3DS Max users: any good?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/3DS Max users: any good?

BlitzSupport(Posted 2005) [#1]
I don't use 3DS, and generally suck at 3D modelling, but this freeware exporter/import library was posted on Flipcode and sounds like it might be pretty useful to more talented people than myself... I could be wrong, though!


JoshK(Posted 2005) [#2]
That's pretty embarrasing for Discreet when their plugin system is so convoluted it requires middleware.

fredborg(Posted 2005) [#3]
It looks very interesting. For B3D the B3DPipeline is probably still the best choice, but it looks like this is really good...

Now, I'm off to take a closer look :)

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#4]
hmm, that could be realy useful for bemax, will have to have a closer look. I love B3D pipeline and know that pudding is working on V2. Or at least last time we talked he was and it sounded very promising. Just need a 3D file format for Blitzmax really.

Pipeline is just about the best exporter I have ever used as far as features though, really lets you use 3dsmax as your level editor. Most of the commercial engines I've used werent as good and its free too.

But this mght be handy for trinity since the old B3D format is a little limited as far as UV channels and newer GL features.

3dsmax has something called Igame thats avaliable from discreet sparks forums, but it a high level SDK to help you create your own exporter, not something allready done for you. Probably the best solution for a custom engine, but you need a lot of expensive stuff and programming knowledge. Visual Studio 7/net ot whatever, 3dsmax and the 3dsmax SDK to start with, which gets pretty pricey :)

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#5]
b3d format has a limit in UV channels? didn't know..

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#6]
only 2 bob, Mark could have implemented 8 but decided against it as it multiplied the memory usage or something. Don't remember the exact details. I'd personaly like 3 or 4 UV's

heh, nice to have the old forums back the way they should be :) can talk to my old friends again :D

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#7]
heh, man.. one problem with the exporter is that its windows only since it has an import DLL. So it's currently not much use for blitzmax users wanting to make a crossplatform game.

Can try emailing them, but I very much doubt they will do anything about it.

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#8]
"I'd personaly like 3 or 4 UV's "

me too..didn't know it...so is more or less like using *.x v8.0...(8.1 can access 32bit buffers or something spelt like that, so, can have more, like dx9 x files)

Is very useful 3 or four: you can have one for texture, one for lightmap, and at least another one for putting some extra alpha mapped detailing, killing so the repeating look of tiled textures, adding irregular dirt, ... 4 are fantastic. You'll blend those 3 texture channels doing great outside terrains :)

Though... true that like everything, would be nice not forcing the engine use it even when a certain does not need it...I understood late that blitz3d is perfect for the task: shareware games loading well in low machines that can't afford most of advanced features...I see yet somewhat a long life for the product, maybe I'm wrong.

"heh, nice to have the old forums back the way they should be :) can talk to my old friends again :D "

Yup, hehe. ;)

Also is good seing more sections variety :)

Difference(Posted 2005) [#9]
Specs for the B3D format does not limit to 2 channels.
from http://www.blitzbasic.com/sdkspecs/sdkspecs/b3dfile_specs.txt :

" int tex_coord_sets ;texture coords per vertex (eg: 1 for simple U/V) max=8"

Blitz3D only does 2 channels. BlitzMax is free to use more.

Anybody writing importer/exporter tools should include support for more UVs Like in http://www.blitzbasic.com/codearcs/codearcs.php?code=665 :)

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#10]
heh cool peter, wonder if pudding can be persuaded to support more than 2 in the pipeline editor then.

Though... true that like everything, would be nice not forcing the engine use it even when a certain does not need it...I understood late that blitz3d is perfect for the task: shareware games loading well in low machines that can't afford most of advanced features...I see yet somewhat a long life for the product, maybe I'm wrong.

Yeah, I think blitz3D still has some life in it yet, I'll be interested to see how well our first 3d game in blitzmax does. Currently supports almost all .b3d features plus specular maps via name tags on the specularmap texture.

The game has some really cool dynamic AI stuff going on, partly influenced by a technique used at my old work and taken a step further allowing behaviour of AI to be influenced using vertex colours :)

Anyway, by big concern with Bmax is compatibility, something you didn't have to worry about so much in DX7. But in GL it looks like only about 75% of people can run Gl 1.1 or higher. (not that the statistics are reliable, but they are the only ones I could find).

But perhaps having a game for mac and PC will balance the odds a little more.

BlitzSupport(Posted 2005) [#11]
They just released the source to the importer (on the Download link)...

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#12]
coo nice, I emailed the, about my Bmax problem, maybe my email helped :) going to grab it now heh

jhocking(Posted 2005) [#13]
heh cool peter, wonder if pudding can be persuaded to support more than 2 in the pipeline editor then.

If BMax supports more than 2, probably. Otherwise, what would be the point? Meanwhile, besides the 2 UVs thing (which I think is fine as is but whatever) why does BMax need a new file format? What's wrong with b3d, and why not keep using that?

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#14]
because Gl can support a lot more features, reason to have more than 2 UV's is for things like masking where you may have a lightmap, mask, and 2-3 layers of mulltitexturing. you often want to have entirely independent mapping on each layer to give you the most flexibiliity with things like terrains.

Wy restrict yourself unless the games complexity demands it. more than 2 UV's will allow you a pretty big hike in graphics quality, probably about 40%, and also cut down on the number of textures you need. So despite the extra UV channels slowing things down and using up extra vram, you will most likely save a lot by cutting back on surfaces, and get cleaner transitions between textures.

jhocking(Posted 2005) [#15]
Yes, yes, I understand that. Note that I asked for reasons OTHER than more than 2 sets of UVs. Since .b3d does in fact support that, even though Blitz3D does not, that's not a consideration. Was that the only reason you had for wanting a new file format, or are there other considerations too? You keep referring to BlitzMax needing a new file format so I'm curious.

