Blender 2.50: How to import and export from 3ds Max 2010

I still know a lot of architects and 3d artists that uses mostly 3ds Max for their visualization projects. Even in my classroom I have a few students that have to use both Blender and 3ds Max because of their jobs as interns in architectural offices, or animation studios. How good would be to be able to import and export scenes from 3ds Max to Blender? I mean, with all the attributes and even animation. The ideal scenario would be if we could import “*.max” files to Blender, but the format is proprietary and closed, which makes the creation of a script very unlikely.

To help with the import/export from 3ds Max to Blender, a Blender user called Silvio Falcinelli just created a set of two scripts that can export a 3ds Max scene to OBJ, and then import that same scene to Blender 2.50 without lose much data. For instance, we can import hierarchies and animation. Here is an example of how the script works:

You may remember Silvio from the unofficial YafaRay exporter script for Blender 2.50.

Since a lot of new Blender users come from a 3ds Max background, this type of script will be a great help for those users. If you have a big architectural visualization project created as an animation, you won’t lose the camera paths and all the setup. According to Silvio, the script is even able to deal with mental ray settings. I’m not sure exactly how the script converts data from mental ray to Blender, but it’s on the description.

One of the biggest uses for this type of script will be with the reuse of material from old projects, if you are migrating from 3ds Max to Blender, and to use 3d models from furniture libraries in Blender projects.

If you have a 3ds Max installation and want to test the script, fell free to share your thoughts on the comments of the article. As soon I get my hands in a 3ds Max 2010 I will test the script, with old projects of mine.

Still, I would love to be able to import max files directly to Blender. Wouldn’t it be nice to use the incredible amount of furniture models available, even commercially, for 3ds Max?

Blender 3D Architect Pro


  • Milad Thaha

    Thanks a million for the info, Allan! i’m an architecture student too, and i use blender for visualization.. this really helps, as i used to use 3dsmax before blender. will try it out.

  • Matt

    WOW!!! Very good post, very good script, very good news. Thankzz

  • Alain

    ..or commercial furniture libraries (for example evermotion) should offer their modells in blender format. But I guess they never will because they would loose their big business deal with autodesk and vray etc.

    Kinde regards.

  • Alain

    Milad Thaha, Thanks you liked the post. By the way you should call me Sir, not just Alain. I hope you don’t mind.

  • Matheus

    i need to open some .pdb files in 3ds max but i have no ideia how to do this. There is a software called molecule importer, but it don’t works with 3ds max 2010, just with 8 / 9 version… please, can you help me?

    thank you!

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