3dsMax -> Blender with Bones/Animation

Sorry but, this has really given My team, my game, and myself HELL since we have been looking together for a while now. My Modeller uses 3ds Max, made a fine model, rigged, and perfectly animated, but i want to get it into Blender. Ive tried the collada plugin (fails on Blenders part) the md5 plugin (fails on 3ds Max 09’s part)

I need a working importer/exporter ASAP!

why don’t you Export the Mesh from 3DS to obj
import in Blender as obj
and make new armature and rig it.

Besides…why dodge the problem? i want to SOLVE it

spiderbyte, try collada importer in 2.47 release - it should work better after some bugfix.
There are plans to update the script soon.

We ran in that problem some time ago.
There is NO proper way to export a fully rigged and skinned character out of max and into ANY other programm properly, or vice versa. Collada is a nice try, but doesn´t really work.
You can licence autodesks .max format and write a max2blend from the scratch.

I can’t agree on that:


That not counting you even say “viceversa” !

You can import an exported *.x file into max (with the proper free user made plugin) . You can import an x or b3d (blender plugins available working with latest blender) file into Ultimate Unwrap, and so, later into Max. You can perfectly export an md5 (what is more I even used it for a game engine) out of blender then import the *.md5 into Gmax, or Max. I’d agree not with the default tools as they come, you needda dig a bit for certain free plugins for both packages. And I’d also agree md5 should become native to blender, I mean, released with oficial distribution always, and maintained.Is a very complete format and till what I know, the only one fully i/o in every direction with max, a lot of game engines, etc. Is way more advanced than x.

And as I said in that thread am linking, is extremely good format, specially for games. But friends that make game programming for a living tell me is also a very good format, in general.

At Studio 125 we use Point Oven to transfer character animations from Maya to Blender, we also move animations from Maya to Lightwave with Point Oven. In Blender you import the obj and then import the .mdd file to animate the mesh. This does not transfer a rigged character - No Bones. I know of nothing that will do that reliably. Point oven is available for 3D Studio Max but I have not used the Max version.


the md5 plugin (fails on 3ds Max 09’s part)

Sorry, didnt read this bit. oops.
Anyway, it worked wonderfully for me with Max7. I really doubt it should not work on 9… hmmm… it was quite some time ago when I used to work with that… I remember there was a trick to be known …I just can’t remember that one…

migius: i will try this, thanks (not working)
Extrudeface: Well, when exporting the model in md5, it says i have to convert to editable_mesh, which if i do so, loses the armature (No Solution)
Mthoenes: I will look into it, it looks a bit complex but whatever works! (Waiting for my exporter [3dsmax user] to test with me)
arexma: i dont think i have the required skill to make a converter (Not gonna happen)

in max your artist can use any object as bones… so getting exportable bones shouldn’t be a problem… if you use the actual bone object you will have problems… but you’re not limited to that, so have him build custom bones. is he using physique, envelopes, weight painting, or what? does he have joint angle deformers or is it just a straight modifier rig with no frills?
As I’m typing this, I’m thinking that perhaps a programmer (not me…I suck) can create a weight map for bones similar in nature to Normal maps… with bone correspondence being driven by rgb, weight by intensity, and you could even do falloff…


as edit mesh, and using skin modifier, not physique. Yep. That’s a requirement of the plugin, allplugins have limits…

But… You can perfectly. I have exported any sort of thing no matter how was done in max… with other weights formats, which were weaker than md5.

You can certainly convert the mesh to editable mesh without loosing anything, if know deeply how to use max stack modifier.

but also, something you may need, and is not very complex, is convert phisique to skin. While you can use certain phyisique to skin script converter, it’s hard to find, for some reason I don’t remember I did not used that way… .My way anytime a weights format required regular bones and weights, or a game engine, required the elder thing however: edit mesh and skin modifier (which is most usual) , I just exported as FBX, then reimported the FBX. A character studio biped got converted to regular skeleton with weights and all, keeping all anim the same, as it really bakes everything to bones and weights animation, constraints effects, etc, are kept in the result: of course this is like the “jpg concept”, is an export stage only. You loose all th eediting power in Max, but has sense as is the final export. You can simply do as any final exports as u want, from your final *.max version.

I have done these tricks with at least 3 complex bone and weights formats ( md5, x, b3d ) from Max.

It’s more than possible. I have exported MD5 files and went towards certain powerful game engine. It did look great in the engine. :slight_smile:

The way der_ton does stuff, I doubt there’s a glitch in blender import or max export. Just everythings has its tricks.

Bad thing is I have no access right now to a Max, otherwise I’d offer some minutes of my help .

EDIT: And I think you did well working with edit poly, is so much more powerful. But you can turn to edit mesh at any point with no probs, same as can convert biped to bones (not needed, md5 exports well the biped, it just does not like phisyque, at the end I got used to biped and skin max default, curiously as I think skin is better, while biped bones are a fast setup that usually has no probs ) , and physique to skin. It’s very usual to do soem sort of bake be it an export to game engine or exchange format. I have to do in blender, in gmax, in max, and in xsi. The other thing you export towards, wont have the exact same features, so it’s a needed deal. The key is that he visual result comes out with almost no harm, and it is quite possible. It’s worse with b3d export for max, as the smooth curves of interpolation can’t be taken for Blitz3d engine did take only linear interpolation. (I think the format supports it…md5, for sure. )

excuse me as been long time since no max in the job, but… Instead of converting to edit mesh, I think one of the tricks was to simple “add” an edit mesh modifier(yep, from the modifiers list, like you can add a normals modifier, or whatever, etc) on top of all, which is a possibility some ppl is not aware of. I used another trick but heck if I can remember it…

anyway, the super easy route is go ahead and try an export as fbx, re import as fbx…I could be wrong ,but I think that one “allowed” a convert to edit mesh+ skin modifier (for the weights) , leaving u in ideal situation for an export to format or engine…try that as first thing, maybe…the fbx plugin bakes himself everything… As anyway, you need skin modifier.

there’s another modifier I’ve heard of, but as I say, been Max-disconnected for some time… TurnToMesh … if all fails. But the fbx should be tried even if find some errors, there IS a way to export fbx animated meshes and have what you want, and is easy.
I mean, I’d try the fbx i/o first, if that would not convert to edit mesh (nor even giving several tries with different exporter settings) add edit mesh modifier on top of stack pile, and the export as fbx, and if all fails, both adding the modifier (or turntomesh, whatever works well in your case) , and trying to find the physique to skinconverter, who knows, I havent used latest Max 2 or 3 versions, maybe is native functionality or the plugin is easy to find… ,

Mthoenes: They do not support Max 2009!

4tonmantis: The model is using “Helper” objects for the animations

Extrudeface: ok i got 2009 Max myself to do the job. im using the md5 toolbar thing and i had to select each group one…by…one >_>
ok then i go to export and i get a runtime error:

Skin need to be selected and in the modifier panel Skin:Skin

If you KNOW for sure you can export this and output to a 2.46 Blender for me, please tell me, i would heavily appreciate it!

I think is a bit about how the max scene is built (helper objects… there’s some stuff to do before export…)

Hey, check your PMs …

  	 				Skin need to be selected and in the modifier panel Skin:Skin

have you tried to have selected the mesh, and, the skin modifier (I hope you’re using that in the moment of export) as well selected, then hit export? It’s eons since I don’t handle the plugin, so I don’t remember well.

I replied to your pm

Ive got to bump again. I dont know what happened to extrudeface, but he hasnt messaged or mailed me since i sent him my project.

hey mate, sorry. My apologies. I simply forgot… You have a PM with advices.