The 3D model could not be imported

Hello, so, I just got some new 3D models (cheap, free ones) that I thought I'd play around with, but whenever I've tried to import any of them, I just get the message "The 3D model could not be imported." Some models work and others don't. It doesn't seem to be a question of the format, some of them are .3ds and they work, and others won't. Am I missing something? Thanks.

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  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    It's a complex issue, so I'll try to keep it short.

    The model formats--3DS, OBJ, LWO all have certain features designated in their original "base" specifications. For example, OBJ files technically don't support materials, which is why OBJs come with MTL files.

    These file formats are all pretty old--all 1980's.

    Because the capabilites of 3D software keep growing, the software now does can do things the original model specs cannot support. Using 3Ds Max as an example, 3Ds Max models are often found online that have a note that it was rendered in V-ray, Mental Ray or other renderers. These are third-parties render (V-Ray and Mental Ray both sell for around a thousand bucks) engines, and a 3DS model saved with V-Ray or Mental Ray settings cannot be opened in Hitfilm, or, if they open, they will not display correctly.

    This is not the fault of Hitfilm. Hitfilm obviously doesn't get a free $2000 of code to support V-Ray and Mental Ray, but it does mean that software like 3DS Max "hacking" the file format to write V-Ray data into a file format that doesn't actually officialyl support that data can cause problems.

    Add into this that a lot of free models online are built by beginners and students who are using bad modelling practices, creating poor geometry and (frankly) broken files, and there's a fair proportion of free 3D models that will not work in Hitfilm.

    To reiterate, this isn't Hitfilm's fault. In the past when a 3D literate forum member has taken a "broken" model into a 3D app, it always turns out to be a poorly constructed model in the first place.

    So--a lot of the models you're downloading are "broken" or using "illegal" code out of spec of the actual model format. Nothing to do but find another model, unless you have the 3D skill to open and fix a broken one.

  • Gotcha, thanks! I've got some experience with AutoCAD, specifically the 3D modelling bits, but I'm not sure what I would do to fix any files. Are there any resources out there that would show how to do that?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I'm not much of a modeller, so that's mostly beyond my skill set. If you have Blender (which is free), sometimes loading a model into Blender and re-exporting it can fix issues.

  • Thanks! It's worth a try!

  • Just tried it and it worked perfectly, thank you!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Oh, good! 

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