DAE Exporter Manual

 Hello World

In this manual, we will examine how to use Skele's DAE Exporter to export selected mesh & animation to DAE archive, also we'll talk about the Unity's animation types and conversion methods.

* What's DAE?

DAE(digital asset exchange) is a major interchange file format for interactive 3D applications besides Autodesk FBX.

It is managed by the nonprofit technology consortium, the Khronos Group, and has been adopted by ISO as a publicly available specification, ISO/PAS 17506.

You could have a watch of the video below about animation type conversions first to get an overview.

In case that some developers might be not very familiar with some important concepts of Unity Animations, we suggest read these manuals first: 



Okay, now let's get started, ლ(╹◡╹ლ)

 Export Non-Skinned Mesh

Let's try exporting non-skinned mesh first. 

A non-skinned mesh is usually in the form of MeshFilter + MeshRenderer in Unity, it has no bone, no animation, only mesh info.

it's the most simple case, so let's begin with it.

Bring up the "DAE Exporter" editor window with the MenuItem "Window/Skele/DAE Exporter".


There're quite a few options in the DAE Exporter editor window, but most of them are for skinned mesh exporting, so we could ignore them for now.

The only thing we should care about is the MF(MeshFilter) entry:

As shown in the image below, we're trying to export a standard Unity capsule primitive mesh.


We will take 3 steps to export this mesh:

  1.  Click the "Add MF Entry" button, it opens a ObjectField accepting MeshFilter reference;
  2.  Drag the Capsule from Hierarchy window into the ObjectField (or whatever method you choose to fill it);
  3.  Click the "Export!" button, select a location for the generated archive file.

After these steps, you will be able to find the exported mesh in specified location.


* When would I export a non-skinned mesh?

  1. export modified mesh, Skele's Mesh-Manipulator and some 3rd-party plugins have abilities to modify existing meshes in some way. If you would like to export them in transferable archives, you could utilize this exporter;
  2. export procedural generated mesh, some 3rd-party plugins can create meshes in edit-mode / game-mode, you could use this exporter to save the generated meshes for reuse or modification purposes.

 Export Skinned Mesh + Animation

After exporting non-skinned mesh, now let's get down to some real business, exporting skinned mesh with animation clips.

Skele's DAE exporter is versatile, it can export model with multiple pieces of skinned meshes and multiple pieces of non-skinned meshes together in one DAE archive.

First, bring up the DAE Exporter as we did in the prev page (Export non-skinned mesh);

This time we'll use a complex multiple meshes model, Unity-chane, as the example model.


To export this model, we will take these steps:

  1. Drag the UnityChan GameObject from Hierarchy window into the first line's ObjectField;
  2. Click the "Auto Find" button, it will automatically collect all skinned meshes + non-skinned meshes in this model to fill the SMR & MF entries;
  3. [optional] Put the animation clip in the AnimClip ObjectField; (NOTE: this clip can NOT be Humanoid clip)
  4. Click "Export" button and select location to save the exported archive;

After these steps, you will be able to find the exported mesh in specified location.


In v1.9.3, we added the new feature to export multiple clips in one time.

You could check the video tutorial:

You could have seen that in the video, we had exported 2 clips with the model, and after clicking "Export" we got 3 archives:

  • "export.dae": this archive contains the mesh, no animation data is included;
  • "export@ clip1.dae": this archive contains only the animation data for "clip1", no mesh is included so as to save project space;
  • "export@ clip2.dae":this archive contains only the animation data for "clip2", no mesh is included so as to save project space;

This is the Unity standard split clips method. You could check this Unity Manual Page to get familiar with how Unity handles splitting animation clips.


* When would I export an animation clip?

1. Skele's Bone-editor can make non-humanoid clips, but if you need to use humanoid clip, you could export the clip with model into the project, and import it as Humanoid rig type, the containing clip will be available as humanoid clip now; Also you could extract the mesh + anim in DAE archive to edit them in external software too.

2. There're many humanoid clips for sale on Unity AssetStore. In usual case, you're unable to edit them. With DAE exporter and MuscleClipConverter (check it in the "Utility" manual), you could edit them in Unity or in external softwares.