View Full Version : Exporting/Importing between 3DS, Maya, Lightwave

03-15-2003, 07:46 PM
Hi, I'm taking 3D modeling and animation classes at the Art Institute of Seattle. I have Lightwave on my macintosh but unfourtunately they don't teach Lightwave there, only 3DS MAX and Maya. I originally bought LW because it was the cheapest and the best thing I could afford at the time. I know of course that Maya is down to $2,000 now but I don't regret the time I've had with Lightwave. I didn't know how smooth 3D modeling could be till I tried high end software like LW. Not having Maya or 3DS max on my Macintosh is only a drag because I can't spend as much time with it as I can with LW. It's hard to find an open computer on the week days at school, yet my instructors want me to do my work in Maya and 3DS max. It would be sweet if I could do some of my models and texturing in Lightwave and then export them into 3DS or Maya. Or even Import a Nurbs model that I did in Max into Lightwave for that final render. What format would I use to export into/out between these three packages?
It's a real pleasure to be in on this forum, lot's of great questions and answers!


03-17-2003, 12:48 PM
export to .obj and u will have the uv maps present. On max (ugh) u must have a obj importer first.

03-19-2003, 04:00 PM
i've been messing around with solidworks cad files, for import into LW...
I have found no magic bullets for getting anything into or out of LW

there are a few tools, but none of them work seamlessly, and most of them are PC only.
Rhino is the most finished... in my expereience.

generally, you have to find a format that both platforms support. in the case of max and LW... its a 3ds file... not a 3dmax file but its precursor. Lw can import and export it (i think), but many of the features are lost in the export/import, such as textures, sub-d shapes, weight maps etc...

and if u are trying to import a spline based model, well, LW cant do it. You have to get Rhino or something like it. then you have to work with an awkward program that will eventually ruin all those nice curves, and give you a wreck, that you will have no choice but to re-model from scratch.

best bet? find time to b in the lab.

03-20-2003, 08:19 PM
I looked up 3DS format in the LW manual and yes, LW does Import and export 3DS. I was't sure what 3DS was but you said that it was an older file format that Max used to use? That's interesting. Anyway that's a good thing. . . Well I'm going to try to import that 3DS file export from Max. I'll let everyone knows what happens.
Thanks guys!

JP Westmas

06-19-2009, 05:17 PM

I came across a great deal of people and their concern on how to migrate OBJs to Maya and maintain your UVs in the Maya. So far I came across semi-misguided responses on utilizing Acutranz, Point Oven and other miscellaneous third party applications.

You dont really need those applications to migrate LW OBJs to Maya, check this out:

http://www.cyphermesh.com/16.html (http://www.cyphermesh.com/16.html)


There are other alternatives to migrate Lightwave props to Maya like converting assets to FBX format. Migrating props with motion would be another tutorial in itself but you get the idea....

I hope this helps and gear those to the right direction on this topic.

If you cant view tutorial, try downloading current update for Flash media player at Adobe. I will have to make 3D Max version later but I am sure you get the idea.

3Dementia @ www.CypherMesh.com (http://www.CypherMesh.com)

06-19-2009, 06:00 PM
hehe, yeah, that was a problem I had 5 years ago, I forgot I even had the issue. OBJs have since become a joy to work with between all applications. :)

06-20-2009, 12:43 AM
3DS only supports triangles, with a 65,000 limit, so it's pretty limited. Obj or Fbx are the way to go. I've had problems getting obj's out of LW though, if there's a lot of polys it can take hours to export, and don't forget to assign a texture to any uv's or they'll be ignored. Other types of vertex maps, like selection sets, can cause problems too. Only one uv map per object.