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Nayem

File Format of .max files or comparably useful 3D model

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Nayem    100
First of all, forgive me if this question has been asked before. I did look though... I'm trying to learn how to manually load 3D model files into an application for a project I'm working on. But I can't find any information on how to do this, and don't really know of any libraries on how to extract the data. Does anybody know how to determine the file structure of a .max file? Information on another accesible model file would be appreciated as well. I just need to get started. Muchos Gracias,

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Daaark    3553
.max is a closed file format, and it's contents are only useful to 3DS Max anyways. You can export to FBX and use the free FBX SDK to read or convert your files.

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Schrompf    1035
Queue my usual Open Asset Import Library link here. It loads a broad range of 3D file formats, at least those which are accessible. As Daaark already stated, .max is a closed format, and it surely has a decent complexity to support all the objects, operations and modifiers that 3DSMax offers. So it's not a good candidate to read into your application.

From all the formats Assimp supports, I usually use Collada. Collada has a nice range of export plugins, most of them producing valid files. FBX is also nicely supported by exporter plugins, but Assimp does not yet support FBX loading. Apart from that you could use DirectX .x files using the famous kwXPort plugin for 3DSMax or the old .3ds format, or Lightwave object files .obj (static scenes only)

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M4573R    144
I use the FBX sdk for my game and I can tell you that it is fairly trivial for static meshes. However if you want to load animations it gets fairly annoying. Fortunately I had a sample program to work off of. If you're exporting meshes from 3DS max, you run into the problem of multiple animations. Either you manually segment up your time line at set intervals, or you have 1 animation per FBX file and manually merge them.

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Nayem    100
Thank you very much all of you. I guess I'll drop the max files and work on something else. I'll probably look into the .obj files as well as Assimp and Collada.

As one more question,
Does anybody have a particular recommendation for a modeling program that has no commercial licensing fee?

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