TSCN file format

A .tscn File format is the “Text SCeNe” file format and represents a single scene-tree inside Godot. TSCN files have the advantage of being nearly human-readable and easy for version control systems to manage. During import the TSCN files are compiled into binary .scn files stored inside the .import folder. This reduces the data size and speed up loading.

The .escn file format is identical to the TSCN file format, but is used to indicate to Godot that the file has been exported from another program and should not be edited by the user from within Godot.

For those looking for a complete description, the parsing is handled in the file scene_format_text.cpp in the class ResourceFormatLoaderText

File structure

There are five main sections inside the TSCN File:

  1. File Descriptor
  2. External resources
  3. Internal resources
  4. Nodes
  5. Connections

The file descriptor looks like [gd_scene load_steps=1 format=2] And should be the first entry in the file. The load_steps parameter should (in theory) be the number of resources within the file, though in practice its value seems not to matter.

These sections should appear in order, but it can be hard to distinguish them. The only difference between them is the first element in the heading for all of the items in the section. For example, the heading of all external resources should start with [ext_resource .....]

Entries inside the file

A heading looks like: [<resource_type> key=value key=value key=value ...] Where resource_type is one of:

  • ext_resource
  • sub_resource
  • node
  • connection

Underneath every heading comes zero or more key = value pairs. The values can be complex datatypes such as arrays, transformations, colors, and so on. For example, a spatial node looks like:

[node name="Cube" type="Spatial" parent="."]
transform=Transform( 1.0, 0.0, 0.0 ,0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 )

The scene tree

The scene tree is made up of… nodes! The heading of each node consists of its name, parent and (most of the time) a type. For example [node type="Camera" name="PlayerCamera" parent="Player/Head"]

Other valid keywords include:

  • instance
  • instance_placeholder
  • owner
  • index (if two nodes have the same name)
  • groups

The first node in the file should not have the parent=Path/To/Node entry in it’s heading, and it is the scene root. All scene files should have exactly one scene root. It it does not, Godot will fail to import the file. The parent path of other nodes should be absolute, but without the scene root’s name. If it is a direct child of the scene root, it should be ".". Here is an example scene tree (but without any node content).

[node name="Player" type="Spatial"]             ; The scene root
[node name="Arm" parent="." type="Spatial"]     ; Parented to the scene root
[node name="Hand" parent="Arm" type="Spatial"]
[node name="Finger" parent="Arm/Hand" type="Spatial"]

Similar to the internal resource, the document for each node is currently incomplete. Fortunately it is easy to find out because you can simply save a file with that node in it. Some example nodes are:

[node  type="CollisionShape" name="SphereCollision" parent="SpherePhysics"]

shape = SubResource(8)
transform = Transform( 1.0 , 0.0 , -0.0 , 0.0 , -4.371138828673793e-08 , 1.0 , -0.0 , -1.0 , -4.371138828673793e-08 ,0.0 ,0.0 ,-0.0  )


[node  type="MeshInstance" name="Sphere" parent="SpherePhysics"]

mesh = SubResource(9)
transform = Transform( 1.0 , 0.0 , -0.0 , 0.0 , 1.0 , -0.0 , -0.0 , -0.0 , 1.0 ,0.0 ,0.0 ,-0.0  )


[node  type="OmniLight" name="Lamp" parent="."]

light_energy = 1.0
light_specular = 1.0
transform = Transform( -0.29086464643478394 , -0.7711008191108704 , 0.5663931369781494 , -0.05518905818462372 , 0.6045246720314026 , 0.7946722507476807 , -0.9551711678504944 , 0.199883371591568 , -0.21839118003845215 ,4.076245307922363 ,7.3235554695129395 ,-1.0054539442062378  )
omni_range = 30
shadow_enabled = true
light_negative = false
light_color = Color( 1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0 )


[node  type="Camera" name="Camera" parent="."]

projection = 0
near = 0.10000000149011612
fov = 50
transform = Transform( 0.6859206557273865 , -0.32401350140571594 , 0.6515582203865051 , 0.0 , 0.8953956365585327 , 0.44527143239974976 , -0.7276763319969177 , -0.3054208755493164 , 0.6141703724861145 ,14.430776596069336 ,10.093015670776367 ,13.058500289916992  )
far = 100.0

NodePath

A tree structure is not enough to represent the whole scene, Godot use a NodePath(Path/To/Node) structure to refer to another node or attribute of the node anywhere in the scene tree. Some typical usages of NodePath like mesh node use NodePath() to point to its skeleton, animation track use NodePath() points to animated attribute in node.

[node name="mesh" type="MeshInstance" parent="Armature001"]

mesh = SubResource(1)
skeleton = NodePath("..:")
[sub_resource id=3 type="Animation"]

...
tracks/0/type = "transform
tracks/0/path = NodePath("Cube:")
...

