Import 101 – ShiVa Engine

Import 101

Model Import

ShiVa’s main model import format is DAE/Collada. Not all 3D Suites support export to DAE out of the box though, so a converter is needed. Over time, two tools have become very popular in the ShiVa community, because they produce excellent results and are easy to handle.

Autodesk Converter

Transfer project data from one application to another quickly and easily with the FBX Converter. This utility lets you convert OBJ, DXF™, and 3DS files to and from the FBX file format. Available for Linux®, Mac OS® X, and Windows® operating systems. Can convert FBX to *.dae/Collada. The latest version also supports animation takes. Excellent Free tool.
Download now from

Ultimate Unwrap 3D

Ultimate Unwrap 3D is a Windows UV mapping tool for unfolding and unwrapping 3D models. It includes an easy-to-use UV coordinate editor, a standard set of UV mapping projections such as planar, box, cylindrical, and spherical, as well as advanced UV mapping projections such as face UV mapping, camera UV mapping, and unwrap UV faces for those difficult to map areas on a model. It also has an excellent DAE exporter which makes Ultimate Unwrap 3D the swiss army knife loved by many ShiVa developers.
Buy Ultimate Unwrap 3D at

Common Import Errata

My scene/model is all black


Right after the import process, there is no light nor lightning material configuration in the scene, so you have to open your materials and chooses the right lighting setup for this scene.
If you add a dynamic light in your scene, and just check the receive dynamic lightning option, you should see your object, there is no need to set an ambient color lighter than black.


Check the material color values. Ambient colors exported by e.g. Maya are black for all materials.
Also, check the Receive Lighting flags, depending on your light setup.


Sometimes, textures are not properly imported. if you encounter problems of this kind,

  • drag your textures to the folder where your model is that you want to export.
  • also, be careful with special characters in file names.
  • think about your material design. procedural textures like e.g. 3ds max can produce them are not exported, but must be baked into a texture map first and exported.
  • although shiva supports a very wide range of image formats, your texture picture might be in an unconventional format and thus not supported. go with TGA or PNG to be sure.

Editor-specific Problems


This list has been compiled by user Comatos, thanks! Visit his website for more!

Textures look incorrect/no materials

Textures that you have made in programs like gimp generally look different in Shiva mainly because of the lighting – but also because you lose all material settings from blender during import. Material settings do NOT import from blender.

Pink mesh in Shiva

This means Shiva thinks your mesh wasn’t uv mapped, this only occurred when I didn’t save my blend file after I slapped a basic texture on in blender to quickly uv map my mesh. Always remember to save your file before exporting it.

Location, Rotation, Scale

This step is the most important thing to do before exporting to Shiva, in blender hit the space bar and just type rot for rotation, it will have a Apply Rotation option make sure to apply the rotation and repeat with Scale and Location. This has screwed up more things on my models then I can count with two hands. Always make sure to save it after you apply all these or it won’t export to Shiva correctly.

Texture Tips

What is best file format to use for texture creation and import to Shiva?
TGA, as it is not compressed and the native image file format for the editor.
What will those textures be converted to when exporting to STK?
DDS, but can be changed using the Texture option tools, in the Data Explorer.
Is it recommended to to import DDS files directly into ShiVa?
No, as DDS files are uncompressed and (lossy) compressed again, you will lose quality.
What are DDZ textures?
DDZ textures are compressed DDS textures, optimized for streaming.
Tool for DDZ conversion

Which file formats should I use to reduce STK size?
Use DDZ or JPEG. Those formats can be chosen before exporting using the Texture option tools, in the Data Explorer.

Need more answers?

  • slackBanner