaries for the last official release available on the SourceForge downloads page.