EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to today’s enlightening journey into the world of game development using Godot 4—specifically through the lens of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class! If you’re seeking to enhance your understanding of 3D game development and asset importing within Godot, you’ve landed in the perfect spot. This class is a hidden gem within the Godot engine, poised to play a pivotal role in your game creation adventures.

Diving deep into the functionality and applications of EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF will open up a world of possibilities for importing rich 3D models and animations into your games. So, let’s get started on this enthralling adventure through code and creativity that can transform the way you build your games!

What is EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF?

The EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF is a class within the Godot 4 engine that serves as a bridge between GLTF files—a popular and versatile 3D file format—and your Godot projects. GLTF, which stands for GL Transmission Format, is akin to the “JPEG of 3D.” It’s a compact, efficient, and interoperable format that allows for the seamless transmission and loading of 3D scenes and models.

What is it used for?

The primary use of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class lies in its ability to import these GLTF files into Godot. This process is crucial for developers who are working with intricate 3D models and animations created in external software, such as Blender or Maya. It ensures that your 3D assets can be easily brought into Godot for further development and integration into your games.

Why Should I Learn It?

Learning to use the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class effectively is essential for several reasons:

– **Improves Workflow**: Mastering this class allows for a more streamlined development process by eliminating compatibility issues between different software tools and Godot.
– **Rich Game Environments**: By importing high-quality 3D models and animations, you’ll be able to create more immersive and engaging game environments.
– **Community Standard**: GLTF is growing in popularity and becoming a standard in the industry, so understanding it will keep you up-to-date with current development practices.

Whether you’re a budding game developer or an experienced coder, grasping the capabilities of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF will undoubtedly elevate your Godot expertise. Stay tuned as we delve into practical code examples and further explore this powerful class!

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Preparing Godot 4 for GLTF Importing

To begin utilizing the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class, ensure your Godot 4 setup is ready to handle the GLTF format. The good news is that Godot has built-in support for GLTF, making the preparation mostly straightforward.

The first step is to open your project in Godot and navigate to the ‘Project Settings.’ Confirm that the GLTF import plugin is enabled, as shown in the following snippet:

Project > Project Settings > Plugins

In the ‘Plugins’ section, verify that the status of the GLTF importer is set to ‘Active.’ If it’s not, simply change the status and restart Godot.

With the preparation done, let’s dive into the code examples and explore how we can use the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class.

Importing a GLTF File

To import a GLTF file using code, you need to call the appropriate method from the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class. Here’s a simple example demonstrating how to import a GLTF file and add it to the current scene:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_model.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

In this code snippet, we create an instance of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class, import the GLTF file, and then add the imported scene to the root of the current scene tree.

Setting Import Options

The EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class allows you to specify various import options to customize the import process. Here’s how you can set the import options before importing the GLTF file:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var import_options = {
    "generate_lights": false,
    "animation_force_all_tracks_in_all_clips": true

var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_model.gltf", uint(0), import_options, 100.0)

In the above code, we are disabling light generation during the import and forcing all animation tracks to be included in all animation clips.

Accessing Nodes in the Imported Scene

After the GLTF scene is imported, you may want to access and manipulate specific nodes within it. Here is an example of how to access a node named “Player” in the imported scene and then change its position:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_scene.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var player_node = imported_scene.get_node("Player")
player_node.global_transform.origin = Vector3(10, 0, 5)


This snippet finds the “Player” node in the imported scene and moves it to the coordinates (10, 0, 5) in the game world.

Importing Animations from GLTF

Animations are a crucial part of many 3D models, and it’s important to know how to import them alongside your assets. Here’s how to import animations from a GLTF file:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var animation_import_options = {
    "import_animations": true

var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_animated_model.gltf", uint(0), animation_import_options, 100.0)

In this example, we set the “import_animations” option to true to ensure that the animations associated with the 3D model are imported.

After familiarizing yourself with these basic functionalities, you are well on your way to fully leveraging the power of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class in Godot 4. As you progress through these exercises, remember that experimenting with different import options will help you better understand how they affect your imported scenes and models. Stay tuned for the next set of examples that will guide you through more advanced operations and tips for effectively using GLTF assets in your Godot projects.Great! As you’re now comfortable with the basics of GLTF importing, let’s dive deeper into the capabilities of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF to refine your game development process even further.

Importing models and animations is just the beginning. Consider the various attributes of your GLTF assets that you might want to control — from materials and textures to specific node transformations post-import.

Customizing Materials During Import

GLTF assets often come with their own materials, which can be imported as is or customized. Here’s how you can handle material import options:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var materials_import_options = {
    "import_materials": true,
    "material_search_paths": "res://materials"

var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_custom_material_model.gltf", uint(0), materials_import_options, 100.0)

In the example above, we set “import_materials” to true, and we specify a search path for materials. This allows Godot to search for existing materials in the specified folder.

Overriding Textures

Sometimes, you may need to override the default textures with higher-quality ones or those that better suit your game’s visual style. You can replace the texture on a material after the import process:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_texture_override_model.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var mesh_instance = imported_scene.get_node("MeshInstance")
var material = mesh_instance.get_surface_material(0)
material.set_shader_param("albedo_texture", load("res://textures/high_res_texture.png"))


In this snippet, we’re loading a high-resolution texture and applying it to the first surface material of a MeshInstance node.

Handling Mesh Instances

The GLTF specification doesn’t limit you to static models; you can also import scenes with multiple mesh instances. Here’s how to work with them post-import:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_multi_mesh_model.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

for node in imported_scene.get_children():
    if node is MeshInstance:


The code above iterates through all children of the imported scene, checks for MeshInstance nodes, and creates collision shapes for them.

