Understanding GLTF: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are interested in 3D graphics and animations, then you must have heard of the GLTF format. GLTF, or the GL Transmission Format, is a file format used to store 3D models and scenes. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on GLTF, covering its history, benefits, and how to use it.

What is GLTF?

GLTF is a file format designed to store 3D models and scenes for use in web and mobile applications. It was developed by the Khronos Group, a non-profit industry consortium that creates open standards for graphics and multimedia. The format is intended to be an efficient and interoperable way of storing 3D assets that can be easily loaded into various applications and devices.

The History of GLTF

The Khronos Group started developing GLTF in 2015 as a response to the growing need for a standardized 3D format that could be used across multiple platforms. The format was officially released in 2017, and since then, it has gained widespread adoption by developers and industry leaders.

Benefits of Using GLTF

There are several benefits of using GLTF for storing 3D models and scenes:

Compact Size

GLTF files are designed to be compact, which makes them ideal for use in web and mobile applications. They use techniques such as compression and binary data storage to reduce file size without compromising on quality.


GLTF is an open format that is supported by a wide range of tools and platforms. This means that you can create a 3D model or scene in one application and easily load it into another application without the need for extensive conversion.


GLTF supports a wide range of features, including animation, materials, and textures. This makes it suitable for a variety of use cases, from simple static models to complex animated scenes.


GLTF files can be loaded quickly and efficiently, which is important for web and mobile applications where load times can impact user experience.

How to Use GLTF

Using GLTF is relatively straightforward, and there are several tools and libraries available to help you work with the format. Here are the basic steps to using GLTF:

Step 1: Make or Import a 3D Model

The first step in using GLTF is to create or import a 3D model into a 3D modeling software such as Blender or Maya. Once you have created or imported the model, you can export it to GLTF format.

Step 2: Load the GLTF File

To load the GLTF file, you will need a tool or library that can read the format. Some popular tools and libraries for working with GLTF include Babylon.js, Three.js, and A-Frame. You can use these tools to load the GLTF file into your web or mobile application.

Step 3: Render the 3D Model

Once the GLTF file is loaded, you can render the 3D model or scene using WebGL, a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics in web browsers. WebGL is supported by most modern web browsers and allows you to create interactive 3D experiences that can be accessed by anyone with a web browser.


GLTF is an efficient and interoperable way of storing 3D models and scenes for use in web and mobile applications. Its compact size, interoperability, flexibility, and efficiency make it an ideal choice for developers and industry leaders. By following the basic steps outlined in this guide, you can easily create and use GLTF files in your own projects.



Is GLTF a proprietary format?

No, GLTF is an open format

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