Skeleton

Skeleton node inherits Spatial node, besides that it may have a list of bones described in key, value pair in the format bones/Id/Attribute=Value, attributes of bone consists of

  • name
  • parent
  • rest
  • pose
  • enabled
  • bound_children
  1. name must put as the first attribute of each bone
  2. parent is the index of parent bone in the bone list, with parent index, the bone list is built to a bone tree
  3. rest is the transform matrix of bone in rest position
  4. pose is the pose matrix use rest as basis
  5. bound_children is a list of NodePath() points to BoneAttachments belong to this bone

An example of a skeleton node with two bones:

[node name="Skeleton" type="Skeleton" parent="Armature001" index="0"]

bones/0/name = "Bone.001"
bones/0/parent = -1
bones/0/rest = Transform( 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, -1, 0, 1, 0, 0.038694, 0.252999, 0.0877164 )
bones/0/pose = Transform( 1.0, 0.0, -0.0, 0.0, 1.0, -0.0, -0.0, -0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, -0.0 )
bones/0/enabled = true
bones/0/bound_children = [  ]
bones/1/name = "Bone.002"
bones/1/parent = 0
bones/1/rest = Transform( 0.0349042, 0.99939, 0.000512929, -0.721447, 0.0248417, 0.692024, 0.691589, -0.0245245, 0.721874, 0, 5.96046e-08, -1.22688 )
bones/1/pose = Transform( 1.0, 0.0, -0.0, 0.0, 1.0, -0.0, -0.0, -0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, -0.0 )
bones/1/enabled = true
bones/1/bound_children = [  ]

BoneAttachment

BoneAttachment node is an intermediate node to describe some node being parented to a single bone in Skeleton node. The BoneAttachment has a bone_name=NameOfBone, and the corresponding bone being the parent has the BoneAttachment node in its bound_children list.

An example of one MeshInstance parented to a bone in Skeleton:

[node name="Armature" type="Skeleton" parent="."]

transform = Transform(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, -0.0219986, 0.0125825, 0.0343127)
bones/0/name = "Bone"
bones/0/parent = -1
bones/0/rest = Transform(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, -1.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0)
bones/0/pose = Transform(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0)
bones/0/enabled = true
bones/0/bound_children = [NodePath("BoneAttachment:")]

[node name="BoneAttachment" type="BoneAttachment" parent="Armature"]

bone_name = "Bone"

[node name="Cylinder" type="MeshInstance" parent="Armature/BoneAttachment"]

mesh = SubResource(1)
transform = Transform(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.86265e-09, 1.0, 0.0, -1.0, 0.0, 0.0219986, -0.0343127, 2.25595)

AnimationPlayer

AnimationPlayer works as an animation lib. it has animations listed in the format anim/Name=SubResource(ResourceId), each refers to a Animation internal resource. All the animation resources use the root node of AnimationPlayer. The root node is stored as root_node=NodePath(Path/To/Node).

[node name="AnimationPlayer" type="AnimationPlayer" parent="." index="1"]

root_node = NodePath("..")
autoplay = ""
playback_process_mode = 1
playback_default_blend_time = 0.0
playback_speed = 1.0
anims/default = SubResource( 2 )
blend_times = [  ]

Resources

Resources are components that make up the nodes. For example, a MeshInstance node will have an accompanying ArrayMesh resource. The ArrayMesh resource may be either internal or external to the TSCN file.

References to the resources are handled by id numbers in the resources heading. External resources and internal resource are referred to with ExtResource(id) and SubResource(id). Because there have different methods to refer to internal and external resource, you can have the same ID for both an internal and external resource.

For example, to refer to the resource [ext_resource id=3 type="PackedScene" path=....] you would use ExtResource(3)

External resources

External resources are links to resources not contained within the TSCN file itself. An external resource consists of:

  • A path
  • A type
  • An ID

Godot always generates absolute paths relative to the resource directory and thus prefixed with res://, but paths relative to the TSCN file’s location are also valid.

Some example external resources are:

[ext_resource path="res://characters/player.dae" type="PackedScene" id=1]
[ext_resource path="metal.tres" type="Material" id=2]

Internal resources

A TSCN file can contain meshes, materials and other data, and these are contained in the internal resources section of the file. The heading for an internal resource looks similar to those of external resources, but does not have a path. Internal resources also have key=value pairs under each heading. For example, a capsule collision shape looks like:

[sub_resource  type="CapsuleShape" id=2]

radius = 0.5
height = 3.0

Some internal resource contain links to other internal resources (such as a mesh having a material). In this case, the referring resource must appear before the reference to it. Thus, in the internal resources section of the file, order does matter.

