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Techno
03-15-2005, 12:33 AM
which is the best method for converting lightwave files to 3d max. sry for such a silly question. :o

JamesCurtis
03-15-2005, 08:29 AM
For Max, Lightwave files should be saved out as 3DS format. However, Lightwaves native 3DS Saver/Exporter does not interpret [save] imagemapping or UV's.

However, you will get much better results if you take your LW files into an object conversion program such as Polytrans from Okino. Thier converters are excellent

If you own Max, Polytrans also has a direct plugin that will enable you to load Lightwave format files directly from within Max.

Fozz
03-15-2005, 02:02 PM
Export .obj from LW and load it into Max using a free .Obj importer.
Forgot the URL to the plugin though, but it is available somewhere out there.

Techno
03-15-2005, 04:02 PM
thank you. the UV thing was what was pissing me off. :)
but is there any free plugins or converters that everyone uses?

simonbrewer
03-15-2005, 04:41 PM
Best method is to go to www.maxplugins.de and get the LWO importer for the version of Max you use.

Then just save out your LightWave object as usual, and you can import it straight into Max. All UVs and object layers are preserved too (Layers come across as separate objects within Max)

Be aware that there are 2 LWO importers for Max - one is more advanced than the other. Try out both for the best results. You may also need to make sure that the LightWave model is made up of either Tris or Quads - Max can't cope with 1 or 2 point polys, or any poly with 4 or more points from a LWO.

I have been using these importers for years for many projects and they are the best way to go.

Simon

Techno
03-15-2005, 05:53 PM
couldnt find one for v7. found one for jsut about every other version though lol.

mkiii
03-17-2005, 08:43 PM
For Max, Lightwave files should be saved out as 3DS format. However, Lightwaves native 3DS Saver/Exporter does not interpret [save] imagemapping or UV's.

However, you will get much better results if you take your LW files into an object conversion program such as Polytrans from Okino. Thier converters are excellent

If you own Max, Polytrans also has a direct plugin that will enable you to load Lightwave format files directly from within Max.


It does save the UVs & texture info, what makes you think it doesnt?

I used the LW standard 3ds converter for a few years to send dozens of models to Max from modeler. (before I got Deep Exploration).

However there are some tricks that you need to use to get them to actually work properly in Max... and it's a bit outdated now, so I won't repeat it again .

If anyone is desparate, I'm sure a search of the forum will (or maybe the archives) will yield the original posts that described how to do it.

Marcia
03-18-2005, 10:43 AM
How do the Deep Exploration .3ds conversions look when opened in Max? Specifically, I was wondering about material and texture conversions. Does the Max user have to do much tweaking to get similar results to the original LW file? Is the mesh clean, or have you seen errors or inconsistencies?

JamesCurtis
03-18-2005, 09:34 PM
mkiii,

I stand corrected, the 3ds export does indeed support UV's. Sorry for the errant info.

I have pretty much always used Polytrans with excellent results. I won a copy of the program several years ago in a contest so it was free for me. Can't do much better than free for a commercial product, eh?

mkiii
03-19-2005, 04:23 AM
Marcia: The 3ds files are triangulated by default - which is a problem if you have a complex mesh & need to edit it, or apply meshsmooth to it. If you just want to render, then I suppose it isn't a problem. Simple meshes such as realtime characters are less of a problem. UV & texture info is intact, but you will probably have to go to the Max Material editor & turn their display on with the little chequered box icon.

BTW. If you use Deep exploration & have a copy of Max (which must be installed to convert lw -> .MAX) this does a pretty good job 99.9% of the time.
The LW ->3ds conversion does not need a copy of 3dsMax however, and it works fine.

I don't know if Polytrans does .Max files without needing 3dsMax to be installed, james can tell us that. It most certainly does .3ds

The hard way.....If you really want to do the LW->.3ds->Max straight from modeler default setup with no 3rd part apps/plugins , then do the following:

1: For Each surface on your model, create a polygon with that surface, and place it to one side of the mesh - this is used as a placeholder later on in Max & will be deleted. Make sure you have no bad polys, 2 point polys, or flipped faces etc.

2: UNWELD everything. You can skip this part, but unwelding makes it more reliable.

3: Do a .3ds Export. Make sure you have the following in the export panel. A: Capture UV map - checked. B:Apply Rotation & Custom Rotation checked. C: 90,90,90 entered in the Rotation HPB boxes. D: Scale object NOT checked

4: Now in MAX. Make sure units is set to Metric, and import the .3ds file. DO NOT select Convert Units in the import dialog.

