Panda3D alternatives and similar libraries
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Panda3D is a game engine, a framework for 3D rendering and game development for Python and C++ programs. Panda3D is open-source and free for any purpose, including commercial ventures, thanks to its liberal license. To learn more about Panda3D's capabilities, visit the gallery and the feature list. To learn how to use Panda3D, check the documentation resources. If you get stuck, ask for help from our active community.
Panda3D is licensed under the Modified BSD License. See the LICENSE file for more details.
The latest Panda3D SDK can be downloaded from this page. If you are familiar with installing Python packages, you can use the following comand:
pip install panda3d
The easiest way to install the latest development build of Panda3D into an existing Python installation is using the following command:
pip install --pre --extra-index-url https://archive.panda3d.org/ panda3d
If this command fails, please make sure your version of pip is up-to-date.
If you prefer to install the full SDK with all tools, the latest development builds can be obtained from this page.
These are automatically kept up-to-date with the latest GitHub version of Panda.
You can build Panda3D with the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 or 2017 compiler, which can be downloaded for free from the Visual Studio site. You will also need to install the Windows 10 SDK, and if you intend to target Windows XP, you will also need the Windows 7.1 SDK.
You will also need to have the third-party dependency libraries available for the build scripts to use. These are available from one of these two URLs, depending on whether you are on a 32-bit or 64-bit system, or you can click here for instructions on building them from source.
After acquiring these dependencies, you may simply build Panda3D from the
command prompt using the following command. (Change
14 if you are
using Visual C++ 2015 instead of 2017. Add the
--windows-sdk=10 option if
you don't need to support Windows XP and did not install the Windows 7.1 SDK.)
makepanda\makepanda.bat --everything --installer --msvc-version=14.1 --no-eigen --threads=2
When the build succeeds, it will produce an .exe file that you can use to install Panda3D on your system.
Note: you may choose to remove --no-eigen and build with Eigen support in order to improve runtime performance. However, this will cause the build to take hours to complete, as Eigen is a heavily template-based library, and the the MSVC compiler does not perform well under these circumstances.
Building Panda3D on Linux is easy. All you need is to invoke the makepanda script using the version of Python that you want Panda3D to be built against.
Run makepanda.py with the --help option to see which options are available. Usually, you will want to specify the --everything option (which builds with support for all features for which it detects the prerequisite dependencies) and the --installer option (which produces an installable .deb or .rpm file for you to install, depending on your distribution).
The following command illustrates how to build Panda3D with some common options:
python makepanda/makepanda.py --everything --installer --no-egl --no-gles --no-gles2 --no-opencv
You will probably see some warnings saying that it's unable to find several dependency packages. You should determine which ones you want to include in your build and install the respective development packages. You may visit this manual page for an overview of the various dependencies.
If you are on Ubuntu, this command should cover the most frequently used third-party packages:
sudo apt-get install build-essential pkg-config fakeroot python-dev libpng-dev libjpeg-dev libtiff-dev zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libx11-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libxrandr-dev libxxf86dga-dev libxcursor-dev bison flex libfreetype6-dev libvorbis-dev libeigen3-dev libopenal-dev libode-dev libbullet-dev nvidia-cg-toolkit libgtk2.0-dev libassimp-dev libopenexr-dev
Once Panda3D has built, you can either install the .deb or .rpm package that it produced, depending on which Linux distribution you are using. For example, to install the package on Debian or Ubuntu, use this:
sudo dpkg -i panda3d*.deb
If you are not using a Linux distribution that supports .deb or .rpm packages, you
may have to use the installpanda.py script instead, which will directly copy the
files into the appropriate locations on your computer. You may have to run the
ldconfig tool in order to update your library cache after installing Panda3D.
Alternatively, you can add the
--wheel option, which will produce a .whl
file that can be installed into a Python installation using
On macOS, you will need to download a set of precompiled thirdparty packages in order to compile Panda3D, which can be acquired from here.
After placing the thirdparty directory inside the panda3d source directory, you may build Panda3D using a command like the following:
python makepanda/makepanda.py --everything --installer
You may target a specific minimum macOS version using the --osxtarget flag followed by the release number, eg. 10.7 or 10.9.
If the build was successful, makepanda will have generated a .dmg file in the source directory containing the installer. Simply open it and run the package file in order to install the SDK onto your system.
Building on FreeBSD is very similar to building on Linux. You will need to install the requisite packages using the system package manager. To install the recommended set of dependencies, you can use this command:
pkg install pkgconf bison png jpeg-turbo tiff freetype2 harfbuzz eigen squish openal opusfile libvorbis libX11 mesa-libs ode bullet assimp openexr
You will also need to choose which version of Python you want to use.
Install the appropriate package for it (such as
run the makepanda script with your chosen Python version:
python3.6 makepanda/makepanda.py --everything --installer --no-egl --no-gles --no-gles2
If successful, this will produce a .pkg file in the root of the source
directory which you can install using
Note: building on Android is very experimental and not guaranteed to work.
You can experimentally build the Android Python runner via the termux shell. You will need to install Termux and Termux API from the Play Store. Many of the dependencies can be installed by running the following command in the Termux shell:
pkg install python-dev termux-tools ndk-stl ndk-sysroot clang libvorbis-dev libopus-dev opusfile-dev openal-soft-dev freetype-dev harfbuzz-dev libpng-dev ecj4.6 dx patchelf aapt apksigner libcrypt-dev
Then, you can build and install the .apk right away using these commands:
python makepanda/makepanda.py --everything --target android-21 --no-tiff --installer xdg-open panda3d.apk
To launch a Python program from Termux, you can use the
panda/src/android directory. It will launch Python in a separate
activity, load it with the Python script you passed as argument, and use a
socket for returning the command-line output to the Termux shell. Do note
that this requires the Python application to reside on the SD card and that
Termux needs to be set up with access to the SD card (using the
and run the
pytest command. If you have not installed Panda3D, you will
need to configure your enviroment by pointing the
PYTHONPATH variable at
built directory. On Linux, you will also need to point the
LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable at the
As a convenience, you can alternatively pass the
--tests option to makepanda.
If you encounter any bugs when using Panda3D, please report them in the bug tracker. This is hosted at:
Make sure to first use the search function to see if the bug has already been reported. When filling out a bug report, make sure that you include as much information as possible to help the developers track down the issue, such as your version of Panda3D, operating system, architecture, and any code and models that are necessary for the developers to reproduce the issue.
If you're not sure whether you've encountered a bug, feel free to ask about it in the forums or the IRC channel first.
Supporting the Project
If you would like to support the project financially, visit our campaign on OpenCollective. Your contributions help us accelerate the development of Panda3D.
For the list of backers, see the [BACKERS.md](BACKERS.md) file or visit the Sponsors page on our web site. Thank you to everyone who has donated!
*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Panda3D README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.