glTF (GL Transmission Format) is an open project by Khronos providing a common, extensible format for 3D assets that is both efficient and highly interoperable with modern web technologies.

The gltf-model component loads a 3D model using a glTF (.gltf or .glb) file.

Note that glTF is a fairly new specification and adoption is still growing. Work on the three.js glTF loader and converters are still active.

Table of Contents

Why use glTF?

In comparison to the older OBJ format, which supports only vertices, normals, texture coordinates, and basic materials, glTF provides a more powerful set of features. In addition to all of the above, glTF offers:

  • Hierarchical objects
  • Scene information (light sources, cameras)
  • Skeletal structure and animation
  • More robust materials and shaders

For simple models with no animation, OBJ is nevertheless a common and reliable choice.

In comparison to COLLADA, the supported features are very similar. However, because glTF focuses on providing a “transmission format” rather than an editor format, it is more interoperable with web technologies. By analogy, the .PSD (Adobe Photoshop) format is helpful for editing 2D images, but images are converted to .JPG for use on the web. In the same way, glTF is a simpler way of transmitting 3D assets while rendering the same result.

In short, expect glTF models to work with A-Frame more reliably than COLLADA models.


Load a glTF model by pointing to an asset that specifies the src for a glTF file.

<a-asset-item id="tree" src="/path/to/tree.gltf"></a-asset-item>
<a-entity gltf-model="#tree"></a-entity>


selectorSelector to an <a-asset-item>
stringurl()-enclosed path to a glTF file


Event NameDescription
model-loadedglTF model has been loaded into the scene.

Loading Inline

Alternatively, load a glTF model by specifying the path directly within url(). However, the scene won’t wait for the resource to load before rendering.

<a-entity gltf-model="url(/path/to/tree.gltf)"></a-entity>

More Resources

The glTF format is fairly new, and few editors will export a .gltf file directly. Instead, various converters are available or in progress:

See the official glTF specification for available features, community resources, and ways to contribute.