Basic Rajawali3D Tutorial for Android

This tutorial will help you setup a basic 3D scene in Android using the Rajawali 3D library. There are not a lot of tutorials out there for the more recent versions of the framework, and there are some changes you need to be aware of.

In the past, Rajawali worked by allowing you to render 3D and 2D scenes in an extended activity and then later in an extended fragment. A lot has changed since then and since their last official release, 0.9. Rajawali now uses two classes, RajawaliSurfaceView and RajawaliTextureView to display the renderer to the user.

If you have no clue what I am talking about, then that’s fine. This tutorial assumes you don’t know much.

Start the Project


Let’s start by making a project. Open up Android Studio and click on “New Project….” in the File Menu. Let’s call our project “RajawaliBasicProject”.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 11.56.15 AM


Next we can just choose the default Android Version and choose “Blank Activity” as our activity. We can keep the name “MainActivity” as our activity name.

Get Rajawali From Maven and into your Android Studio Project


Next, we want to to get Rajawali into our project. We are going to do this using Maven. This should work for the latest version of Rajawali, but you might have to change out your version for another one. If you cannot find the version, try looking in the RajawaliExamples gradle dependencies in Github or from where they host the Maven package.

In your build.gradle (Project: RajawaliBasicProject) file, we need to add a few lines.

Notice the addition of  mavenCentral() and maven { url “” }. This will allow Android Studio to connect to this Maven Server to retrieve a library.

Now we need to add a line to build.gradle (Module: app).

This is where my note from earlier about retrieving the build version might come in handy. We added the line compile ‘org.rajawali3d:rajawali:1.0.186-SNAPSHOT@aar’.

Now we should see a note at the top asking you the sync the gradle. Click Sync Now and it should build. If it does not, you might want to recheck your code.

Setting Up Our Scene


We are going to make a simple scene of the Earth rotating much like the older, basic Rajawali tutorial on their Github, only with their new code. First, we need to extend the Rajawali Renderer class. Let’s create a new class where our MainActivity is.



Name the class Renderer.

First, after public class Renderer we add extends RajawaliRenderer to make our class a subclass of RajawaliRenderer. Android Studio is going to yell at you a bit to tell you that you also need to implement some methods that the interface demands. It also might yell at you a bit about importing RajawaliRenderer. If you don’t have auto importing turned on, then you will need to add the import statements. Let’s fix these issues.

Now it is probably yelling at you about a default constructor and an initScene() method. Let’s start off by adding our constructor. We need a variable to hold our context as well, so we will add that.

Next we need to add some variables for our scene and get our picture. Feel free to use any texture you want, but you can find the earth texture here. Let’s add a Sphere object and a DirectionLight object to our scene.

And let’s go ahead and add our texture to the project. Right click on the res folder and click on New > Android Resource Directory and put in drawable-nodpi like the image below.



You can now drag the image to your folder. If you do not see the new directory (I didn’t on my Mac), then you might have to right click the res folder and click on Reveal in Finder and copy the file manually. It should show up in Android studio when you do. Windows will probably have a similar option like Reveal in Explorer.

Now we are ready to build our scene. We will do this in a new method called initScene(). Let’s create that method and get our lighting set up.

This will be called when we start the renderer. We set directionalLight to a new DirectionalLight and we adjust the color and the power. Then we add it to our scene.

Next, we want to set up the material for our Sphere. Add these lines after the code for adding our directionalLight.

First we create a new Material called material. We enable lighting on it and give it a material type of Diffuse (material types are outside the scope of this blog post). We then set its color.

Then we create a new Texture called texture and give it our earth picture in the constructor. Then we add texture to material in a try-catch block to avoid any errors. Now we have our material ready to go.

Finally, we instantiate our Sphere and give it the material we just created. We add it to the scene, and set the camera back so we can view the scene.

 Animating the Scene


Now we add a simple animation to the scene using an onRender method. This will make our Earth rotate.

Rendering the Scene in Our MainActivity


That should be it for our simple scene. Now we need to go to MainActivity and render it there. First, we need to add a renderer to the activity. Then, we need to add some code to onCreate. Here is what you should have at the top of MainActivity.

The main thing to focus on here is the RajawaliSurfaceView. This class extends GLSurfaceView and let’s you add our Renderer to it, making it appear in our activity. We are able to set up some variables for our surface, and instantiate our Renderer scene and add it to the surface.

That’s it! Let’s run the program and see what we get.


The Earth should rotate and you should be good to go! If not, please feel free to ask any questions here or on the Rajawali Google+ community. You can also find the source code on Github here:




14 thoughts on “Basic Rajawali3D Tutorial for Android

  1. Hi, and thank’s for your very usefull tutorial 🙂
    I tried your code and it worked very well, but after it i tried the same (with same texture and material but with loading an OBJ file :

    LoaderOBJ parser = new LoaderOBJ(getContext().getResources(), mTextureManager,
    try {
    } catch (ParsingException e) {
    obj = parser.getParsedObject();

    But it giving me an error :

    I/Rajawali﹕ Parsing object: Object7469
    I/Rajawali﹕ Object7469 has no material definition.
    E/Rajawali﹕ [org.rajawali3d.Object3D] This object can't render because there's no material attached to it.

    I searched a lot on internet, but it seem there is a very little community with Rajawali, and i can’t find a solution …
    Thank’s in advance

    • Hmmm, I don’t have time right now to test it, but it looks like you need to put obj.setMaterial(Material) above the parser line. Try that and let me know if it works!

      • Thank’s a lot for your very fast reply 🙂
        I tried it and it doesn’t work …
        Maybe when it’s an OBJ file we can’t use jpg texture ?

        • With obj you can use jpg and png(tested). The issue here would be the Obj file and its associated mtl . You are expected to put these files in res/raw of your project. After that replace .obj with _obj and .mtl with _mtl. Example, if I have cool.obj, it should be renamed to cool_obj .
          After doing the above, you may encounter issues with the resources. If that’s the case, open your obj file, search for the line with mtlib and remove any occurrence of ‘ ./ ‘ (full stop and forward slash). Example, if I had “mtlib ./cool.mtl”, I replace with “mtlib cool.mtl”

          • Thank you man !! You helped me a lot !! 😀
            Wish it will help other peoples 🙂

          • Thank you for helping others! Glad it worked out.

    • Hey John,
      I am! Sorry I have a Mid Term and a project due today, and I also had a job interview earlier this week, so I have been pretty busy. I apologize for my lack of response. I am going to try and look at this soon. Do you mind maybe pushing it to git or at least your main files to pastebin so I can take a look at it?

  2. I am having the same problem as John. The OBJ is loading but the texture isn’t … Can you help? Also John if you are able to solve it by now can you help?

  3. Hey man, thanks a lot for your tutorial, struggled to find a good explanation and your’s is on spot, thanks to you I managed to get the Rajawali thingie working. Thanks a lot 🙂

    • No problem! Did you find the tutorial to still be up to date? Thanks for your compliment.

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