Stage Guide > Toon Boom Harmony 10 Stage User Guide > Chapter 14: 2D-3D Integration > How 2D-3D Integration Works > Importing a Reference Model
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Importing a Reference Model

When working in Harmony, the first thing to do is import a reference model. This model is what will be represented in the OpenGL view. Animators can reposition this model, animate the camera, and interact with it. Although several formats are supported, FBX is the recommended format as this will allow you to embed textures for nicer looking reference models.

The following chapters show you how to import such a model and animate it in Harmony.

When importing an FBX model, remember that model will never be used for the final render. Harmonyitself does not have a 3D rendering engine embedded.

Rendering of the OpenGL representation of the model is supported. However, this is not a high enough quality for a final product. Instead, rendering is supported through outside rendering engines. The majority of users use Maya Softrender, although 3Delight and Pixie are also supported.

Because this model is never used for a final render, you can optimize this model quite a bit. The imported FBX model does not have to have high-res textures on it or sophisticated shaders. It can even have a lower poly count than your final model. It does, however, need to be the same size as your final model, as Harmony will be sending the position, rotation, and scale information of the model in the Harmony scene to Maya later to render. Keeping the imported FBX file as light as possible will give you snappy performance while animating.