G3D, the Glest 3D modelling format, is a binary format containing information on the 3D model. G3D, while simple, is a fully featured model format that stores meshes, texture links, animation, diffuse colors, etc. The animations in G3D are automatically smoothed out, making a simple 5 frame animation appear to be a fully framed animation. The animations are also stretched to one period of time, so a 5 frame animation is the same length as a 20 frame, but in the game, you can change the speed at which the animation is played.
- Stores individual meshes and mesh names (objects)
- Stores wireframe and normals
- Links texture to the model and maps it to the mesh
- Stores animation frames (which are smoothed out in the game and viewer)
- Diffuse color is hard coded, but can be changed to change the coloring and lighting of the model
- Supports double-sided and single sided meshes (teamcolor or transparency)
- All faces must be triangle
- Extra frames are wasted and still take up file size, so still models must be set to one frame
- Likewise, models need to keep the frame count low, generally under 20, to ensure the file size doesn't increase exponentially
- X and Z axis's form the ground, while the Y axis goes up through the model
Currently, there is a G3D viewer available to open G3D files. It loads the model and texture, as well as plays the animation if their is one. It has the ability to increase or decrease the speed at which the animation is played, as well, can show a grid, the model's wireframe, and the model's normals, as well as choose the teamcolor that is rendered. The various branches of Glest, namely, GAE and MegaGlest include their own versions of the G3D viewer, which may have extra features, such as the ability to view multiple views of the model in different team colors or the ability to see particle effects. The official "base" G3D viewer can be downloaded separately from Glest in the Glest Tools pack.
The G3D viewer can open a model by passing it into the viewer or by use of the open dialogue in the file menu.