FBX import - no materials

Hi @tim,

Trying to import FBX file of an architectural model into Rhino (V6) - the geometry imports well, but there is no material information. Any chance we can have FBX importer create/convert materials into Rhino?

I can upload a sample model to test if that would help. The FBX is an export of Revit model.



AFAIK materials should convert to Rhino versions. Do the materials show up in other software, i.e. Blender?

They show in 3DSMax… don’t have other software to test with now. So yes, the material info is there.

I tweaked FBX material export and import some months ago. A file with the problem would be useful.

Hi Nathan,

I have uploaded the FBX file to support with your email.
Let me know if you get a chance to take a look.

Many thanks,


Thanks, I received the file. Before I could investigate I managed to crash my desktop (into which I remote), so it may have to wait until tomorrow.

Ooops. FYI - if that helps, it was exported from Revit 2018 as “FBX 2015 or earlier” format.
It doesn’t really give you that many export settings.

What kind of information is there embedded in FBX - is there a layer information too, by any chance?
Apart from materials this is something that would be good to have.

Thanks for looking into it!


@Jarek, preliminary investigation shows that for some reason the FBX SDK doesn’t find any materials.

Would it be possible to create a simple box scene with one material only that reproduces this problem, and have both the binary and ASCII versions of the FBX generated by Revit 2018?

I have logged this as https://mcneel.myjetbrains.com/youtrack/issue/RH-46276


p.s. Blender doesn’t see any materials either
p.p.s The import of geometry has 6 bad objects

Hi Nathan,

I have prepared a simple file, hope it will be easy to test on your end.
Uploaded zipped package to mcneel support file upload with your name. Hope you can take a look.

Basically there is a Revit file with a few ‘generic’ walls with various materials assigned to them (or some of them have per-face materials). Revit file attached, just in case.

Then, importing the FBX into 3DMax, recognizes these materials. For walls with several materials assigned, the multi-material is created. And also, the material types are not ‘generic’, they are of type like “Autodesk Glass”, “Autodesk…” - so rather product specific, yet they all must have the color, transparency, texture map etc. written somewhere and accessible.

In Rhino, all the geometry imports OK, but no materials, and the objects are not even split by where the materials were assigned.

Ideal behavior would be: on Rhino import, geometry is split by material type, so if a “box” has different materials assigned to its faces, it would be split into several objects. The multi-face material in Rhino is not very well implemented and getting single objects with multi-materials in them would only add to the mess.
As for materials themselves, if there was a way to convert the Autodesk-specific types to Rhino generic types with basic color and transparency properties, it would be enough. Hope this info is there somewhere to access.
Cherry on top would be placing the objects on new layers per-material name.

Thanks for looking into this. Most of our project start with either SketchUp or Revit files. Making this type of FBX import work would be a huge improvement for Revit-Rhino imports.

PS. The YT item is not permitted for public view…

Thanks, I looked and the behavior is still the same. Could you still do the text-version of the FBX and, if not too much of a bother, also perhaps to different versions of FBX?

The FBX SDK we use is of the opinion that the file does not have materials, at least not with the current way we use it.

We’ll first investigate this material problem, and then see how we can address your other requests.

Aye, it is not public, because your initial file was mentioned in the description. I have now edited the report and moved the link to a protected comment.

Hi Nathan,

So, Revit does not have an option for ASCII FBX, but I can save ASCII FBX from 3DSMax, from the file imported from Revit that retained the materials.
Attached is the file I uploaded before in FBX 2014 version ASCII format.

Opening it in Notepad shows some Materials info…

Also, when importing this version into Rhino 6, the model seems to be properly ‘split’ by material (a good thing!) but no material definition or names are assigned…

Hope that helps. I will be happy to do more back-and-forth and try more options and provide examples. Making this work would be a huge help.



Sample_Walls_FBX_From_3DMax.zip (23.8 KB)

Has there been any progress on this topic?

We have this same issue. We would love to get materials from Revit to Rhino. FBX is about the only practical export format that retains materials. I’ve always assumed that Rhino ignores materials in FBX.

@nathanletwory, are you saying that the FBX importer in Rhino does look at materials in an ASCII FBX?

It is quite a time consuming process to export FBX from Revit to 3dsMax and then to Rhino again, just to get a format that Rhino will read correctly.

We would really like to see materials show up. If there is any way we can contribute to this effort, please let me know. Though, I don’t know that we can contribute any other file than what @Jarek has submitted.

thank you,

-Jonah Hawk

@jonahhawk, tagging @tim to notify him of this thread. Not sure if he looked at the YT item since.

1 Like

I see that this may have been addressed in Rhino 7 Wip

This has not been resolved in Rhino 7 WIP.
The issue is that Rhino only supports ASCII FBX formats. I have exported FBX from 3dsMax in Ascii format, which imports in Rhino with materials intact.

Unfortunately, there are no export options for exporting ASCII FBX from Revit.

If Rhino would support Binary FBX, it would greatly help us interact with Revit and other applications that export FBX. Running analysis tools that take materials into account, as well as rendering and visualization outside of Revit.

@tim , are there any plans to implement the import of Binary FBX files?

Thank you,


Seeing same behavior with fbx’s from substance painter.

I am experiencing a strange related problem. FBX imports used to come in correctly with materials and texture mapping from FormZ, but now they are coming in without any mapping. The materials appear to import correctly though they duplicate themselves strangely. The problem is the mapping is missing and not easily fixed. Here is my FBX file to test:

Nicoya-8x20-2.zip (5.0 MB)