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how to read a .MAX file directly?

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You don''t really. It doesn''t make sense to read the MAX file.

The reason is that many of the modifiers don''t actually modify the MAX model. Instead, the MAX file will store the original geometry + parameters for the modifier. For example, if you have a model and you apply the twist modifier, the MAX file will contain the original geometry plus instructions for twist.

Long story short - use a different file format.

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i think you''re searching for this:
http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1259.asp

"Researching potentials means creating mental models of things that don''''t exist." S.Lem

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