3dsmax + Blender + Python + Mac + iPhone game - possible?

Hello everyone, I’m new here and a noob to Blender. I’ve always been interested in Blender, since reading it had a built in game engine and supports Python (I use Python in my full time work as a web developer). My life long friend (who I haven’t seen in aaaages now) has been at university learning 3dsMAX doing modelling and animations. He’s always been interested in making games, and I’ve always loved the tech side of making it all work. I know this has probably been asked many times, but I’m wondering with the latest version of Blender and the latest plugins etc, is this at all possible?

He models and animates his characters in 3dsmax. I want to bring this (and the animation) into Blender… What’s the upmost best way to do this these days? Also, is it somehow possible to use Blender and it’s game engine to export out as a game that will run on the iPhone? He uses Windows for 3dsmax, I use Mac for Blender and my other stuff?

I had looked around the forum already, but was looking for some up-to-date information on these two things? … If this isn’t possible, with him using 3dsmax and me knowing Python, what other relatively uncomplex ways are there to make 3d games for the iPhone using Python as the base language?

I have tried the official Blender forum, but got no replies… Really appriciate any feedback at all, really would. Cheers!

I have a few answers for you. They are probably not exactly the ones you are wanting to hear.

You can import models from Max to Blender pretty well, though I’m no expert on how to do it. There are other folks around the forum who could probably give you more help with that, but you might try asking that sort of question outside of the Game Engine boards.

Can Blender’s Game Engine publish to the iPhone? No. Will it be able to in the near future? Probably not.

Also, you cannot use scripting languages on the iPhone (Apple does not allow it), so Python is useless for that endeavor unless you use Cython or some sort of compiler (I believe Unladen Swallow is a program for that purpose).

With that sort of news, it may sound dismal, but there is some hope. Erwin Coumans is currently writing a gamekit which uses Blender games files, Bullet Physics, and the Irrlicht rendering engine. This gamekit is scheduled to support the iPhone (among other publishing options). A thread about that is here:

The Google Code page is here: http://code.google.com/p/gamekit/


  • Removing python from the BGE is probably an afternoons work. I don’t see this as a problem but then ofcourse your limited to logic bricks, expressions will work tho.
    I may do this after 2.49a release so you can optionally build blenderplayer without python.
    Could help with other ports too.

  • Cython wont solve the issue since it uses pythons api so you’d still need to link python.

Since blender was ported to windows CE Id say its possible.
Adding new logic bricks isnt that hard so Im sure its possible to make a good game without python.

Talked to a developer who was interested in porting blender to the iphone, hes got a game in the app store now so I assume he has some clue about this stuff though he’s newish to blender.

SIO2 is an engine that runs on iPhone and can use Blender files, but you still have to do some programming for logic.

Python specifically is not banned iirc, what is banned is the use of any kind of language interpreter


This should be worth keeping an eye on - Erwin ( bullet physics ) is working on it. In theory, it’ll allow you to develop your game within Blender and transfer the logic etc to the iPhone version ( with certain limitations of course such as the iPhone 3D limitations )

I’m confused why Unity hasn’t been mentioned at this point :

Its for Windows/OSX, and supports 3ds Max files, as well as Blender. I’m actually trying it out right now.

Its so easy to the point that me, with NO GE/programming experience can make the game, and import assets painlessly. I’m will to bet its cheaper than making your own GE/programming it in python, especially if your a valuable web developer.

I had a little success exporting Blender scenes in M3G format and writing some Java code, but I was just messing about on a SonyEricsson phone. It would require extensive Java knowledge to write a game (that I don’t have) and I’m not sure if this is possible/advisable on iPhone anyway.

…Just putting some thoughts out there. :wink:

There is also Shiva ( www.stonetrip.com ) - I’m currently developing an iPhone app using it and Blender.

Note that Shiva and Unity cost money, but ease the process of developing an iPhone app ( of course you have a new IDE and workflow to learn for each one ).

Quite frankly, you just explained why I didn’t even bother to mention Unity and why I’ve never even looked at it except to be frustrated that I couldn’t try out a game an acquaintance had made once or twice.

The Unity developers have been quoted as calling Linux “not economically viable” and dismissing it as a possibility. As far as I’m concerned, if they want nothing to do with me, I want nothing to do with them.

like PapaSmurf said: http://www.sio2interactive.com/TECHNOLOGY.html

i think that would work. Im not sure in 2.49 though.
you also forgot to put an = in your equation :smiley:

Thanks for all the replies guys (and girls?) really appreciated. It’s an interesting subject (for me at least). I’ve seen Unity, looked at their Indie + iPhone Basic deal. Not totally sure what exactly I’d be missing here… Thing is, I can’t help but feel that using Unity would be locking me into a very strict way of working. That Shiva looks good, but it’s for Windows - and I’m personally on the Mac. But I’ve been toying with this Panda3D engine, which is pure programming… This is using Python (which I’m learning anyhow) and looks pretty complete. There is an .egg exporter called Chicken that Blender can use to put the models into it (I’ve done a static model export, but the animation is buggered, I’m sure I’m just not doing something right there…) And apparantly, Panda3D will be able to export to an iPhone and a web browser in the next few months… ?

Thing is, I would still love to get my friends 3ds max stuff into Blender for me to then use in the Game Engine or to edit myself here before doing what I need. It’s a bugger because we live in different cities, only talking over email (like one email a day) so it’s hard to get this stuff sorted. Maybe I should put up a more direct thread? … I know it’s something where he has to export the model and the textures as one thing, then the animation as another? …but then making this all work back in Blender I just don’t know. If anyone can help with that, it would be a bloody god send!

> That Shiva looks good, but it’s for Windows

I’m running it on a Mac, with Parallels ( 50 quid or so ) and Windows 7 Beta ( free )

> That Shiva looks good, but it’s for Windows

I’m running it on a Mac, with Parallels ( 50 quid or so ) and Windows 7 Beta ( free )

Thank you, thats an option. But really, I would like to get my mate’s 3ds max stuff still into Blender, with textures and animations intact, this really is the main problem right now… Other ways of developing games (beit Blender Game Engine, Shiva, Unity, Panda3D etc.) will be something to look at later really.

Can any offer a solid way of importing textured models and animations from 3dsmax 2009 into Blender?