Modifying Node Transforms

After importing, you might need to adjust the transforms of specific nodes to fit your level design:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_scene_with_transforms.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var some_node = imported_scene.get_node("SomeNode")
some_node.rotation_degrees = Vector3(0, 45, 0) # Rotate 45 degrees on the Y-axis
some_node.scale = Vector3(1.5, 1.5, 1.5) # Uniform scale


This snippet shows how to adjust the rotation and scale of a node named “SomeNode” after it has been imported.

Importing with Skeletal Animations

When your model has skeletal animations, you’ll need to make sure they are imported correctly:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var skeletal_import_options = {
    "import_animations": true,
    "import_skinning": true

var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_skeletal_animation_model.gltf", uint(0), skeletal_import_options, 100.0)

By setting “import_skinning” to true, we ensure that the skinning information for skeletal animations is processed and imported.

These examples showcase the versatility of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF class and how it can be tailored to fit a variety of use cases. Remember that experimenting with different options and understanding how they affect the final result is crucial to mastering the GLTF import process in Godot.

By now, you have a solid foundation for importing GLTF assets and the necessary insights to troubleshoot and customize the import process. Use these examples as a springboard for your creativity and as a means to fine-tune your 3D assets in Godot! Enjoy the process of bringing your game’s world to life with intricate details and animations, all with the help of GLTF and Godot 4.Building upon our existing knowledge of GLTF importing in Godot, let’s explore further with more code examples that tackle advanced aspects of the importing process.

Accessing and Editing Imported Animation Data

After importing a scene with animations, you might want to access the AnimationPlayer node to edit or play animations. Here’s how you can retrieve and play an animation:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var animation_import_options = {
    "import_animations": true
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_animated_model.gltf", uint(0), animation_import_options, 100.0)

var animation_player = imported_scene.get_node("AnimationPlayer")


In this example, we play “my_animation” from the AnimationPlayer that was imported with the scene.

Editing Imported Animations

If you need to modify the imported animations, such as changing keyframes or adjusting playback properties, you would do the following:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_model_with_animations.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var animation_player = imported_scene.get_node("AnimationPlayer")
var animation = animation_player.get_animation("my_animation")

animation.loop = true
animation.set_key_value("path/to/track", 5, Vector3(1,2,3)) # Change the value at keyframe 5


The code above modifies the loop property of the animation and changes the value of a specific keyframe.

Converting GLTF to Godot Scene Files

For easier management within Godot, you might want to convert your imported GLTF files into native scene files (.tscn or .scn). Here’s a code snippet that demonstrates how to save an imported GLTF as a Godot scene file:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/imported_model.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var packed_scene = PackedScene.new()

ResourceSaver.save("res://saved_scenes/imported_model.tscn", packed_scene)


With the above code, we packed the imported scene into a PackedScene resource, then saved it to a .tscn file.

Batch Importing Multiple GLTF Files

When dealing with a large number of GLTF files, batch processing can streamline your workflow. Here’s how you can import multiple GLTF files:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var gltf_file_paths = ["res://models/model1.gltf", "res://models/model2.gltf", "res://models/model3.gltf"]

for path in gltf_file_paths:
    var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene(path, uint(0), "", 100.0)
    var scene_name = path.get_file().basename() + ".tscn"
    var packed_scene = PackedScene.new()
    ResourceSaver.save("res://saved_scenes/" + scene_name, packed_scene)

    # Optionally, add it to the current scene

We loop through each file path, import the GLTF file, pack it, and then save it as a native Godot scene.

Importing and Configuring Meshes with Specific Materials

You may want to apply a specific material to a mesh after importing. This can be done by assigning a new material to the mesh instance:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/model_with_meshes.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var mesh_instance = imported_scene.get_node("MeshInstance")
var new_material = preload("res://materials/my_material.tres")
mesh_instance.material_override = new_material


In the code above, we use ‘material_override’ to apply our custom material to the entire MeshInstance.

Handling Normals and Bump Maps

GLTF models may come with normals and bump maps, which you can manage post-import. Here’s an example of setting a bump map:

var gltf_importer = EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF.new()
var imported_scene = gltf_importer.import_scene("res://models/my_bumpy_model.gltf", uint(0), "", 100.0)

var mesh_instance = imported_scene.get_node("MeshInstance")
var material = mesh_instance.get_surface_material(0)
var bump_texture = preload("res://textures/bump_map.png")
material.set_shader_param("bump_map", bump_texture)


The example shows how to apply a new bump map to the first surface material of a MeshInstance.

Each of these examples showcases the adaptability of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF in Godot, providing you with the tools to successfully import and manipulate 3D assets. Remember to experiment and utilize these practices to optimize your game development workflow and bring your creative visions to reality!

Next Steps in Your Godot Learning Journey

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As you’ve journeyed through the intricacies of the EditorSceneFormatImporterGLTF, you’ve armed yourself with valuable skills that open up a realm of possibilities in Godot 4. You’re now able to bring elaborate models and breathtaking animations into your games, weaving together the visual storytelling that captivates players. But remember, this is just the beginning of a thrilling path in game creation. Our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is the perfect next step to solidify your expertise, enhance your portfolio, and bring your dream game projects to fruition.

We at Zenva are excited to see where your newfound abilities will take you. With each line of code, with each imported asset, you are crafting experiences that have the power to enchant and entertain. So continue to learn, to build, and to be inspired. We can’t wait to see what worlds you’ll create next with the tools and knowledge from our courses. Welcome to the next level of your game development adventure!

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