jPLY - Java PLY File Format Library

jPLY is a library to read PLY files in a simple way. It has complete support for all features offered by the PLY format. jPLY is using the Apache 2 License so feel free to use it for open or closed source projects.

Get your bearings:

  • How to get it? Download links and instructions for Maven users.
  • Manual A quickstart manual on how jPLY works.
  • JavaDoc jPLY is fully documented, use it!
  • PLY Format A short description what (and in which structure) might be stored in PLY files. Read this if you want to know if PLY is the right format for your needs. It is not a specification of the file format but a more high-level description.
  • Console Demo a very small demo application reading a PLY file and dumping some of the information in it to the console.
  • LWJGL Demo a OpenGL demo showing how to use jPLY to render a PLY model.
  • Something unclear? Just open a ticket.
  • And of course feel free to contribute! The source is on GitHub.

What is PLY, and when to use it?

PLY is a file format designed to store polygon meshes. Other than formats such as COLLADA that can describe complete scenes, PLY only stores meshes.

This simplicity makes PLY attractive where the complexity of COLLADA or VRML would be troubling. For example when developing demo application or when testing 3D applications in the early developing stage one needs a simple and reliable way to load geometry.

The PLY format is great in such use-cases since it is simple enough that it can be written by hand if one needs to test a particular geometry. But there is also a huge collection of PLY files available in the Internet, ranging from an eight vertex cube to multi-billion triangle scans of Michelangelo statues. The famous Stanford bunny and the Utah teapot are of course also available.