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Exellion

3D Studio Max's .max-format

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Exellion    122
Hi! I''ve been looking for some kind of documentation on the .max-format used by 3ds max, but I cant find anything on it in the helpfiles. I tried wotsit.org as well, but they didn''t have it. Some help would be great! Oh, and while I''m at it, is there any particularly good format to use for storing 3d-models (animated as well as static) or could I just make one myself without losing too much space or performace?

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noisecrime    817
As far as I know Discreet has never (and will never) disclose the max file format. They want to keep it protected.

However you can find info on the 3ds file format and a host of others that export from 3DS max.

As to the best format to store models, then usually that would be your own, tailored to whatever your project is. You can of course use existing formats from .3ds, .obj, to vrml etc, which whilst they are useful especially for getting models exported from most 3D apps, eventually you will alwyas have to convert them into the internal format you are using.


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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
yes .3ds is exactly for that. You wouldn''t want to try and integrate .max files with your games anyway. Think of all the extraneous info in a max file, there''s all the modifier stack, render and environment information. the 3ds file format will retain animation and textures.

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Nik02    4348
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
How exactly does animation work in .3dds files?


'Animation' is just a bunch of splines stored in the file...

EDIT: to clarify, animation is stored as series of keyframe parameters.
For example, on rotation, the keyframe data contains a quaternion (or a rotation matrix).

When used, i assume most games use spline interpolation between keyframes to drive the transformation systems known as 'animation'. The spline interpolation is not a requirement, though; it's just the most common way of using keyframes.

[edited by - Nik02 on August 15, 2003 8:03:55 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
i''ve read about the keyframe chunk. What exactly could i find in this chunk. A few splines? And what would i use to extract the infomation from the splines?

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Nik02    4348
One 'spline' is, in this case, formed from series of keyframes.
Each keyframe consists of the value destined for that keyframe (it may contain a position or a rotation, for example), and the time point where it's effective.

Now, by interpolating across this 'spline' by time, you obtain the result of the keyframe track (or 'animation track' in Max).
Then you just use the interpolated value to drive some variable you want to change, normally the geometry transformation logic of the engine you are using.

EDIT:
Sorry, can't help you with 3ds file format, but there are very comprehensive references in net...
It does store time/value pairs as i just described.

[edited by - Nik02 on August 15, 2003 10:46:00 AM]

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spg    122
There is a decent tutorial (I think they may call it a lab) on sparks.discreet.com on writing a MAX exporter.

-- Steve --

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