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jde 08-26-2009 11:57 AM

.3DS importing in Vizard and 3D Studio

This is a question for anyone who imports/exports .3DS files...

I've been using some .3DS models that have been kicking around our lab for a while and I've noticed that Vizard seems to know when a .3DS file is associated with a .tga file.

For example, I might try to load "house.3DS" and Vizard will load a gray model with no texture, and provide an error message to the effect that "house.tga" needs to be in the Vizard directory. If I add "house.tga" to the Vizard directory and then hit run, the texture shows up on the object.

However, when I try to load the "house.3DS" file in 3D Studio Max, it doesn't give an error message saying that I need the .tga file. How does Vizard know that a .tga file was mapped to the object at some point, while 3D Studio doesn't? Does anyone know if .3DS files have some kind of metadata that includes textures that were previously mapped to the object (and perhaps their uv mapping)?

This is a big problem for me because I need replicate (in 3D Studio Max) an environment that I created in Vizard using a bunch of these .3DS files so that I can bake on some lighting and get complex cast shadows. So, I basically have to take a bunch of these existing .3DS files (that I did not originally create, and therefore don't have the .MAX files), arrange them in the 3DS environment with the same locations, textures, and scaling as was used in the Vizard version of the environment, and then bake some fancy lighting onto all of the objects so that they cast shadows appropriately. However, if I don't know what textures to use on the objects, it might (a) not match my Vizard version of the environment exactly, or (b) take forever to figure out what textures I actually need and mess with the uv coordinates to match the mapping that Vizard seems to use by default.

Any suggestions? (I'm also having trouble matching the scaling of the objects between the two programs).


farshizzo 08-28-2009 03:14 PM

3DS files contain material information, including texture images. So the file is probably referencing that tga file. The file might already exist in the 3ds Max directory. That might explain why it doesn't produce an error message.

Regarding scaling, Vizard uses meter units. So you might need to adjust your 3ds Max settings to use the same units.

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