COLLADA - 3D Asset Exchange Schema

COLLADA™ defines an XML-based schema to make it easy to transport 3D assets between applications - enabling diverse 3D authoring and content processing tools to be combined into a production pipeline. The intermediate language provides comprehensive encoding of visual scenes including: geometry, shaders and effects, physics, animation, kinematics, and even multiple version representations of the same asset.COLLADA FX enables leading 3D authoring tools to work effectively together to create shader and effects applications and assets to be authored and packaged using OpenGL® Shading Language, Cg, CgFX, and DirectX® FX.

COLLADA at a glance

COLLADA defines an XML Namespace and database schema to make it easy to transport 3D assets between applications without loss of information, enabling diverse 3D authoring and processing tools to be combined into a content production pipeline.


COLLADA 1.5 is the newest specification that provides all of the features found in the stable COLLADA 1.4 schema plus several new features that enable users of CAD, GIS, and Automation applications to enjoy the benefits of open standard royalty free content format.


COLLADA 1.4 is the stable release of the specification that has been widely adopted by the video game, digital entertainment, and GIS industries. This version of COLLADA supports geometry meshes, skinning, morphing, animation, physics, shaders and effects.

COLLADA Community

The Khronos Group is host to the COLLADA community web site ( where users and adopters from around the world visit to ask questions and share their COLLADA knowledge and test content. There are also a growing number of open source software projects that can help you to develop your COLLADA applications more quickly:

COLLADA enables content creation pipelines

COLLADA supports all the features that modern 3D interactive authoring applications and DCC (digital content creation) tools need to exchange and fully preserve asset data and meta data. its The COLLADA feature set is expanding to incorporate technologies such as packaging programmable shader effects and controlling real-time physics engines. COLLADA enables powerful content creation pipelines that can automatically condition and scale 3D geometry and texture assets for real-time playback on a wide diversity of platforms.

  • COLLADA transports 3D assets between applications
    Enables binding of diverse DCC and 3D processing tools into a production pipeline
  • COLLADA is a XML database schema for 3D assets
    COLLADA is an intermediate language - not a delivery format and not a scene graph
  • COLLADA can be lossless
    Retains all information - even multiple versions of the same asset
  • COLLADA has comprehensive encoding of visual scenes
    Including geometry, animation, shaders and physics
  • COLLADA is an open, archive-grade format that retains meta information
    When your DCC tool upgrades, you keep your assets

What's New in COLLADA 1.5?

Core Feature Enhancements

  • B-rep geometry
  • Kinematics
  • Asset Geolocation
  • Compressed Archives (.ZAE Zipped Exchange Archive format)
  • Node proxies (Level of Detail and Streaming)
  • Improved XML Schema data typing and validation


  • OpenGL ES 2.0 Profile
  • Bridge Profile to external systems: DirectX FX and CgFX
  • Improved texture binding and full screen effects

COLLADA 1.4 Features

Core Feature Enhancements

  • Mesh geometry
  • Skinning
  • Morphing
  • Animation
  • Assets
  • Data validation

COLLADA FX is the first cross-platform standard shader and effects definition written in XML. It targets high-end systems running OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL) and Cg (HLSL coming), as well as resource-constrained systems (OpenGL ES 1.x profile). It provides:

  • Next generation lighting, shading and texturing
  • High level effects and shaders
  • Support for all shader models (1.x, 2.0, 3.0) under CG and GLSL profiles.


  • Rigid Body Dynamics
  • Rag Dolls
  • Contraints
  • Collision Volumes
  • Enables data interchange between Ageia (PhysX), Havok, Bullet, ODE and other game physics middleware

COLLADA Open Source Software

COLLADA Refinery and coherency check

COLLADA Refinery and Coherency Checker - please use this tool to check if your exported COLLADA documents are valid.


The COLLADA DOM released as open source, is a comprehensive framework for the development of COLLADA applications and provides a C++ programming interface to load, query, and translate COLLADA instance data. The DOM loads COLLADA data into a runtime database consisting of structures that mirror those defined in the COLLADA schema. These runtime structures are auto-generated from the current schema, eliminating inconsistency and error. Developers can directly use the data structures loaded into the COLLADA runtime database within their application so they can easily add import and export capabilities for COLLADA v1.5, v1.4, or COLLADA v1.3.1 documents.