Some councils have 3D models of the buildings which they're considering sharing. What would be a good format to encourage them to use, if possible? I had thought 3DS would be the standard, but according to Wikipedia, the shortcomings are pretty limiting.
- All meshes must be made of triangles.
- All texture filenames are limited to the 8.3 DOS format.
- The number of vertices and polygons per mesh is limited to 65536.
- Accurate vertex normals cannot be stored in the .3ds file. Instead "smoothing groups" are used so that the receiving program can recreate a (hopefully good) representation of the vertex normals. This is still a hold-over legacy for many animation programs today which started in the 1980s (3DS MAX, Lightwave and trueSpace still use smoothing groups, and Maya did up to v2.51).
- Object, light and camera names are limited to 10 characters. Material names are limited to 16 characters.
- Directional light sources are not supported.