Unfortunately, documentation on the formats for these subresources is not complete, and while some can be found through inspecting resources of saved files, others can only be found by looking through Godot’s source.

ArrayMesh

ArrayMesh consists of several surfaces, each in the format surface\Index={}, each surface is a set of vertex and a material.

TSCN support two format of surface,

  1. for the old format, each surface has three essential keys:
  • primitive

  • arrays

  • morph_arrays

    1. primitive is an enumerate variable, primitive=4 which is PRIMITIVE_TRIANGLES is frequently used.
    2. arrays as the name suggests is an array of array, it contains:
      1. An array of vertex position
      2. Tangents array
      3. Vertex color array
      4. UV array 1
      5. UV array 2
      6. Bone index array
      7. Bone weight array
      8. Vertex index array
    3. morph_arrays is an array of morph, each morph is exactly an arrays without vertex index array.

An example of ArrayMesh:

[sub_resource id=1 type="ArrayMesh"]

surfaces/0 = {
    "primitive":4,
    "arrays":[
        Vector3Array(0.0, 1.0, -1.0, 0.866025, -1.0, -0.5, 0.0, -1.0, -1.0, 0.866025, 1.0, -0.5, 0.866025, -1.0, 0.5, 0.866025, 1.0, 0.5, -8.74228e-08, -1.0, 1.0, -8.74228e-08, 1.0, 1.0, -0.866025, -1.0, 0.5, -0.866025, 1.0, 0.5, -0.866025, -1.0, -0.5, -0.866025, 1.0, -0.5),
        Vector3Array(0.0, 0.609973, -0.792383, 0.686239, -0.609973, -0.396191, 0.0, -0.609973, -0.792383, 0.686239, 0.609973, -0.396191, 0.686239, -0.609973, 0.396191, 0.686239, 0.609973, 0.396191, 0.0, -0.609973, 0.792383, 0.0, 0.609973, 0.792383, -0.686239, -0.609973, 0.396191, -0.686239, 0.609973, 0.396191, -0.686239, -0.609973, -0.396191, -0.686239, 0.609973, -0.396191),
        null, ; No Tangents,
        null, ; no Vertex Colors,
        null, ; No UV1,
        null, ; No UV2,
        null, ; No Bones,
        null, ; No Weights,
        IntArray(0, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4, 5, 4, 6, 7, 6, 8, 0, 5, 9, 9, 8, 10, 11, 10, 2, 1, 10, 8, 0, 1, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 5, 0, 3, 0, 9, 11, 9, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 11, 2, 0, 10, 1, 2, 1, 6, 4, 6, 1, 8)
    ],
    "morph_arrays":[]
}

Animation

An animation resource consists of tracks. Besides, it has ‘length’, ‘loop’ and ‘step’ applied to all the tracks.

  • length
  • loop
  • step
  1. length and step are both time in seconds

Each track is described by a list of (key, value) pairs in the format tracks/Id/Attribute, it includes:

  • type
  • path
  • interp
  • keys
  • loop_wrap
  • imported
  • enabled
  1. The type must be put as the first attribute of each track. The value of type can be:

    • ‘transform’
    • ‘value’
    • ‘method’
  2. The path has the format NodePath(Path/To/Node:Attribute). It is the path from animation root node (property of AnimationPlayer) to the animated node or attribute.

  3. The interp is the method to interpolate frames from the keyframes. it is a enum variable and can has value:

    • 0 (constant)
    • 1 (linear)
    • 2 (cubic)
  4. The keys is the keyframes, it appears as a PoolRealArray() but have different structure for track with different type

    • A transform track use every 12 real number in the keys to describte a keyframe. The first number is the timestamp, the second number is the transition (default 1.0 in transform track), followed by a three number translation vector, followed by four number rotation quaternion (x,y,z,w) and finally a three number scale vector.
[sub_resource type="Animation" id=2]

length = 4.95833
loop = false
step = 0.1
tracks/0/type = "transform"
tracks/0/path = NodePath("Armature001")
tracks/0/interp = 1
tracks/0/loop_wrap = true
tracks/0/imported = true
tracks/0/enabled = true
tracks/0/keys = PoolRealArray( 0, 1, -0.0358698, -0.829927, 0.444204, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0.815074, 0.815074, 0.815074, 4.95833, 1, -0.0358698, -0.829927, 0.444204, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0.815074, 0.815074, 0.815074 )
tracks/1/type = "transform"
tracks/1/path = NodePath("Armature001/Skeleton:Bone.001")
tracks/1/interp = 1
tracks/1/loop_wrap = true
tracks/1/imported = true
tracks/1/enabled = false
tracks/1/keys = PoolRealArray( 0, 1, 0, 5.96046e-08, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4.95833, 1, 0, 5.96046e-08, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1 )