View Full Version : Can we import a .max object file?

10-26-2004, 07:09 PM
Can we import a .max object file? Any ideas?


10-26-2004, 07:37 PM
To the best of my knowledge, .max files are not importable into LW, unless you have a standalone converter such as PolyTrans with a licensed version of 3D Studio Max for access to the code to convert the file during translation. PolyTrans CAN convert .3ds files into LW objects, tho. I avoid all .max files, as I do not use 3D Studio......

10-26-2004, 11:52 PM
Thanks 3D guy :)

I was hoping that someone knew of a plug-in that might serve that purpose. We do have an import plug-in as part of LW that converts .3ds files just fine. No licensed version of Max is needed. However, .max files seem to require a different set of rules. So be it (for now anyway).


10-27-2004, 02:13 AM
You can't import .max files for pretty much the same reason that you can't import .dwg files. max and AutoCAD use a procedural description of how to build their objects. This means that rather than having a list of points and their attributes as you do in a LightWave (and loads of other formats) object file:

Point 1: 0, 0, 0 etc...

you have a description of how to remake the object:

First, make a cube of this size and chop out the area on the southeast corner using a ball of this size, etc...

Unless you understand the "language" used, you can't translate the object. It's why things like PolyTrans and Deep Exploration only offer you the translation of those formats if you have licences of those programs already installed.


10-27-2004, 05:02 AM
you'll need to talk to the person who has max and ask then to export to obj,3ds or fbx

also note that3dsmax is not backwards compatible within itself...if you have a max 7 scene you can't open it in max 5...you'll need to run a maxscript wich will attempt to translate the scene into a max 5 scene..though it's not 100% it may work.

if you file is max 4, 3, 0r max 2 based you can send it to me and i'll export it for you to lightwave as i own 3dsmax, lightwave and xsi.

steve g

10-27-2004, 07:40 AM

That was an excellent clarification. I never really understood the reasons for the incompatibility.



10-27-2004, 08:16 AM

It was nothing important. I had just run across these two downloadable .max models and was curious how they were executed. Always nosing around other people's work... :D ... and really, it was more about the textures, than modelling itself. I'm fine with the latter.


The snowspeeder primarily. However, I think that there might be a LW snowspeeder model at scifi.com already.

Thanks for the offer.


10-27-2004, 08:24 AM
What about a program like Milkshape?
Will it convert max to lightwave?

10-27-2004, 08:34 AM
What about a program like Milkshape?

The only 2 file conversion programs I'm familiar with (Deep Exploration & PolyTrans) can, but require you to own Max for access to the code for the reason described above. Any other app must need the same access, or I would be highly suspect of the model's final converted output. The same goes for Maya's .mb scene extension -- Deep X & PolyTrans can convert these to LW objects/scenes, but licensed Maya is required, as well as a Maya module (for PolyTrans). The joy of proprietary code....

10-27-2004, 08:38 AM
Whereas the reason you can convert from LightWave to those other formats easily and often freely is because NewTek makes all the info freely available to anyone wating to write a converter here: http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/developer/



10-27-2004, 08:53 AM
... and the fact that LW doesn't have any fancy features like a modifier stack, which in any case would require proprietary code.