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Max Format

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Its my understanding that the latest version of 3d max doesn''t use the 3ds format anymore it uses the .max format or something. I seem to be only able to find 3ds loaders/tutorials. Anyone know where info on this format can be found?

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Guest Anonymous Poster

From an older post about exactly this topic:

Perhaps you should search the forum for exactly this topic, it pops up every week or so.

To summarize: you *cannot* load .max files ! Don''t even try to find something on the net, you won''t. .max is a proprietary fileformat of Discreet, and it does *not* contain mesh, animation, or geometry in any way. It contains *code*. Infact, microcode for the modifiers, it''s a meta-fileformat that explains 3DSmax how to create the scene using it''s internal geometry builders.

A sample max file can contain this:

- Create 2 spheres, with the following parameters: blah, blah...
- Apply a mesh select modifier on the following parts: blah...
- Deform by a NURBS defined by the following control points: ...
- Make a boolean difference operation between following objects: ...

etc. NO geometry. NO animation. Just an instruction list. And to read it you would need the source of 3DSMax or rewrite 3DSmax on your own...

Stay with the 3ds format, or if it doesn''t suit your needs, create your own format including an exporter plugin.

- AH

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.max is the format that's used by 3ds max itself. It contains a lot of information that your game doesn't need (modifier stack state, etc.). In fact, it'd be difficult, if not impossible, to extract useful information from it (like meshes, etc.). There's no reason for you to use a .max file yourself.

.3ds is the standard export format for 3dsmax. It *does* contain the kind of information your game will use. Unless you want to write your own exporter (which is the best solution most of the time, and not that hard to do), use it.

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Microsoft also makes a X file exporter plugin for max ( in the directx SDK extras). Since direct X makes it very easy to write code to load X files (and then have access to all the raw data in memory), you may want to look into this as a way to convert files to your own format, even if you are not going to use direct X.

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