5: The wireframe is invisible, and the import has created each LW surface as a separate object. These will be merged later. Turn on the wireframes by selecting in the shaded view & pressing aLT+v

6: So now the bit where those spare polys come in. These are used to kickstart Max into recognising the UVs of the LW export. Now you need to select each *spare* poly that you created in turn, making sure you ONLY have the new spare polys selected, and not the whole object

7: Apply a UVW Map modifier to the selected polygon. Don't worry about the map type or orientation... it is not important. If you have followed the steps correctly, your material should appear magically. Repeat steps 6 & 7 for each spare poly.

8: now collapse all on each stack to get back to editable meshes, and Attach the various bits to make one object. The spare polys can be used to easily select for attachment. Make sure you select Match Material to Material IDS in the Attach options box that pops up. This is the middle of the 3 selections. You will now have a multi sub texture.

9: If a map appears, but looks messed up, check the Map Coordinates in the material editor (click on the 'm' next to the diffuse map name). The coords should be 0,0, tiling 1,1, and rotation 0,0,0 sometimes a couple of these seem to glitch. reset them to 0 & the map should appear properly.


11: delete all spare polys, weld all points together using weld selected with all points selected, and an appropriately small distance set such as 0.0001, apply smoothing groups and you are done.

12: congratulate yourself on doing it with no 3rd party apps.... and rush out to buy a proper converter like polytans or 3d exploration.



James: Yeah. nice one. I definately don't miss the hand conversion, and I have to convert all my work stuff from LW into Max so it can be exported to our in-house game engine (a PITA), but that is far preferable to modelling in Max.

Marcia
03-19-2005, 12:30 PM
Yikes! If I had to do all that the hard way, I'd probably spend more time troubleshooting than modeling! I can't see asking anyone else to jump through all those hoops.

Your comments on Deep Exploration give me some hope, though. I'd been testing it from a PC to my Mac across the network (INSANITY WARNING: NOT RECOMMENDED!) with pretty dismal results, but just picked up a seat for the PC, so maybe I'll have better luck with that.

As I understand it, none of the converters will export directly to .max unless you have a special plug-in and an installed copy of Max (I believe Maya is the same way) because Discreet never made that file format public.

Have you tried using the Kaydara/Alias' fbx plug-in? It handles a lot of polys, but only UV textures... none of the other mapping styles are supported right now.

Grale
05-20-2007, 10:11 AM
Sorry for digging up this very old thread:o

i am using Deep Exploration to export from LW to 3DSMax, it does the job very well except for the scale.
I have read that lw uses it's own scaling, but is there a way within de to correct the scaling for the exported max file?? i don't want to lose my exact scaling in my object!

Thanks :)

IMI
05-20-2007, 04:45 PM
I've been using Deep Exploration CAD Edition, and it's nothing short of awesome for converting anything to anything else, including saving all relevant textures to either the same folder as the object or somewhere else.
I don't mess with the 3ds format much, but rather convert directly from .max to .lwo or .obj, or .lwo to .3ds, and 99.99% of the time it's flawless. It can convert a max .max scene into a LightWave .lws scene as well. How cool is that? :D

Grale, Deep Exploration has an export options dialog window in which you can adjust scale as well as rotation.

shrox
05-20-2007, 05:13 PM
Marcia: ...The hard way.....If you really want to do the LW->.3ds->Max straight from modeler default setup with no 3rd part apps/plugins , then do the following:

1:...12: congratulate yourself on doing it with no 3rd party apps.... and rush out to buy a proper converter like polytans or 3d exploration.


All those steps! Another reason I don't like 3D Max!!!

IMI
05-20-2007, 07:19 PM
It's not a problem with 3dsmax, shrox. Max is an excellent program, and anyone serious about 3D ought to be at least a little bit capable with it.
It's just a problem that LW is its own thing, and the .lwo format wasn't designed to play nice with the competition. ;)

(Although I personally think it's about time for some sort of automatic converter/adjuster .3ds/.max export plugin to be added to LightWave to increase its viability in the gaming sector if nothing else).

IMI
05-21-2007, 06:29 PM
is there a lwo reader for max 8?


You know, I honestly don't know. I seem to remember there was one for max 4 which was kind of problematic, which is largely what got me into Deep Exploration for converting files. I had asked around and been pointed in that direction, and have just been using it ever since, since it works so well.