Using obj files and mtl files in Blender or other 3-d viewing software

I have read the past comments about using Blender to view OBJ and MTL files. I have not been able to get the MTL files to display in Blender. I have the 3-D surface but do not know how to get the MTL files to display. When I attempt to do this Blender crashes. The OJF file is 38 MB and the MTL files 986 MB.

I need a way to share the amazing OBJ with it’s associated texture with others.

The images were collected by a EVO II of a small reservoir in Utah.

1 Like


Have you tried MeshLab as well? It is another great Free/Open-Source model viewing (and editing!) tool that might behave better with that particular dataset.

You’ve probably done this, but just to confirm: you’ve clicked the “Material Preview” button? (the one in the middle below):

1 Like

I will try it again. I have tried using it in the past but get lost.

1 Like

So I started blender. Imported the OBJ file changing the y / z axes. The file opens and I see what looks like a 3-D hill shade image. I then click the Material Preview button. Nothing happens for about 10-20 seconds then blender shuts done and closes in a flash.

1 Like

just installed meshlab. opened my obj file. meshlab ran for several seconds then I got a side bar on the left with red warnings There are gl errors : out of memory. 3 lines of this error message.

1 Like

It sounds like for this and for meshlab you are running out of memory when loading the texture. How much memory does your machine have?

1 Like

RAm is 16 GB 15.9 usable.

HP laptop with i7-6500 CPU @ 2.5 GHz

1 Like

Yeah, that’s very much like Stephen said. Can you try expanding your page file size?

I changed if from 2400 to 2900 (2900 was what windows recommended). Blender crashed after 40 secs from clicking the materials button.

What does the file page size need to be?

What are the consequences of going up to 3200?

1 Like

You can safely put the max size as large as you have extra room on your drive for it.

I used a dedicated 120GB pagefile drive when I was using Windows as my dedicated OS, so I set it to fill that drive.

If you have ample disk space, try something like 16GB or so.

Does it mater what the initial size is?

1 Like

We’ve been finding that a pagefile with the same initial and final size is more stable, as hinted at in the Microsoft documentation.


Some might say it is vital :slight_smile:


It may take a little bit for Blender to open the OBJ file. Give it time to load.

The MTL file is needed for the OBJ to properly display all of the textures of the 3D model. The only file you should be importing into Blender is the OBJ file. Even if you edit the OBJ, then nothing needs to be done to the MTL. I always leave the MTL alone.

To view the textured model in Blender, click on the globe looking button in the upper right hand corner of the window that had your model in it. I put a red circle around it on the image below.

If you want to share the OBJ, the rest of the files need to be shared along with it. Zip all of the files, OBJ, MTL and texture files, together and either upload to dropbox or sketchfab. If the zip file is less than 100MB then you can upload it to sketchfab with a free account.

I hope this helps. While I am not a pro a Blender, I use it all the time to orient 3D scans and photogrammetry before uploading to sketchfab. If you have any other questions, I will do my best to answer them.


Thank you for your reply.
I have not been able to get blender or meshlab to display the mtl files. When I click on the “world” nothing happens for 30 seconds then blender shuts off. This happens on my laptop but not my desktop power machine. My laptop may not have the hardware to do this type of work.


Unfortunately, this is a very real possibility.

My laptop is incredibly limited, so any serious work goes to my desktop.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.