Mesh Formats

I know this has probably been discussed and I did a search on the forum to see if ti had been discussed recently and I didn’t find what I needed so here is the question I pose to the board along with my needs and hopefully your opinions will follow:

I need a quick mesh loader, preferably binary loader. Something non-complicated and easy to use. I have been using DirectX and would like to use OpenGL more. I played around a bit with lib3ds, but it required too much work to import 1 mesh.

I was just curious if someone could go over the most commonly used mesh libraries that are used in OpenGL and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

I know this may turn into a flame war, but I’d rather just get a good generalization of where to go from here and may help some other people out who have the same questions. Thanks!

Wavefront obj is a nice and easy to use format. If you don’t want to write your own io functions have a look at

libwave Homepage

Search the web for the obj specs.

In Unity , we use Alias’ FBX library. The API is nice and it also can read full skinned meshes. Will also support Collada, so most apps can output a suitable format

Might be a bit high-end if you just want to load and display a simple trimesh. Once you go beyond that, I think your effort will pay off.