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Defold is at its core a 3D engine. Even when you work with 2D material only all rendering is done in 3D, but orthographically projected onto the screen. Defold allows you to utilize full 3D content by including 3D assets, or Models into your collections. You can build games in strictly 3D with only 3D assets, or you can mix 3D and 2D content as you wish.
Let’s look at an example. We have created a simple model with an UV mapped texture, a skeleton and a simple animation in Blender. Now we wish to bring this model to life in Defold.
Blender is a powerful and popular 3D modeling, animation and rendering program. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and is freely available for download at http://www.blender.org]
When the model is done you select the Blender Collada exporter to produce a file with the .dae file extension. This exported mesh file contain all the vertices, edges and faces that make up the model, as well as UV coordinates (what part of the texture image maps to a certain part of the mesh), the bones in the skeleton and animation data.
Now, to import the model, simply drag and drop the .dae file and the corresponding texture image into the Project Explorer somewhere.
Model components are created just like any other game object component. You can do it two ways:
- Create a Model file by right-clicking in the Project Explorer and select New ▸ Model File.
- Create the component embedded directly into a game object by right-clicking the game object in the Outline view and selecting Add Component. Then select Model.
With the model in place you need to specify a number of properties
- This property should refer to the Collada .dae file that contains the mesh to use. If the file contains multiple meshes, only the first one is read.
- Set this property to a material you have created that is suitable for a textured 3D object. There is a built-in model.material file that you can use as a starting point.
- This property should point to the texture image file that you want applied to the object.
- This property should refer to the Collada .dae file that contains the skeleton to use for animation.
- Set this to the Animation Set File that contains the animations you want to use on the model.
- Default Animation
- This is the animation (from the animation set) that will be automatically played on the model.
With the model component in place you are free to edit and manipulate the component and/or the encapsulating game object with the regular Scene Editor tools to move, rotate and scale the model to your liking.