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Funkymunky

3D Studio Max Files

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Hi, I have a working 3ds loader, and was wondering about the .max file format. My friend, an artist, tells me that max files store a whole lot more information, not just the vertex data. My question is, is he right? Is it worth figuring out how to load one of these files? Furthermore, say I want to use an object created in 3d studio max commercially. Do I need to buy rights to load 3ds or max files? How about if I write a conversion program which writes my own file format? Thanks in advance!

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I think something was posted before on using the MAX format and one of the replies, IIRC, was that the format contains executable code that MAX interprets and you''d have to write a virtual machine and bytecode compiler and whole bunch of other stuff.

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That''s right, you better forget about the .max format. It is dependent on MAX-internal closed source. The 3ds format is different, of course, and pretty well documented. The best thing you can do, is write an exporter plugin for your own format. All major 3D packages have SDKs for that.

Flexporter might be a good starting point.

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The way most developers handle this problem is not to writer an importer for MAX format, but write a plug-in in MAX that can export to the format you prefer (probably your own). Then you can get all the info out of MAX you want while still using well-defined APIs. And of course this way you will have no problems using the format commercially since you made the format yourself.

Jacob Marner, M.Sc.
Console Programmer, Deadline Games

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