Magnum::Trade::AssimpImporter class

Assimp importer.

Imports various formats using Assimp, in particular:

  • Autodesk FBX (*.fbx)
  • COLLADA (*.dae)
  • glTF (*.gltf, *.glb)
  • Blender 3D (*.blend)
  • 3ds Max 3DS and ASE (*.3ds, *.ase)
  • Wavefront OBJ (*.obj)
  • Industry Foundation Classes (IFC/Step) (*.ifc)
  • XGL (*.xgl, *.zgl)
  • Stanford PLY (*.ply)
  • AutoCAD DXF (*.dxf)
  • LightWave, LightWave Scene (*.lwo, *.lws)
  • Modo (*.lxo)
  • Stereolithography (*.stl)
  • DirectX X (*.x)
  • AC3D (*.ac)
  • Milkshape 3D (*.ms3d)
  • TrueSpace (*.cob, *.scn)
  • Biovision BVH (*.bvh)
  • CharacterStudio Motion (*.csm)
  • Ogre XML (*.xml)
  • Irrlicht Mesh and Scene (*.irrmesh, *.irr)
  • Quake I (*.mdl)
  • Quake II (*.md2)
  • Quake III Mesh (*.md3)
  • Quake III Map/BSP (*.pk3)
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein (*.mdc)
  • Doom 3 (*.md5*)
  • Valve Model (*.smd, *.vta)
  • Open Game Engine Exchange (*.ogex)
  • Unreal (*.3d)
  • BlitzBasic 3D (*.b3d)
  • Quick3D (*.q3d, *.q3s)
  • Neutral File Format (*.nff)
  • Sense8 WorldToolKit (*.nff)
  • Object File Format (*.off)
  • PovRAY Raw (*.raw)
  • Terragen Terrain (*.ter)
  • 3D GameStudio (3DGS), 3D GameStudio (3DGS) Terrain (*.mdl, *.hmp)
  • Izware Nendo (*.ndo)

Supports importing of scene, object, camera, mesh, texture and image data.

This plugin provides 3dsImporter, Ac3dImporter, BlenderImporter, BvhImporter, CsmImporter, ColladaImporter, DirectXImporter, DxfImporter, FbxImporter, GltfImporter, IfcImporter, IrrlichtImporter, LightWaveImporter, ModoImporter, MilkshapeImporter, ObjImporter, OgreImporter, OpenGexImporter, StanfordImporter, StlImporter, TrueSpaceImporter, UnrealImporter, ValveImporter and XglImporter plugins.


This plugin depends on the Trade and Assimp libraries and the AnyImageImporter plugin and is built if WITH_ASSIMPIMPORTER is enabled when building Magnum Plugins. To use as a dynamic plugin, load "AssimpImporter" via Corrade::PluginManager::Manager.

Additionally, if you're using Magnum as a CMake subproject, bundle the magnum-plugins and assimp repositories and do the following. If you want to use system-installed Assimp, omit the first part and point CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to its installation dir if necessary.

# Disable Assimp tests, tools and exporter functionality
# If you won't be accessing Assimp outside of the plugin, build it as static to
# have the plugin binary self-contained
# The following is important to avoid Assimp appending `d` to all your
# binaries. You need Assimp >= 5.0.0 for this to work, also note that after
# 5.0.1 this option is prefixed with ASSIMP_, so better set both variants.
add_subdirectory(assimp EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)

add_subdirectory(magnum EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)

add_subdirectory(magnum-plugins EXCLUDE_FROM_ALL)

# So the dynamically loaded plugin gets built implicitly
add_dependencies(your-app MagnumPlugins::AssimpImporter)

To use as a static plugin or as a dependency of another plugin with CMake, put FindMagnumPlugins.cmake and FindAssimp.cmake into your modules/ directory, request the AssimpImporter component of the MagnumPlugins package and link to the MagnumPlugins::AssimpImporter target:

find_package(MagnumPlugins REQUIRED AssimpImporter)

# ...
target_link_libraries(your-app PRIVATE MagnumPlugins::AssimpImporter)

See Downloading and building plugins, Plugin usage with CMake, Loading and using plugins and File format support for more information.

Behavior and limitations

The plugin supports ImporterFeature::OpenData and ImporterFeature::FileCallback features. The Assimp library loads everything during initial import, meaning all external file loading callbacks are called with InputFileCallbackPolicy::LoadTemporary and the resources can be safely freed right after the openData() / openFile() function exits. In some cases, Assimp will explicitly call InputFileCallbackPolicy::Close on the opened file and then open it again. In case of images, the files are loaded on-demand inside image2D() calls with InputFileCallbackPolicy::LoadTemporary and InputFileCallbackPolicy::Close is emitted right after the file is fully read.

Import of animation data is not supported at the moment.

The importer recognizes ImporterFlag::Verbose, enabling verbose logging in Assimp when the flag is enabled. However please note that since Assimp handles logging through a global singleton, it's not possible to have different verbosity levels in each instance.

