I was under the impression from reading the forums that it wouldn’t be too big of a deal to use 3dMax instead of Maya or Blender for making art, but I was reading through the documentation, and found this comment:
EGG files are created by exporting models from 3D modeling programs like Maya, Max, or Blender. Currently, the support for Maya is very strong, since the developers of Panda3D mostly use Maya. The Max exporter is not very reliable right now.
Is this still true? Am I making a mistake by going with 3dMax instead of Maya or Blender?
The max exporter can:
-export static meshes
-export rigged meshes (but only rigged with ‘bones’ or a biped system) both skin and physique modifiers work
-export animations as long as the animations are based on bones or a biped
-assign color, gloss, normal and glow textures automatically (as long as there are in the right slots)
-generate tangent/binormals if needed
-export vertex and/or polygon colors
-Point helpers can be exported (the loader turns them into empty nodes with a location/orientation)
The max exporter can’t:
-export lines (splines, nurbs)
-export morphs (here’s a workaround: Morph maker)
-export multiple UV sets
-assign some texture modes like “normal_gloss”
-can’t set alpha value for vertex colors (at least I didn’t find a way)
-add custom tags
-export animations using controllers (like making a bone follow a spline)
-export animations using modifiers (like using a ripple modifier and animating its parameters)
-export procedural materials (or in fact any materials - things like glossiness or specular levels are ignored)
-can’t export cameras, lights, space warps and most other objects unless they are converted to a mesh or poly
-can’t select wrap modes nor min/mag filter methods
-can’t export 1D, 3D and CUBE_MAP textures (but I don’t think you can use them in max anyways)
-can’t set tex-gen (like EYE_SPHERE_MAP or WORLD_CUBE_MAP) or combine-modes
-can’t set bin, draw-order, depth-offset, depth-write, depth-test, visibility parameters
The most important things work, most of the other things can be added by hand editing egg files (it’s simple) or writing some small programs.
It depends a bit on what features of 3dsmax you want to use.
One more thing - the max exporter always turns all polygons to triangles, even for collision meshes, so if you have a collision mesh that’s made from quads and higher order polygons you can export it to waveform OBJ and then use the obj2egg program - it will keep the quads.
Awesome, thanks for the detailed reply. Sounds workable, at least for the short term. I’ll stick with 3dMax for now, and see how it goes.