After so many years of using 3DS max I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to use Max all the time. I want to start using Blender (for political, artistic and financial reasons). I now have one PC (The 3DS Max computer) and several Macs running OSX. I (obviously) can’t network render 3DS Max with the Macs because they are not Intel Macs, and Virtual PC for Mac just doesn’t have the muscle. I can’t wait for the lone PC to render the whole animation. I did the calculations… if I leave that PC running 24 hours a day, and providing I don’t suffer from a power outage, I am looking at a render time of over 3 months. Hiring a render farm service is not an option because I just don’t have the money in the budget. This brings me to my dilemma. I wanted to try to get my latest project from Max into Blender as seamlessly as possible. The project (consisting of a man sitting and talking for 45 seconds) is already modeled/textured/rigged/animated and ready to render. So… here’s the problem:
I do know I can import the model as an OBJ into Blender with UV’s.
I know I will probably need to re-do the lighting for the animation in Blender. (No big deal)
I don’t know if I can get the animated mesh into Blender because:
a. The 3DS Max character rig setup consists of bones,IK, nulls, and wire parameters.
b. The mesh is skinned with a combination of Physique and the skinning modifier in Max.
I thought about just baking the animation to the mesh and exporting the mesh as an OBJ for each frame. Then once imported into Blender, I would morph between to OBJ’s to recreate the animation. But we’re talking about 1382 frames. OUCH!! Is that plausible for Blender to do?
The whole point of this is to be able to network render with Blender using my Macs. I can’t have my PC hung up for 3 Months.