Third-party dependencies and license info

License Info

While Panda3D itself uses the Modified BSD license, it brings together many third-party libraries released under different licenses. This page provides information on the different libraries and their licenses. Panda3D builds with some of these libraries by default, however, some of them are linked only into plug-ins that can be easily removed from the distribution.


Panda3D takes no responsibility for any act committed using the information presented here. For legal advice, it is recommended to consult a lawyer.

Building Panda3D

When building Panda3D yourself on your computer you’ll notice that looks up if you have some libraries installed. On operating systems with a packaging system, like most GNU/Linux distros have, you’ll most likely find all dependencies as packages in the official repositories. Otherwise you have to take care of the libraries yourself.

Here you have a list of all third party libraries Panda3D must or can be compiled against. All of them are optional, but some features of Panda3D depend on certain libraries being available; omitting certain libraries will omit the corresponding features from Panda3D.



As of Panda3D 1.10.0, Panda3D can make use of the Open Asset Importer library to read in additional 3D file formats (see Supported Model Formats). A list of file formats supported by Assimp can be found here.

License: BSD license


As of Panda3D 1.10.0, Panda3D can make use of the libopusfile library to read .opus audio files. This is a higher-quality alternative to lossy formats such as .ogg and .mp3 that is not restricted by patents.

License: 3-clause BSD

Patent note: Must agree not to litigate against other Opus users.


Library for video and audio. Required to load and play video textures. As of Panda3D 1.9.0, libp3ffmpeg.dll is an optional module that can be easily removed, and is no longer required for .ogg and .wav files.

License: LGPL

License note: Must link dynamically.

Patent note: using MP3 files and other formats may require you to pay royalty fees. Please use .ogg or .opus instead.


FMOD Ex is a proprietary audio library that supports various effects and surround sound. You must have one of FMOD or OpenAL to build support for Panda’s sound interfaces. (However, you can use external sound libraries such as pygame, even without these two.)

License: Proprietary

License note: Non-commercial distribution costs nothing. Commercial distribution costs between US$100 and US$6000 depending on FMOD licensing option.

Bullet Physics

Physics Library.

License: zlib license

Open Dynamics Engine (ODE)

One of the most versatile, free physics engines.

License: LGPL or Modified BSD License


OpenGL for embedded systems: GLES (, EGL ( libraries.

3ds Max SDK

Used to create exporters for Autodesk 3ds Max.

License: Proprietary.

Maya SDK

The necessary libraries are part of the Maya installation. From Maya 2016.5 onward, the headers are also part of the Maya installation; before, they were provided separately as part of a “devkit”.

Used to create exporters for Maya.

License: Proprietary.


Library for rendering trees.

License: Proprietary.


C++ user interface middleware package based on the HTML and CSS standards. Panda3D’s libRocket bindings are deprecated.

License: MIT License


An alternate library that provides support for video textures and webcam, similar to FFMPEG. This is only really useful on macOS, where this is the only way to get support for webcam input.

License: BSD license


FCollada is an open-source C++ library which offers support for COLLADA interoperability. It is used by the dae2egg utility, which converts COLLADA files into Egg files. See Converting to Egg.

The FCollada library is discontinued and no longer being maintained. Support will likely be removed in a future version of Panda3D.

License: MIT License


Fast Fourier Transforms library for lossy animation compression in bam files. Compressed animation files may be as small as 10% of the uncompressed animation, but this is only an on-disk and/or download savings.

Use of fftw in Panda is deprecated. We do not recommend using it in new projects and we recommend converting existing compressed animations to lossless format.

License: GPL2 or Proprietary

License note: To distribute under a proprietary license, GPL must not be used, and FFTW proprietary license must be purchased.


A library for augmented reality. It makes possible detecting 3D planes in live webcam video streams and applying 3D geometry to those, for integrating 3D graphics with a live video feed.

License: GPL or Proprietary

License note: To distribute under a proprietary license, GPL must not be used, and ARToolKit proprietary license must be purchased.


Virtual-Reality Peripheral Network, for using a range of different types of trackers and controllers with Panda3D.

License: as of July 22, 2010, future versions of VRPN (versions 7.27 and higher) are being released under the Boost Software License 1.0

Prior versions were released into the public domain.

Build Tools (for compilation only)


General-purpose parser generator.


The Fast Lexical Analyzer.

Patent Restriction Issues


MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3), while commonly used and since 2017 with expired patent and licensing, is recommended against. More modern and better suited audio encodings have been developed and should be used instead.


Other MPEG related formats are restricted by patents as well. Finding the prices of licenses for these formats is not even as easy as it was with MP3.