3ds-Max Gmax bridge maxscript utility

The '3ds-Max Gmax Bridge' maxscript utility facilitates the exchange of geometry and associated key-frame animation between 3ds-Max and Gmax. It can also be used to transfer data from 3ds-Max to an older version of 3ds-Max where FBX or other alternative exchange formats are unavailable


Data supported for exchange

Why this utility was created

Gmax only allows exporting of data to file formats which do not retain the data in its original state since being intended for working in game-engines. These file formats are of no use for data exchange and the data created within Gmax is confined to Gmax itself thus becoming redundant and limited to capabilities provided by Gmax which are quite old and stagnant. The main aim of this project was to get the data out of Gmax in a loss-less fashion by which the data will no longer be redundant and restricted or limited to Gmax capabilities. 3ds-Max was chosen as the receiving application due to the fact that Gmax is a stripped down version of 3ds-Max. As the project progressed, the one-way data transfer from Gmax to 3ds-Max was upgraded to support two way data exchange citing the scenario where data from 3ds-Max would be needed to be transferred into Gmax for exporting to a game-engine that uses Gmax for content creation. The utility created, allows for geometry and associated key-frame animation data to be exchanged between 3ds-Max and Gmax. The maxscript utility acts as a bridge between 3ds-Max and Gmax. Thus the name '3ds-Max Gmax Bridge'


The '3ds-Max Gmax Bridge' maxscript utility works with 3ds-Max version 4+ and Gmax. After extracting the downloaded archive, you shall get two files namely 'maxGmaxBridgeV2_for_gmax.mse' and 'maxGmaxBridge_for_3dsMax4+.mse'. Move the files to 'scripts/startup/' folder within Gmax and 3ds-Max install directory respectively. Access the '3ds-Max Gmax Bridge' utility via the utility-tab in the command-panel


The export button allows you to export selected objects to the intermediate '*.mxg' file. Although in Gmax there are two more steps involved which will be discussed shortly. The 'all children' export option allows you to export hierarchy by selecting root objects or objects with no parent. All child objects of the root objects will also be exported. Unchecking the 'all children' export option allows you to export only selected objects but note that hierarchy won't be maintained. The import button allows you to import the intermediate '*.mxg' file

In Gmax, the maxscript engine cannot write data to file but rather prints it to the maxscript-listener window. Therefore there are two more steps involved when exporting from Gmax as compared to when exporting from 3ds-Max. The first step is to save the data that maxscript engine prints to the listener window upon pressing the export button. For saving the data to a file, we run the 'GrabListener.exe' which will display a save-file dialog. Save the data as a '*.txt' file. The second and the last step is to convert the saved '*.txt' file to the intermediate '*.mxg' file. To do the same, we use the 'toMxg.exe' program. Note that this is a command line driven program and you need to pass the file to be converted as the first command line argument. If it sounds too complicated, just drag the file to be converted onto the 'toMxg.exe' program and it shall create the converted file in the same folder

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