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ASE files and bone animation

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Hello I''m currently working as a graphics programmer with Wildfire Games on their title 0AD, which is a historical RTS (www.wildfiregames.com) Now I have been doing a bit of research on models, looking for the most suitable file format to work with. I have previously implemented a bone animation system which loads Milkshape 3D ASCII files (which are then converted into my own binary format) and works nicely. However I''m investigating the possibility of other file formats which we can export from 3DS MAX. Anyway I played around with 3DS MAX 3 for a bit and unfortunately none of the formats seem to be documented well anywhere, and also bone based animations are not supported by most files formats it seems. The only file format which looked easy enough to read, and also included bone info nicely was .ASE (ASCII Scene Export) files. There was however one problem: While the ASE files have the bone information, their heirachy and relative orientations, there does not seem to be any information in the file which indicates which meshes are attached to which bones. In Milkshape 3D ASCII files, for example, each vertex has an index to the bone it is attached to, but in .ASE files I can''t find any such information (which in effect makes the bones useless). Can anyone explain to me if ASE files indeed include all information required for bone animation? Where can I find a good/complete explanation of ASE files Also I have been reading in many places that my best option is to write my own exporting plugin using MAX Script. I don''t know how feasible that would be but for the worst case scenario, could anyone give me links to any resources on how to work with MAX Script? Thanks, Poya

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