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Here is a non exhaustive list of F3D limitations:

  • No support for specifying manual lighting in the default scene.
  • Multiblock (.vtm, .gml) support is partial, non-surfacic data will be converted into surfaces.
  • Animation support with full scene data format require VTK >= 9.0.20201016.
  • Full drag and drop support require VTK >= 9.0.20210620
  • Drag and drop interaction cannot be recorded nor played back.
  • Volume rendering and HDRI support requires a decent GPU.


FBX, DAE, OFF, and DXF file formats rely on Assimp library. It comes with some known limitations:

  • PBR materials are not supported for FBX file format.
  • Complex animations are not working very well with Assimp 5.1, it’s recommended to use Assimp 5.0 for this use case.
  • Some files can be empty, crash, or show artifacts.
  • DXF support is very limited: only files with polylines and 3D faces are displayed.


ABC file formats rely on Alembic library. It comes with some known limitations:

  • Supports only simple polygonal geometry.
  • Does not support ArbGeomParam feature in Alembic.
  • Does not support Subdivision Meshes.
  • Does not support Materials.



I have built F3D with raytracing support but the denoiser is not working.

Make sure that VTK has been built with OpenImageDenoise support (VTKOSPRAY_ENABLE_DENOISER option).


I have a link error related to stdc++fs not found.

With some C++ STD library version, explicit linking to stdc++fs is not supported. We provide a CMake option F3D_LINUX_APPLICATION_LINK_FILESYSTEM that you can set to OFF to workaround this issue.


Thumbnails are not working in my file manager.

  • Check that your file manager supports the thumbnailer mechanism.
  • Check that you have updated your mime type database.
  • If all fails, remove your .cache user dir and check that pcmanfm thumbnails are working.
  • If they are working, then it is an issue specific to your file manager (see below for a potential work around).
  • If only a few format have working thumbnails, then it is an issue with the mime types database.
  • If no formats have working thumbnails, then it is an issue with the f3d-plugin-xxx.thumbnailer files.
  • If only big file do not have thumbnails, this is intended, you can modify this behavior in the thumbnail.json configuration file using the max-size option.


Some file managers (eg: Nautilus) are using sandboxing for thumbnails, which the F3D binary release does not support as it needs access to the Xorg server for rendering anything. A work around to this issue is to use a virtual Xorg server like Xephyr or Xvfb in all the f3d-plugin-xxx.thumbnailer files. Here is how your Exec line should look to use xvfb-run. Keep in mind running xvfb can be very slow.

Exec=xvfb-run f3d --dry-run -sta --no-background --output=%o --resolution=%s,%s %i

Another workaround is to build VTK with EGL or osmesa support and then build F3D yourself against this custom VTK build.


After installing F3D or registering the shell extension, my explorer is broken.

Unregister the shell extension by running:

cd C:\path\to\f3d\bin\
regsvr32 /u F3DShellExtension.dll

I use F3D in a VM, the application fails to launch.

OpenGL applications like F3D can have issues when launched from Windows Server or from a guest Windows because the access to the GPU is restricted. You can try to use a software implementation of OpenGL, called Mesa.

  • Download the latest release-msvc.
  • copy x64/opengl32.dll, libgallium_wgl.dll and x64/libglapi.dll in the same folder as f3d.exe.
  • set the environment variable MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE to 4.5.
  • run f3d.exe.

I run f3d from the command prompt and my Unicode characters are not displayed properly.

Set the codepage to UTF-8, run chcp 65001.