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3DSMax and panda .x export to DX app anomalies

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I've also posted this in the artwork section but thought it might also apply here: Hi ya, through trial and error I have spotted some anomalies with the panda .x exporter for 3D Studio max that can be avoided and some that I'm not so sure about. First I will list some that can be avoided to hopefully help some people. SCALING - do not scale your models in 3D Studio max to make them small in your DX app because it will export the scaling matrix along with the model so if you work out the radius in your code for collisions but the model is in fact 0.1 times scaled then your model will collide with things as if it was 10 times bigger. Use a scaling factor in your code because you can then apply this to anything model related. CLONING/MIRROR BONES - DONT DO IT. Took me ages to figure this one out but panda doesn't like it, I used to bone half of a human then clone and mirror the limbs round to the other side to get them perfect but you have to re bone the other side from scratch else it looks like you model has been run over by truck in your DX app but it'll look fine in 3D Studio max. MAPPING - always use UVW map modifier to edit maps, panda will just ignore anything you do with maps in the material editor. For example rotations, iterations that sort of stuff. Reflections and all the stuff will also be ignored, you have to use HLSL to do that stuff. SKINNING - If you make a bone have control of too many vertices then panda will do some strange stuff like protrude a face really far out and move it with a bone completely un related. I think it must get confused or something. If it happens just try and stick some more bones in but it doesn't always work so if someone knows why else it does it then please tell me. MODIFIERS - I have always found it is best to collapse all the modifiers apart from the skinning, if you are using symmetry, mesh smooth (although you shouldn't be using it!), mesh select, that sort of stuff then collapse them all down, even the UVW Map (don't worry it'll still retain its texture coordinates), panda likes to turn faces inside out and stuff like that else. ANIMATION - less is more! Sticking 70 million key frames in your time line is never a good idea, it will just mess your model up and probably would whatever exporter you use. Also use bones and skinning if you wanna get it working with those DX samples in the DX SDK. EXPORT - In order to get it to work with those wonderful DX samples there are some key settings that I have noticed make a big difference. Inline, make sure its off, it plays with vertices for some reason, don't know what it does exactly but I find its better to have it off. Include animations and bones if you are exporting an animated mesh. Use Position, Scale & Rotate, not sure what the difference is to 'Matrix', they both must be matrices, its a bit ambiguous but it seems to work better. 3DS Max ticks, can someone tell me the key to this please? I always use max ticks else it doesnt work but i don't understand what the sample rate does. If your animation is stopping to soon or going on too long then you've got the sample rate and start/end time ratio wrong. LH axis, will depend on if you’re working with RH or LH axis but it will probably be LH so turn it on, it just changes the orientation of the model. With all this in mind my model still sometimes mess up in my DX app, it'll play fine a few times then it might jump slightly then carry on fine. Some vertices still like to misbehave, the heal skin moves with the toe bone instead of the heal bone, that sort of stuff. Some faces mess up and look like the models got some shrapnel stuck in it. Does anyone know why else PANDA .X files like to do strange stuff or is it just the nature of a free exporter? Thank you very much, Andy

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Without reading through all your findings, you might want to take the KWXporter for a spin. I haven't used it myself, but from what I hear it isn't quite as stubborn as Panda.

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Nice one. I was just looking for a .X exported for 3ds max and this has being very enlightening. Top notch.

Regards,
Adam

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I have some experience with both Panda And kwXport.
They are both not perfect.They both have problems with modified object pivots,so don't modify the pivots of your objects.
If your pivot is not at the origin because of some modifications in editable poly mode setting the pivot of the object to 0,0,0 again helps alot.
I noticed animations when pivot is somewhere else animates around strange pivots.

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