In which FORMAT can you export from Blender to Unity


There are sev­er­al for­mats for export­ing 3D mod­els in Blender that are com­pat­i­ble with Uni­ty, I rec­om­mend that you use one of the fol­low­ing two, the .FBX for­mat or use the Blender file in .Blend for­mat direct­ly.

Before moving on I leave a video showing how to export 3D model in FBX FORMAT from Blender to Unity

In the fol­low­ing video we see not only what for­mat to use to export from Blender to Uni­ty and how to do it, but also oth­er details such as cre­at­ing new mate­ri­als in Uni­ty, con­fig­ur­ing the tex­tures and assign­ing those mate­ri­als to the 3D mod­el in Uni­ty, over­writ­ing the mate­r­i­al that is defined in Blender.


Export in FBX format

If you use the FBX for­mat to export your Blender mod­els to Uni­ty, sev­er­al things will be packed inside the file besides the 3D mod­els. Some of them are the following:

  • The hier­ar­chi­cal struc­ture defined in the Out­lin­er will be export­ed prac­ti­cal­ly the same or very sim­i­lar and we will see that hier­ar­chi­cal struc­ture in the hier­ar­chy win­dow in Unity.
  • Object names defined in Blender will also be used in Unity.
  • The mate­ri­als defined inside a 3D mod­el in Blender will be present inside the import­ed file in Uni­ty and will be applied to the 3D mod­el, but in prin­ci­ple they are locked (see fig­ure 1), they can­not be edit­ed, to do so they must be extract­ed from the FBX file.
  • The base col­or cho­sen in the mate­r­i­al will be the same as the one applied to the mate­r­i­al in Uni­ty. This for the Prin­ci­pled BSDF shader.
  • Tex­tures con­nect­ed to the base col­or and nor­mals input will be present in Uni­ty as long as the tex­ture files are present when import­ing the FBX file into Uni­ty. Those tex­tures will be con­nect­ed to the Albe­do and Nor­mals map in Unity.
  • Ani­ma­tions made with Dope Sheet and Non­lin­ear Ani­ma­tion clips will be includ­ed in the FBX file format.
  • Objects such as lights and cam­eras in Blender will be export­ed as lights and cam­eras in Unity.

Fig. 1: Mate­r­i­al defined in Blender is locked in Uni­ty. To use it you have to extract it from the file.

Disadvantages of using FBX format

One of the main dis­ad­van­tages is updat­ing the export­ed mod­el when mak­ing changes in Blender. What I do is to replace the file found in the Uni­ty fold­er with the new export­ed Blender file. SEE THE PROCEDURE FOR UPDATING MODEL CHANGES IN THE VIDEO ABOVE.

Using the Blender file directly in Unity (.Blend format)

You can use the Blender file direct­ly in Uni­ty and you will have access to most of the items list­ed above cor­re­spond­ing to the FBX format.

In spe­cif­ic cas­es prob­lems might occur, for exam­ple when changes are made in the ver­sion of Blender or Uni­ty, it has hap­pened to me that the Blender file could not be used, but then in sub­se­quent updates the prob­lem was solved.

archivo de blender en formato .blend para utilizar en unity
Fig. 2: Blender file inside a Uni­ty project fold­er. The file can be opened by dou­ble-click­ing and you can drag it into the scene to use it.

Advantages of using the .Blend file directly in Unity

For me the main advan­tage of using the Blender file direct­ly in Uni­ty is the con­ve­nience and ease of mak­ing changes to the mod­el. With this method we can open the file direct­ly by dou­ble click­ing it in Uni­ty, edit it, save it and then in Uni­ty the changes are auto­mat­i­cal­ly updat­ed.

Disadvantages of using the .Blend file directly in Unity

One of the most impor­tant dis­ad­van­tages of work­ing direct­ly with the Blender file in Uni­ty is the load­ing times, you may feel that Uni­ty works slow­er, since it takes a while to process these files, when we add them to the scene and when we mod­i­fy them, it may be some­thing quite annoy­ing depend­ing on the capa­bil­i­ties of your com­put­er. Although if we think about it, that wait­ing time may not be as long as the time it takes to re-export in FBX for­mat, replace the file and still wait for the pro­cess­ing time Uni­ty spends on that task.

Anoth­er impor­tant dis­ad­van­tage is the fact of work­ing with ani­ma­tions, I have not yet found a good way to work in Uni­ty with a .Blend file with sev­er­al ani­ma­tion clips made in Blender.

A dis­ad­van­tage, per­haps not so impor­tant giv­en the capa­bil­i­ties of devices nowa­days, is that the .Blend file is heav­ier than the FBX file and also Blender makes a back­up copy for each file, so the total weight is even big­ger.

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