What's a GLB, and what's a USDZ?

An easy primer on 3D file formats

Spase Team

When it comes to 3D file formats, all the information available online can be overwhelming. So in this post, we'll focus on two file formats that we believe are important for 3D on the internet.

What's a .glb?

A .glb is a 3D file format that describes an object by its surface, with meshes and materials. In other words, an exoskeleton made of triangles, and digital paint.

It works with PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials, which means that the surface of a model reflects simulated light like a real object reflects real light, creating an incredible experience onscreen. It's also ideal for sharing, because it can be viewed in 3D in all modern browsers and viewed in AR in all modern phones, no apps needed.

The format stands for Web Graphics Library Transmission Format binary, and it's the bundled version of the the .gltf format (which is the underlying format) which often has textures attached in an external folder. The format was established by the Khronos Group, and its development is supported by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Adobe.

In a nutshell, it's

  • Portable

  • AR-ready

  • Photorealistic

What's a .usdz?

A .usdz is another 3D file format that's developed by Pixar and Apple. It stands for Universal Scene Description zipped binary, and like a .glb, a .usdz is portable, works in AR, and works with photorealistic materials.

It's the only file format that works in AR for Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad, which makes it a must-have if you need to deliver a smooth AR experience that works everywhere.

How do I convert from .glb to .usdz?

  • Head to spase.io/playground
  • Drag and drop your .glb
  • Click Make .usdz, and in a few seconds, Download .usdz

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