Defold is at its core a 3D engine. Even when you work with 2D material only all rendering is done in 3D, but orthographically projected onto the screen. Defold allows you to utilize full 3D content by including 3D assets, or Models into your collections. You can build games in strictly 3D with only 3D assets, or you can mix 3D and 2D content as you wish.
Let’s look at an example. We have created a simple model with an armature (skeleton) and a simple animation in Blender.
Blender is a powerful and popular 3D modeling, animation and rendering program. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and is freely available for download at http://www.blender.org
Now we wish to bring this model to life in Defold.
When the model is done you select the Blender Collada exporter to produce a file with the .dae file extension. This exported mesh file contain all the vertices, edges and faces that make up the model, as well as UV coordinates (what part of the texture image maps to a certain part of the mesh) if you have defined them, the bones in the skeleton and animation data.
A detailed description on polygon meshes can be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygon_mesh. UV coordinates and UV mapping is described at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UV_mapping.
Now, to import the model, simply drag and drop the .dae file and the corresponding texture image into the Project Explorer somewhere.
Model components are created just like any other game object component. You can do it two ways:
With the model created you need to specify a number of properties:
With the model component in place you are free to edit and manipulate the component and/or the encapsulating game object with the regular Scene Editor tools to move, rotate and scale the model to your liking.