Name:Collada format
Location:File ‣ Import/Export ‣ Collada (.dae)
Version:OpenCollada 1.6.68
Authors:Gaia Clary


This format is mainly use for interchanging character animations between applications and is supported by applications such as Cinema4D, Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Wings3D and engines such as Unity3D, Unreal Engine 3/UDK, Unreal Engine 4 and SL.

The exporter can bake mesh modifiers and animation into the Collada export so the final result looks the same as in Blender.


This module is still in development.



Import Data Options

Import Units
Use unit information from the Asset node in the Collada file. Use None units if not enabled.

Armature Options

Fix Leaf Bones
Try to find a reasonable location for the bone tails of leaf nodes.
Find Bone Chains
Find best matching bone chains and make sure that children are connected to their parent.
Auto Connect
Connect bones to their parent if they are the only child of their parent.
Minimum Chain Length
Minimum number of bones in a parent/child hierarchy needed to identify it as a chain. Used for auto connect and to find bone chains.
Keep Bind Info

Add two custom properties to each bone containing:

  • rest_mat: An array of 16 values representing the rest-pose matrix at time of import.
  • bind_mat: An array of 16 values representing the bind-pose matrix at time of import.

Note that, the bind_mat is identical to the rest_mat if the armature is imported with its rest pose.


Main Options

Selection Only
Only export the selected objects. Otherwise export all objects in the scene.
Include Children
Include children of selected objects even if not selected.
Include Armatures
Include armatures for rigged objects even if the armature is not selected.
Include Shape Keys
Export shape key data (caution, this creates very large output files if many shape keys are defined).
Main - Global Orientation Options
Forward Axis

Add a rotation to the Scene (in Object Mode) such that the selected axis becomes the forward direction in the Target system.

X, Y, Z, -X, -Y, -Z

Up Axis

Add a rotation to the Scene (in Object Mode) such that the selected axis becomes the top direction in the Target system.

X, Y, Z, -X, -Y, -Z

Apply Global Orientation (only when you changed the global orientation)
Rotate the object data instead of adding an extra rotation to the scene. Thus the exported Objects do not get an additional rotation in Object Mode.


When in doubt what your target system needs besides changing the global axis orientation, then try first to apply Global Orientation (this is most likely what you need).

Main - Texture Options
Only Selected UV Map
Export the active UV map when enabled, otherwise export all UV maps.
Copy textures to same folder where the dae-file is exported to, otherwise create links to the image files.

Geometry Options

Apply Modifiers
When enabled, the mesh will be from the output of the modifiers applied to the mesh.
Triangulate meshes before exporting (use this option when the target engine supports only tris).

Armature Options

Deform Bones Only
Restrict armature to its deform bones.
Export to SL/OpenSim
Prepare the rig for the SL target engine (to be specified).

Animation Options

Include Animations
Export Animation data.
Export Format
  • Samples: Create sample frames with the specified Sample Rate (see below).
  • Curves: Keep animation curves intact (experimental, does not work with Shear).
Transformation Type
  • Matrix: Export transformations as baked matrices.
  • TransRotLoc: Export transformations as separate curves for translation, rotation and scale.
Keep Smooth Curves
Also export curve handles (only works when the animated object parent-inverse matrix is unity).
Sampling Rate
Distance between two sample keyframes (1 means every frame is keyed).
Keep Keyframes
Make sure that the keyframes are always exported even if they are between two sample frames.
All Keyed Curves
Also export flat curves (with all key values identical or only one key defined).
Include All Actions
Export all actions compatible with the selected armatures start/end times which are derived from the keyframe range of each action. When disabled only the currently assigned action is exported.

Extra Options

Use Object Instances
Define an object only once and use it as a reference (not supported on all target engines).
Use Blender Profile
Export extra information to allow a more precise import back into Blender.
Sort by Object Name
Make sure the exported objects are exported in sort order of their names.
Keep Bind Info

Each bone can have two custom properties:

  • rest_mat: An array of 16 values representing the rest-pose matrix at time of import.
  • bind_mat: An array of 16 values representing the bind-pose matrix at time of import.

If the bind_mat is defined then use that matrix as bind matrix of the bone. If the rest_mat is defined then use that matrix as the rest matrix of the bone. This corresponds with the same custom properties from the Collada Importer. Bind_mat and rest_mat are needed when handling rigs that where originally made with a bind pose (which Blender does not support).

Limit Precision
Take care to use at max five digits after the comma. This is good for debugging when you want to compare values.



Bind poses (Armature)
Bind Poses are baked into the skeleton and are used as it’s new rest pose. However the bind pose is backed up into the custom bone property bind_mat.