Technical - What 3D model formats does Vuforia support

March 13, 2014 - 10:13am #1

The Vuforia SDk is available as a native SDK for programming natively on the Android and iOS platforms, or as a Unity Extension.

Native SDK

The Vuforia native API (Android/iOS) relies on the use of OpenGL for graphics/rendering, and it does not include any explicit functions for loading and/or rendering of 3D models in any specific format.

If you are using the native SDK and you want your app to be able to import/load/render 3D models in some of the most common 3D formats (such as .OBJ, .FBX, .3DS, COLLADA or other popular formats) you will need to consider one of the following options:

  • integrating a 3rd party libraries, rendering engine or game engine that support 3D model loading and rendering in one or more of the desired 3D formats; there is no specific recommended library or engine from the Vuforia side; Vuforia relies on OpenGL, so anything that can be integrated with OpenGL should be able to work,; nevertheless the integration effort may vary significantly from one engine/library to another. 
  • implement your own 3D format loader and your own rendering code o support a specific 3D model format.


Unity Extension

The Vuforia Unity Extension allows you to develop your mobile App in Unity; by using Unity, you will be able to import and render complex 3D models in any of the formats supported by the Unity 3D engine.

Please consult the official documentation on the Unity 3D website to check the complete list of supported 3D formats:


Complex 3D models

While the Unity 3D engine supports several 3D formats, please be aware that very large/complex 3d models (e.g. models with very high polygon count) may not  work on some mobile devices; for example, your application may run out of memory when trying to load/render a very large 3D model or when a high number of 3D models are simultaneously loaded. Note that this type of limitation is not specific to Vuforia or to Unity, but it is simply a matter of using too many resources (e.g. too much memory and /or processing power) on your device.



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