Loading 3D Model Files

I have spent the entire afternoon trying to establish the best way to load 3D Models it appears that there are a large number of models in the 3DS/ASC file format and that this format is what is commonly used for loading 3D Models.

For models that I have generated myself in the past I have an array of pannels of which each pannel has a normal associated with it and a number of vertex’s also each pannel has a color etc…

An I correct in thinking that the .ASC file for example has all of this information contained within it? Also is my approach correct or widely used?

What I need is an algorithm to load these files types or a pointer to the files descriptions so that I can write my own algorithm.

I am using the OpenGL librarys in c++ for this exercise.

Many Thanks


The problem with .ASC files is, I’m pretty sure about this, is that the type of material etc, is not included in the file. If you take a look at the material indices they are just one color and not a material.
However if that doesn’t bother you .ASC is an easy format to work with, actually the first one I tried to use.

For a bit of help with the code take a look at a .ASE loader (there’s tons of them around, in fact there was one mentioned a while ago in the OpenGL new articles. Plus Nate Miller has a good one on his site). You can change the code very easily to make it load .ASC files.

I found this code that was easy to integrate into my existing code base.