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#16]
yeah, just features that artists can make use of without having to code. like specular maps, the extra UV's, cameras, lights and properties, since GL is quite complex in the lighting and material department where each lcal light has its own ambient, diffuse and specular, as does each material type.

Having a lot of the pipeline features to everyone, not just Max users would be pretty huge and reduce the need for 3rd party level editing tools, unless you absolutely have to.

B3d is an excellent format, and it can be extended judging by what I have seen in the specs. perhaps thats all thats needed. Actually I prefer B3d over almost any other format out there, since it does a lot more out the box than almost any other, and having direct access to brush and texture flags gives you a lot of power.

Without the extra features, your kind of forced to use something like pipeline to hack the extra fubctionality, and allthough it works well, it's far better to have everyone using a common set of features and having equal opportunities. Perhaps I shoudl have said extend the .B3D format rather than replace it :)

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#17]
yup, as I said before, extra uv channels, multitexturing , allow killing the tiling look of a wall, and add stuff usually only seen years ago in hi res packages.Today is largely used.

in last job, we needed to use alpha quads or tris, very near to walls..it works ok, but is not ideal.

oh, for animation I think md5 is quite more advanced than b3d.But my main issue with anim in blitz3d is the spiline interpolation, but i have noticed that it is supported by the format.

other than thatmí ,I must say the blitz3d product is still not only a sensible buy, but probably the best for shareware market, speaking bout 3d. Those better at coding and brave enough to jump to other plaforms, may better buy bmax.
BTW looking to the future, it had to evolve, not allways we're gonna still consider the low market. That is, the "today's" low market.Though I'm curious on how all is gonna evolve with .net.I have no idea.Till is not included in OSes, I dont see it's ok fo rshareware world(too large download).

AdrianT(Posted 2005) [#18]
I think that XP SP2 includes .net. But it probably be another 2 years when longhorn comes out that it will be standard.

I often wonder what the low end of non casual indie gamers is. I know that at garage games their new engine is targeting 1Ghz with Geforce 3 or higher, when a lot of people still don't have pixel shaders and useable AntiAliasing even.

I'm inclined to stick with a 800mhz CPU with Geforce 2 as a recommended system, allthough saying that all my games so far will stil run on a Pentium 2 400 with geforec2 GTS.

Bob3d(Posted 2005) [#19]
well,seems authors really wanting to have a big audience, try their games work in pII 350 , tnt...or rising it , a celeron/duron 800 gf2 Mx...

there are cards massively made for the average home user of some years ago... like the shared memory nvidia vanta, the awful ati rage, the uber old and problematic vodoos...or the very under powered intel i710, i810, moboard integrated.

But the more I think it, the fewer solution I see to it...pcs that older are not even good for 2d full screen, really...(depends on the type of game, things to move)

also, hey...if u keep cutting down, there's a point where the graphic wont apeal anyone...

I guess 2d , not overcrowded and fast moving sprites is what runs everyehere...

But I see nothing wrong in doing shareware games for ati rage mobility (shared memory, some are really bad cards in lap tops) , that seem to dominate laptops, or the gf2mx that have filled homes for years, or tnt2 (capable of hardly running a cs on a celeron/duron of those times.)

If u anyway aim to make something for a niche of users that want to see nice gfx but not needing to just close all programs, and newithe expect to aim to hardcore gamer niche but an intermediate group, (and ur very good artist and game content integrator for that) maybe a duron 800, celerom 800, Geforce 2Mx (something correct me, I think this one is the geforce 1 with some changes) , or even the very much intalled gf 4mx 440 (and this one is actually a gf2?) ...u can do graphic wonders on those systems, an catcha quite a big market. In your case it may worth the user base cut, as your gfx are the level of the professional you've been during years: that quality is absolutely RARE in shareware games field.And like all a not so covered niche *can* endas good business, so I dont see it as a bad idea.

Good that you have engaged 4 contracts at a time...I think my nerves could not hold it...;)

btw, I may be wrong but I think ur more bout levels (though can do characters equally well), me am curiously more bout characters though researching in levels lately. More curiosity than other thing...(gi lightmapping,etc)

Max to me keeps being my favourite.A pitty is that expensive though, but I must keep looking at new trials for new features, its what they demand me in jobs...

I like the care you put in all your game content :)

btw, i also think sometimes is good to end, or aim to end a project, if the errors can be fixed later on , as maybe a psique thing, but is quite easier to work on a project when already is a total game..maybe you should let ant go more error-tolerant , to keep him with enthusiasm...it's arule we almost all follow, unintentionally...

I say this as while I brwose really much lesss bc and bb lately,seen several posts asking for ant, or saying he wont appear..I dont think so, I may be too dumb, but I trust the guy.

He doesnt seem to be like a coder,but more like an artist (my archetypes are from my "prsonal" statistics bout coders and artists...) several of us (u seem not to fit with this) are a bit disorganized and random.But even in that group, some of us end up accomplishing things...

I also think ant has an armageddom effect on computers.Close to none have that ability to destroy components...

he just care bout code, the pc is just a tool (i should think that way too) reason why dont pay much attention on system stuff...

I wonder if he thought on the possibility on going into an inet cafe and mailing u to say hello...in other person case, I wouldnt make myself this question; with ant , is possible, hehe.

went wildely off topic...thats due to readin 3 threads and only replying one,lol.