I have the Maxwell SDK, but it’s for C++, which I know nothing about. Same with Python I have no knowledge at all.
Is there a difference, or much of a difference between C++ & python?[/quote]
They are both object-oriented languages. C++ however is a lower-level compiled language whereas Python is interpreted. One of the advantages of Python is that it is faster/easier to write code with because you don’t have to worry about memory allocation and there is no debugging involved.
But, C++ has a major speed advantage. C++ code can achieve about 10 times the performance of Python and that’s likely why most 3D software plug-in architectures use it (including Maxwell as you said). This speed advantage makes a huge difference when exporting large scenes. Having said that, I’ve used some C++ exporters with Maya and they weren’t all that fast.
The problem with C++ is it’s harder to write good optimal code so in the real world, you might find Python would do just fine. You normally need a lot less code with Python too.
The Maxwell SDK probably won’t be of any use in this case unless by some miracle it’s possible to get anything to read Blender’s binary files so you will likely have to get Blender’s scenes exported to Maxwell compatible format. From what I hear in the pro industry, some people just export geometry like you’ve been doing to OBJ. Then they write shaders manually and use Python to link the shaders to the objects. Then render in another renderer.
It would be nice to have an easy way to do it but Blender doesn’t give you access to all the necessary data through Python. That’s why Renderman exporters have problems. There was a presentation at the Blender conference about it so maybe there will be a rewrite that allows exporters to be written more easily.