Saving A Mesh To Disk

  • The main output of SEQUOIA is a file on disk containing the resulting data from the meshing process.
  • Supported file formats include Thinkbox’ XMesh files, .OBJ files, .PLY files, and .STL files.
  • There are three approaches to saving a mesh to disk:
  • Select the Mesher object to save and use the Main Menu > File > EXPORT Scene Data > Export Selected MESH In World/Object Space... menu item.
  • Select the Mesher object to save, expand the “Export” rollout and press the [Export Object Space...] or [Export World Space...] button.
  • Select the Mesher object to save, expand the “Hacksaw” rollout, adjust the subdivision settings and press the [Export Object Space...] or [Export World Space...] button to generate multiple XMesh files. See next topic for details.
  • In all cases, if the Mesher does not contain a valid mesh yet, it will be updated first, and then the resulting mesh will be saved to disk.
  • The resulting mesh can be loaded back into the same Document or into a different Document to check out the output using a Mesh Loader object.

Which Mesh Format To Use?

  • Each mesh format has its own benefits and drawbacks.
  • You should pick the format that has the most benefits and is supported by your target platform / software.
  • Within SEQUOIA, we recommend using XMesh exclusively.


  • XMesh is a binary format which offers very good compression and supports all necessary channels.
  • Its drawback is that outside of SEQUOIA, it is currently supported only in Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and The Foundry’s NUKE.
  • The XMesh Loaders for these applications are free of charge and more are planned in the future.


  • OBJ is an ASCII file format with no compression whatsoever and supports only a very small set of basic channels.
  • OBJ files written by SEQUOIA do not contain Vertex Color data.
  • Resulting files are huge and take long to save and load.
  • On the positive side, OBJ is supported by a very large number of applications, so it is the Least Common Denominator of geometry exchange.


  • PLY is binary and produces much smaller files than OBJ, but a bit larger than XMesh.
  • It is recommended as an alternative to OBJ when supported by the target platform due to its size and the fact that it supports Vertex Colors.


  • STL was originally designed for providing data to 3D printers.
  • It is binary but uncompressed, so it is smaller than OBJ, but larger than XMesh and PLY.
  • Below is a comparison of the file sizes produced from a mesh with 147,256,034 faces and 74,297,325 vertices:
Format Size on Disk Zipped Supported Channels Rating
XMesh 2.36 GB 2.35 GB Vertices,Faces,Colors,Normals 1
OBJ 12.2 GB 2.56 GB Vertices,Faces,Normals 4
PLY 3.36 GB 2.27 GB Vertices,Faces,Normals 2
STL 6.78 GB 3.25 GB Vertices,Faces,Colors 3