Material import

  • Only materials with shading mode aiShadingMode_Phong are supported
  • Two-sided property and alpha mode is not imported
  • Assimp seems to ignore ambient textures in COLLADA files
  • For some reason, Assimp 4.1 imports STL models with ambient set to 0xffffff_srgbf, which causes all other color information to be discarded. If such a case is detected and there's no ambient texture present, the ambient is forced back to 0x000000_srgbf. See also assimp/assimp#2059. This workaround can be disabled using the forceWhiteAmbientToBlack configuration option.

Light import

  • LightData::intensity() is always 1.0f, instead Assimp premultiplies LightData::color() with the intensity
  • Ambient lights are imported as LightData::Type::Point with attenuation set to {1.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f}
  • The following properties are ignored:
    • Specular color
    • Custom light orientation vectors — the orientation is always only inherited from the node containing the light
  • Area lights are not supported

Camera import

  • Aspect and up vector properties are not imported

Mesh import

  • Only point, triangle, and line meshes are loaded (quad and poly meshes are triangularized by Assimp)
  • Custom mesh attributes (such as object_id in Stanford PLY files) are not imported.
  • Texture coordinate layers with other than two components are skipped
  • For some file formats (such as COLLADA), Assimp may create a dummy "skeleton visualizer" mesh if the file has no mesh data. For others (such as glTF) not.
  • Per-face attributes in Stanford PLY files are not imported.
  • Stanford PLY files that contain a comment before the format line fail to import.
  • The importer follows types used by Assimp, thus indices are always MeshIndexType::UnsignedInt, positions, normals, tangents and bitangents are always imported as VertexFormat::Vector3, texture coordinates as VertexFormat::Vector2 and colors as VertexFormat::Vector4. In other words, everything gets expanded by Assimp to floats, even if the original file might be using different types.
  • The imported model always has either both MeshAttribute::Tangent MeshAttribute::Bitangent or neither of them, tangents are always three-component with binormals separate.
  • Multi-mesh nodes and multi-primitive meshes are loaded as follows, consistently with the behavior of TinyGltfImporter:
    • Multi-primitive meshes are split by Assimp into individual meshes
    • The meshCount() query returns a number of all primitives, not meshes
    • The object3DCount() query returns a number of all nodes extended with number of extra objects for each additional mesh
    • Each node referencing a multiple meshes is split into a sequence of MeshObjectData3D instances following each other; the extra nodes being a direct and immediate children of the first one with an identity transformation
    • object3DForName() points to the first object containing the first mesh, object3DName() returns the same name for all objects in given sequence

The mesh is always indexed; positions are always present, normals, colors and texture coordinates are optional.

Texture import

  • Textures with mapping mode/wrapping aiTextureMapMode_Decal are loaded with SamplerWrapping::ClampToEdge
  • Assimp does not appear to load any filtering information
  • Raw embedded image data is not supported

Scene import

  • For some file formats (such as COLLADA), Assimp fails to load the file if it doesn't contain any scene. For some (such as glTF) it will succeed and sceneCount() / object3DCount() will return zero.
  • If the root node imported by Assimp has children, it's ignored and only its children are exposed through object3D(). On the other hand, for example in presence of postprocessing flags such as PreTransformVertices, there's sometimes just a single root node. In that case the single node is imported as a single object3D() instead of being ignored.

Plugin-specific configuration

Assimp has a versatile set of configuration options and processing operations applied on imported scenes. A subset of these is exposed via configuration(), the full form shown below. The first group of options matches the AI_CONFIG_* macros and has to be applied before opening first file with given plugin instance; to change them again you need to create a new importer instance.

The [postprocess] subgroup contains boolean toggles that correspond to the aiPostProcessSteps enum. Some of them are enabled by default, some not; options for not yet supported features are omitted. These are passed to Assimp when opening a file, meaning a change in these will be always applied to the next opened file.

# Controls the workaround for an Assimp 4.1 "white ambient" bug

# AI_CONFIG_* values, can be changed only before the first file is opened

# aiPostProcessSteps, applied to each opened file

Access to internal importer state

The Assimp structures used to import data from a file can be accessed through importer state methods:

Base classes

class AbstractImporter
Base for importer plugins.

Constructors, destructors, conversion operators

AssimpImporter() explicit
Default constructor.
AssimpImporter(PluginManager::Manager<AbstractImporter>& manager) explicit
AssimpImporter(PluginManager::AbstractManager& manager, const std::string& plugin) explicit
Plugin manager constructor.

Function documentation

Magnum::Trade::AssimpImporter::AssimpImporter() explicit

Default constructor.

In case you want to open images, use AssimpImporter(PluginManager::Manager<AbstractImporter>&) instead.

Magnum::Trade::AssimpImporter::AssimpImporter(PluginManager::Manager<AbstractImporter>& manager) explicit


The plugin needs access to plugin manager for importing images.