Import 3DS with bones

Is there a Python script that properly imports bones from 3DS files? I tried to do that, and I got some weird rhombus-shaped meshes where the bones were, and some bone objects that were invisible (I saw these on the OOPS window).

I may be wrong, but 3DS is essentially a mesh format.
It comes from old 3D studio (dos version).
At that time bones couldn’t be like a skin, they could only move undeformed objects. Of course there was an ips (a script for 3D studio), which was able to do it in a way, but the fact is that all bones data from 3D studio aren’t very useful today, as the systems have changed a lot, and this format is mainly used for backward compatibility with old meshes.
The problem is that bones data export in 3DS format isn’t useful at all, as you couldn’t use it in any software. If I’m wrong about that please feel free to precise, but I think it’s the sad truth.

Thank you, I understand. Do you know any format that 3D studio can export as which does contain bones, however? My problem is that I have a custom file format which I need to export as. It’s working great in Blender, with a Python script I made, but I have someone who’s working with 3D studio, and I’d like to import his work and export to my format with as little effort as possible. I don’t own 3D studio myself, though, so I can’t really write a script for it.

there’s Panda free exporter for Max. It exports as x files supporting bones and weights. You cannot import that x file into Blender, if that’s what you want.

Then there’s the other thing I commented in other post, that you cn probably use the doom3 md5 format route. But I am not sure about this.

if what you want is use an output from max of a boned animation created in max, just then use the x export or der_ton md5 export.

Panda web :

and der_ton is a user here. Maybe just search his web here. I just go to

That in case you are able to parse one of those files by programming.

Like Extrudeface said, md5 is an option if you want to get your models from 3dsmax to Blender.
The existing max->md5 exporter (, MAX subforum) and Bob Holcombs md5->Blender importer ( ) should help you.
I’m in the process of updating the max scripts for the final MD5 version that we have now that Doom3 is out. Either Bob Holcomb will update his md5 import script, or I’ll contact him to see if I can continue his job or maybe start from scratch.

Thank you both, I’ll try MD5. I used the MD5 importer for Blender before and didn’t have any trouble with that, so that’s half the problem solved :).

Gah, actually, I just noticed that the Blender MD5 importer doesn’t import bones. That’s not good :-? .

Oh, yep, Bob wrote that on his page. So you’ll have to wait until it’s updated. For now I’m busy with the 3dmax import/export scripts so it’ll take a while until I’ll look into importing to Blender.

I am not sure if there’s a cal3d–>blender importer. As that’s another chance. (I think there’s a max to cal3d plugin, and a blender to cal3d)

But imho, the md5 route is a good way for your purpose, unless you are in a hurry, as at least there exist a beguining of a blender import…and seems der_ton or bob may finish it at the end.

There’s also a bvh import…not sure, I think that foprmat is only joints position and motion info, no weights or other info. And either I am sure, but i think is not ended…would be a way to share what is animations -not rigs/weights- between blender and other softwares, like Max. For now, I have only played with x files (and some inhouse made game formats) , so I know that one allows porting weights, animation, bones, and other info. The doom3 format anyay, can port other extra info. But I don’t know how it works.

Der_ton has proved to do the stuff very well (not saying because you’re here) :wink: I’d recomend just the same Ben’s x exporter or der_ton’s md5, but there’s not an x import plugin, that i know.