.OBJ File Extension
Wavefront 3D Object File
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What is an OBJ file?
An OBJ file is a standard 3D image format that can be exported and opened by various 3D image editing programs. It contains a three-dimensional object, including 3D coordinates, texture maps, polygonal faces, and other object information. OBJ files may also store references to one or more .MTL files that contain surface shading material for the object.
CAD users classify the OBJ format as a universal 3D model format since 3D image editing applications widely support it. The format is text-based and straightforward, which is one reason why many programs use it. However, the simple format structure may also lead to huge OBJ file sizes if they store large and complex 3D objects.
You may encounter an OBJ file in various ways, such as when modifying 3D objects in a video game, creating visual effects for a film, or designing a 3D mockup of a real-life object or building. Since the OBJ 3D format is so widely supported, many users export their models as OBJ files when transferring them from one 3D program to another or sharing a 3D model with a co-worker.
NOTE: While the OBJ format is one of the most common formats for storing 3D models, it is only one of many options for saving models. Some other options include .DAE, .STL, .IGS, .FBX, .MAX, .DWG, and .3DS.
How to open an OBJ file
However, you should select the program based on the context in which you will be using the OBJ file. For example, if you are looking to open and modify a 3D object utilized in film special effects and are on a tight budget, you could use the free Blender software.
Opening an OBJ file with a text editor
Since OBJ files are saved in plain text, you can also open them with a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad (Windows) or Apple TextEdit (Mac), or a source code editor. You may need to rename the .obj file extension to .txt for the text editor to recognize it.
When opened in a text editor or source code editor, you can modify the properties of the OBJ file. Remember that if you incorrectly edit the file, you may inadvertently corrupt the model.
How to convert an OBJ file
Many CAD applications and image editors, including Microsoft 3D Builder, Autodesk Maya, Blender, Apple Preview, and Adobe Photoshop, can convert OBJ files to other formats.
For example, Microsoft 3D Builder can convert OBJ files to the following formats:
Programs that open or reference OBJ files
What is an OBJ file?
Object data that is referenced by many types of programs