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I am modeling pencil sharpeners. I unwrapped UVs and created a steel texture and a bump map and put it together in Cycles (see attached image). Now I need to export my models as .FBX, .OBJ, .DAE and maybe .3DS, because I want to publish it online for sale, and I want the model to be available in wide array of file formats.

However, when I import the exported files back to Blender, I see that in every case the Compositing of the Cycles materials and links to the texture files are lost, and only UVs are preserved. The renderer defaults to BI. In 3DS I lose parenting and in OBJ and FBX there are scale issues.

I understood from other threads that I probably have to sacrifice this information, and that there is no way to export it. Is that correct? Does that mean that the customer would have to reapply all textures and set settings ( like glossiness etc.)? That is not acceptable.

Is there a way to ensure that the exported files will work straight away? How to preserve the Cycles material settings? Do I have to use Blender Internal to make it work?

Blender scene

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  • $\begingroup$ (Well educated guess) I believe Cycles' node-magic has an approximate zero-percent chance to get exported right. So for materials, I would strongly advise doing them in the internal if you want them to show up. On the other hand, testing with eg. 3DS Max coulde be beneficial. (Maybe the exporter works, but the importer fails.) I don't know about the parenting, but for the scaling have a look in the Scene settings. You can for example set the scene units to Metric and / or scale the units if it still is off by an order of magnitude. I hope this is of some help. $\endgroup$ – Mörkö Sep 6 '15 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ I frequently export objects to the wavefront OBJ format, and have found that the associated .MTL (material) file will only contain sensible information if I use Blender Internal materials. Using Cycles materials seems not to work at all. $\endgroup$ – Mike Metcalf Sep 6 '15 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, I did some testing. I made a Cycles version of the scene and BI version. I exported FBX OBJ DAE and 3DS. And opened them in Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and Blender and it just won't work well. In every case there is something wrong with materials, diffuse, gloss or bump map. Only UVs and geometry holds. I'm still in need of help. How to prepare these files properly for sale? Also is there dedicated software for these 4 formats, so I can tweak the materials and save natively? $\endgroup$ – Aardo Sep 8 '15 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ Materials are generally incompatible across all rendering software. Models sold online in various formats aren't often perfectly set up but it's not a problem for a 3D artist that buys your asset to set up and tune the materials to his liking. If you insist to perfectly set up models you'd need to up-to-date versions in all of them and you need to save from native application. But note that 3DS Max also support numerous render engines. My advice is not to worry about all the settings being right out of the box but of course you should check with guidelines of the marketplace you're selling on. $\endgroup$ – kheetor Jan 24 '18 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ I'll also note that although there's little compatibility between materials in different software, having a diffuse color map, specular intensity map and normal map as textures will usually be sufficient. $\endgroup$ – dixiepig Apr 3 '18 at 14:18
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This worked for me: I packed and unpacked the blender file created, corrected allocation and exported materials from cycles into the .OBJ file. I exported from blender to 3dxchange, and the .OBJ file back into blender. The file retained the correct materials. As long as you create the textures in the same directory when you unpack the file, it seems to work.

When exporting alpha YAY, it took me a while to find this solution and it turned out to be simple.

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