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Proper way to import .3ds file

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Joe Kilburn
Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 2, 2013 at 7:00:09 pm

Hi,

What is the correct way to import a .3ds file into 3ds Max? The textures aren't showing up when I simply double click the file.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 2, 2013 at 8:30:15 pm

The textures don't go along with a .3ds file - a .3ds is a binary format (from a very early version of Max - but it's universally compatible, which is why it is often used) which only contains links to the material library - in 8.3 DOS format. This complicates things, because if your texture file names are not short, you will get errors, and your materials won't show up, even if they exist.

Unless you export the material library along with your .3ds file, you're not going to get it. And if you're downloading your models from a source that doesn't have a material library with it, and in the correct format, you won't get it either. The proper import method is File/Import in the Max interface. You'll also notice that if you try to export a .3ds format, you only get one choice in the dialog - Preserve Texture Coordinates. This only means that the placeholders for the textures will be there, not the textures themselves. It's complicated, and the bottom line is that unless you want to retexture your model, there are better formats to get the files in.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Joe Kilburn
Re: Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 2, 2013 at 8:42:06 pm

Thanks a lot for the help.

The source that I'm downloading the models from usually do have an accompanying Max version of the file. I'm supposed to unzip the files before importing, right? Here's what I basically want to do:

- Extend the Max model's duration and save as compatible Photoshop format (3ds?)
- Import to Photoshop, while preserving textures, and animate
- Save as .mov and import to After Effects

Once I get the model looking like I want for the length of time that I need in Photoshop, I'll be fine. My expertise caps at 2.5D unfortunately...


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Joe Kilburn
Re: Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 2, 2013 at 9:09:50 pm

This might be a better approach. All I really need to do with this .3ds file is extend its duration. I'm happy with its appearance in Photoshop, it just ends too quickly. Since 3ds Max is dropping the textures on import, maybe I need to be using another program to extend the duration. Is there some other app that could help me do this? Do you know if it's possible in Photoshop?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 2, 2013 at 10:37:34 pm

I've only worked very little with video in Photoshop, since my primary tools for that are After Effects and Premiere Pro. I'm not aware that there's any way to stretch time in Photoshop. After Effects and Premiere Pro can certainly do it. I'm assuming that your animation is not a seamless loop - in that case you could just cut and paste a copy in Photoshop.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Joe Kilburn
Re: Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 2, 2013 at 10:53:56 pm

Ordinarily I'd use AE for something like this, but it imports all 3D models as 2D stills. Photoshop allows full 3D manipulation of models with keyframing. I'm sure there's a way to accomplish what I'm attempting much more easily in Blender or 3ds Max, but I honestly can't tell which end is up with those two programs.

Fortunately, through a day's worth of scraping the bottom of the internet barrel, I've found several different models that are looking really good in Photoshop for what I'm trying to do. It's a motley mishmash of 3ds, obj, and dae files, but they're doing the trick!

I've already promised myself that once this particular project is behind me, I'm going to finally teach myself 3D modeling.

Thanks again for the help.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Proper way to import .3ds file
on Apr 3, 2013 at 4:21:19 pm

Joe -

You can get more functionality in AE if you export your files from Max as RPF or RLA files - here's some info on that:

http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/15/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/index.html?url=files/GU...

While you can't rotate your model around as in Photoshop, you can get a whole lot of other functionality. Here's some more info, that, while old, is still relevent:

http://forums.creativecow.net/archivethread/18/122693

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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